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Biological Soil Crusts of Joshua Tree National Park

Categorized as: Nature & Outdoors
Event tags:

  • March 18, 2017
  • 09:00AM - 05:00PM
  • $110 JTNPA/PINE member, $120 non member Credit Fee: $160 JTNPA/PINE member, $170 non member
  • 760-367-5535
  • Event Website


The desert floor may look like dirt and sand but it is full of living microscopic organisms vital to the park’s ecosystem. Many of these organisms live in biological highly active soil crusts that

cover the first inch of the desert soil surface. In this field class, instructors Nicole Pietrasiak and Kerry Knudsen will introduce biological soil crusts with an emphasis on soil algae and lichens. Participants will study the secret life of these microscopic organisms as they demystify this thin layer of soil. During the lab session, participants will see the biodiversity of the park’s crusts up close through two different types of microscopes. The second day, the class will go into the field to identify and assess the conditions of some of the algal and lichen soil crusts found in JTNP. This course earns 1 unit through U.C. Riverside, Extension.

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Joshua Tree Gateway Communities, Palm Springs & Coachella Valley, Las Vegas Area, Death Valley, Ridgecrest & Northern Mojave, Anza-Borrego, Imperial Valley, S. CA Deserts, Hopi, Inland Empire & Victor Valley, Nevada (other than Las Vegas area), SoCal Mountains & Pass Areas, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, N. AZ, West Texas, Eastern Sierras, Needles, Lake Havasu, Laughlin & Kingman, Highway 178/Kernville/Lake Isabella, SoCal Coast - LA, OC, San Diego