Field Trips

Field trips will be held on January 9th and 13th, 2017.

You can register for fieldtrips on the registration page (choose the workshop/fieldtrip ticket if you’ve already registered).  Specific fieldtrips can be chosen under ‘additional items’ after the question section.


JANUARY 9th (Monday):

Trip #1 (8:30 am – 3 pm, $45):  The Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum

A world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden.  There are two miles of walking paths, 16 individual gardens, 1,200 native plant species and 56,000 individual plants.  The animal collection currently includes 230 native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds including a multi-species hummingbird aviary.  If you’ve never been there (and even if you have) – it’s fantastic!

Includes: Bus transportation from Tucson Marriott University Park, entry ticket to Desert Museum and docent led tour.  Lunch not included (restaurant/café options at the Museum).

Tour leaves at 8:30 am from the Tucson Marriott Hotel

Trip #2 (4:20 pm – 6:30 pm, $25):  Tumamoc Hill

Take a short 15 min hike up Tumamoc Hill – through saguaro cacti and the desert to a fantastic lookout over the city.   Tumamoc Hill is an 860-acre ecological reservation, only 15 minutes from the Tucson city center.  Director Benjamin Wilder will take you on a tour through the buildings, going over the history of the site and research done there.  Hike to the top of the hill and watch the spectacular sun set over Tucson, then walk back down under the night stars, where you can bus back in time for the Welcome Reception at the Tucson Marriot University Park (conference hotel).

Includes:  Bus transportation from Tucson Marriott University Park.  Tour of site and buildings.  Led by:  Benjamin Wilder, Cynthia Anson.

Tour leaves at 4:20 pm from the Tucson Marriott Hotel, picking up from Workshops on the way.


JANUARY 13 (Friday)

Trip #3 (all day, $70):  Sabino Canyon / Mt. Lemmon

Sabino Canyon lies in the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north-east of Tucson.  Take one of two trams (Sabino Canyon tram or Bear Canyon Tram) depending on your interest. Spend a few hours hiking to Seven Falls (5.2 miles) or in Sabino Canyon, through giant saguaro cactus and other Sonoran flora like palo verde, cholla and prickly pear, as well as cottonwood and sycamore.  Return to the bus and head up Mt. Lemmon (9,157 ft) to check out the Sky Island – a meeting point between desert and forest ecosystems, with oak and pine forests and fantastic views!

NOTE:  Hiking to Seven Falls includes several stream crossings – sturdy shoes required.  Mt. Lemmon is also the southern-most ski hill in the US.  There very likely will be snow at the top (bring warm clothes) – this part is weather dependent.

Includes:  Bus transportation from Tucson Marriott University Park.  Tram ride.  Packed lunch.

Tour leaves at 8:30 am from the Tucson Marriott University Park.

Trip #4 (all day, $70): Mission San Xavier del BacMadera Canyon / Tubac

Head south from Tucson, stopping briefly to take a tour of the historic Mission San Xavier del Bac – a Spanish-Catholic Mission, and oldest European structure in Arizona.  Continue on to Madera Canyon (a famous birding area) and hike along trails in the Santa Rita Mountains, 25 miles south of Tucson.  Vegetation along the road into the canyon is desert grasslands and farther up the canyon is juniper-oak woodland.  Spend a few hours exploring/hiking/birdwatching then take the bus back down into the historic/art community of Tubac with over 100 eclectic shops and art galleries to explore.

Includes: Bus transportation from Tucson Marriott University Park.  Packed lunch.

Tour leaves at 8:30 am from the Tucson Marriott University Park.

Trip #5 (all-day, $65):  Saguaro National Park  / Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum

Spend the morning watching hummingbirds, hawks and other desert critters  and plants at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden (similar to Jan 9th’s tour).  Take a docent-led tour, and/or wander around on your own.  After lunch, head to Saguaro National Park with your scientist tour guide John Wiens (U. of Arizona – Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and co-organizer of the Biogeography of Southwestern North America concurrent session).  Spend some time hiking around the western part of Saguaro National Park – Tucson is home to the iconic giant saguaro (US’ largest cacti), which is protected by this park to the east and west of Tucson.

Includes: Bus transportation from Tucson Marriott University Park, entry ticket to Desert Museum and docent led tour, entry to Saguaro NP.  Lunch not included (restaurant/café options at the Museum).  Saguaro NP tour led by John Wiens.

Tour leaves at 8:30 am from the Tucson Marriott University Park.


Other longer trips are possible – there are some fantastic areas to see in the Southwest.  We currently aren’t organizing anything longer, but if you have the time and interest here are some great regions to explore: