Agave Harvest

agave FLYER2017 (002)

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture – March 16, 2017

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument –

What the rocks tell us about ecosystem response to past climate change

with Kathleen Springer, Geologist – U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Image result for Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

Paleowetland deposits comprise the entirety of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument and entomb the spectacular namesake Pleistocene faunal assemblage.  Study of these deposits in detail, reveals that the very springs that were the magnet and water source for animals in an otherwise arid environment, were highly sensitive to past abrupt climate change. This presentation will show that entire ecosystems collapsed repeatedly in response to prolonged drought. How did the animals respond?  How will modern desert wetlands respond to current warming climes’?

Kathleen Springer Biography

I study geologic deposits associated with desert wetlands, pluvial lakes, and anything else I can get my hands on to query the paleoclimate record of the American Southwest. I was trained as a geologist and paleontologist, with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geological Sciences from the University of California, Riverside, and spent the first part of my career at the San Bernardino County Museum where I was the Senior Curator of Geological Sciences. Now with the USGS, my research focuses on deciphering paleo-depositional environments of Quaternary localities (paleowetlands and pluvial lakes) throughout the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin, stressing the application of detailed stratigraphic and chronologic controls. I also use detailed geologic mapping to understand how hydrologic systems in the desert responded to past episodes of climate change and tectonic activity. In addition, I am a lifelong geoscience educator and communicator, specializing in earthquake science messaging by raising awareness of earthquake hazards and risk and promoting natural disaster preparedness, work which continues today.

Bring your lunch, bring your friends, or just bring yourself to our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series once a month.  Speakers will present topics of special interest for high desert residents. The lectures start at 12:00 p.m. Admission is $ 5 – Free for Members/Sponsors – beverages will be served.

Seeds: Nature’s Artful Engineering – January 7 – March 11, 2017

 

On display January 7 – March 11, 2017

This exhibit aims to increase awareness and appreciation of the beauty, diversity, ingenuity and critical importance

of seeds and their dispersal mechanisms in California native plants.

Against many, many odds they are the final step in ensuring the survival of plant life.

Workshop – Identifying Native Plants – April 5, 2017

Workshop – Identifying Native Plants

April 5, 2017        2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

Always wanted to learn the names of all those wildflowers growing in the yard and alongside the road?  This workshop will not only help you get to the right names, it will also give you a new    appreciation for how many different species of plants are in our area. Bring in some of your favorite weeds for sharing. Tools and materials are provided.  Join Mark Wheeler at the Museum for this hands-on introduction to native wildflower identification.

Price: $20 (free for museum members), call the Museum to reserve your space or e-mail.

 

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture – February 16, 2017

The Archaeology of the Yucca Valley Region

by Daniel McCarthy

Native Americans have lived in this region for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans.  The artifacts or material culture they left behind can tell a story of Who, When, Where and How they successfully lived off the land.  Occupation and camp sites abound along with food gathering areas.  Join us in learning more as we discover our past.


Image result for daniel mccarthy archaeologist Bio:   DANIEL MCCARTHY, M. S., Anthropology, has worked at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Joshua Tree National Park, San Bernardino National Forest and throughout Southern California compiling photographic inventories of the rock art of this region. Formerly he was the Director of the Cultural Resources Management Department for four years with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and spent 18 years on the San Bernardino National Forest as archaeologist and Tribal Relations Program Manager. His research interests include desert archaeology, Native American uses of plants, aboriginal trail systems, material culture of the Cahuilla and Serrano Indians and rock art.

Bring your lunch, bring your friends, or just bring yourself to our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series once a month.  Speakers will present topics of special interest for high desert residents. The lectures start at 12:00 p.m. Admission is $ 5 – Free for Members/Sponsors – beverages will be served.

Chamber Music at the Museum – February 11 & February 12, 2017

Chamber Music at the Museum

featuring

The Encelia Chamber Ensemble

&

Friends

“The Harmonic Winds”, an amazing woodwind quintet

Saturday, February 11, 2017 – 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 12, 2017 – 2:00 p.m. (Matinee) – SOLD OUT

Download the official Poster here.


Tickets are available online for a donation of $15 for standard seating and $20 for preferred seating.*

Purchase your tickets early online or at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Having trouble signing up online?  Click here:  How to sign up online

*All proceeds will benefit the Hi-Desert Nature Museum.

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture – January 19, 2017

Botanical Discovery and Inventory in Joshua Tree National Park

by Tasha LaDoux PhD

Bring your lunch, bring your friends, or just bring yourself to our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series once a month.  Speakers will present topics of special interest for high desert residents. The lectures start at 12:00 p.m. Admission is $ 5 – Free for Members/Sponsors – beverages will be served.

The California desert represents one of the more pristine habitats in California, yet it remains one of the least documented floras in the state.  Despite the fact that the National Park Service has managed the ~800,000 acres of Joshua Tree National Park since 1936, recent efforts have added over 100 species to the catalogue of vascular plants.  Significant field discoveries include several species at the edge of their geographic distribution, newly described taxa, and many new rare plant occurrences. Currently, there are ~725 vascular plant species documented within the boundaries of JTNP: annuals represent the dominant life-form (50%); over 90 taxa are considered obligate summer bloomers; and only 7% are considered non-native plant taxa.  As exemplified by Joshua Tree National Park, the desert regions within California remain a place of great botanical diversity.

NPS centennial exhibit 2016

Joshua Tree  National Park: The Science Laboratory in your Backyard

on display September 30 through December 17, 2016

Opening Reception and Keynote Speaker on Friday, September 30, 2016

Reception starts at 5:00 p.m. and Keynote Speaker at 7:00 p.m

Besides being a place where locals and tourists enjoy the tranquility and serene beauty of the desert, Joshua Tree National Park is also the place for some cutting edge science. JTNP conducts studies in archaeology,    botany, environmental science, geology, paleontology, zoology and more.  This exhibit allows visitors’ to explore their National Park behind the scenes.

 

 

 

KEYNOTE : The Archaeology of Joshua Tree National Park—Past, Present, and Future

Michael Newland, Sonoma State University

Joshua Tree National Park has some of the most fascinating archaeology found anywhere in the United States. The park was home to several Native American cultures, including the Cahuilla, the Serrano, the Chemehuevi, and the Mojave, who lived here over centuries and continue to view many areas of the park as sacred.  Many archaeologists have made remarkable finds that have changed science’s understanding of California prehistory and the metamorphosis of this rugged landscape over the past 10,000 years. This talk will highlight some of the discoveries, including the presenter’s own research, as well as discuss some of the challenges the Park and tribal advocates face in preserving this remarkable heritage for future generations.

 

JTNP Archaeology Symposium

Saturday, October 1, 2016from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Black Rock Nature Center

For more events download flyer

 

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture – December 15, 2016

A Race Against Time:  Documenting the Conservation Needs of Rock Art Sites

Jeremy B. Freeman, Mary Oster, and Jason Theuer

Bring your lunch, bring your friends, or just bring yourself to our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series once a month.  Speakers will present topics of special interest for high desert residents. The lectures start at 12:00 p.m. Admission is $ 5 – Free for Members/Sponsors – beverages will be served.

Rock art sites are affected by a variety of transformational processes that affect site preservation and integrity.  Each site is subject to a unique combination of natural and anthropogenically induced agents that collectively act to degrade rock art figures and their supports.  Although the literature is replete with discussions on the processes leading to the deterioration of rock art, few systematic longitudinal studies have been conducted to document these processes and their role in diachronic changes to panels.  Subtle changes often go unnoticed and intervention is often relegated to reactionary responses to sudden and obvious signs of deterioration.  Conservation management plans provide a means of evaluating the conservation needs of sites and help implement a strategy to conserve the resource.  In this study we are using a variety of methods to collect data at rock art sites within Joshua Tree National Park to understand the agents leading to the deterioration of the rock art.  This data will provide a better understanding of the conservation needs of each site and enable the park to prepare a management plan to help conserve these resources.

Jeremy Freeman and Mary Oster Bios

Jeremy conducted his undergraduate studies in anthropology at Heidelberg College and his graduate studies anthropology at Ball State University.  He has worked as a professional archaeologist for 17 years for cultural resource management firms, museums, universities, federal agencies, and non-profit research institutes throughout the U.S.   He is currently working for the Great Basin Institute which is a partner organization with Joshua Tree National Park where he works in the resources division.  His research interests include:  rock art documentation and conservation management, indigenous cosmological constructs, and mythology and the sacred landscape.

Mary received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She has been employed as a field archaeologist and researcher for six years, focusing primarily on the Great Basin physiographic region.  She has worked on projects in Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, and throughout the state of California; at four National Parks: Joshua Tree NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Lassen Volcanic NP, and Lava Beds NM; and has published a volume in the Intermountain Region Cultural Resources series though the NPS.  Her broad research interests are in geomorphology/geology, landscape archaeology, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, archaeobotany, and of course, rock art.

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture – November 17, 2016

The status of the Joshua Tree at Joshua Tree National Park

with Neil Frakes, Division of Resource Management at Joshua Tree National Park

Bring your lunch, bring your friends, or just bring yourself to our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series once a month.  Speakers will present topics of special interest for high desert residents. The lectures start at 12:00 p.m. Admission is $ 5 – Free for Members/Sponsors – beverages will be served.

There is growing concern among the scientific community that Joshua trees are vulnerable to climate change. Predictive modelling efforts have shown that Joshua trees could be extirpated from Joshua Tree National Park within 80 years or reduced to approximately 10 percent of their current range and restricted to areas known as refugia. A lack of seedling establishment has also been found at the harshest, driest sites at lower elevations. Recently a petition has been put forward to consider listing the Joshua tree under the Endangered Species Act. Joshua trees are the namesake of the park and are a major attraction to visitors. Popular media has latched on to these findings, and visitors often wonder if Joshua trees are disappearing from the park. Vegetation staff at the park are beginning to establish a network of long-term monitoring plots to document changes to Joshua tree populations. We are sampling the same sites that were sampled in the 1970s as part of a Master’s thesis, allowing us to assess change over a 40 year period. Park staff are also focusing on sampling the lowest elevation areas where Joshua trees first start occurring, as these are likely most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and where signs of decline might already be noticeable. Joshua trees can also be impacted by wildfire, and the park is looking at ways to protect potential climate change refugia for Joshua trees from burning, as much of the area identified as refugia has already burned. Despite the growing concern for Joshua trees, there are a few signs of hope, that highlight the resilience of this long-lived desert species.

Photo: Research Associate measures the height of a Joshua tree, south of the North Entrance, Joshua Tree National Park.

Neil Frakes is the Vegetation Branch Chief in the Division of Resource Management at Joshua Tree National Park. He oversees a variety of vegetation based programs at the park including native plant restoration, invasive plant species management, field botany, climate change monitoring, and rock climbing stewardship. He started at Joshua Tree in July of 2015. He holds a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from Macalester College , and an M.A. in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to working for the National Park Service, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. He grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.