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California's Deserts: a Floristic Frontier on the Brink


Join Dr. Jim Andre, Director of the Granite Mountains Desert Research Center, as he discusses the future of California’s desert flora that is being threatened by rapid and large scale development.

In the early 1900s, botanists such as Marcus E. Jones and Philip A. Munz would toss their plant presses into a Model A and set out into what was then a botanical frontier - the California deserts. Their collections yielded a flood of new species to science. And, along with other important botanists such as Willis L. Jepson and Edmund C. Jaeger, their vast collections during the last century greatly expanded our knowledge of plant species and their distributions in California’s deserts. But how complete was their work?

And while the deserts remain ripe for taxonomic discovery, widespread change is looming in the form of renewable energy development targeted throughout the California deserts. The consequences of rapid and large-scale habitat destruction will be discussed in terms of habitat loss and potential for species extinctions. What do we stand to lose? Will we have the opportunity to fully document the flora? Will we know what we've lost?

Sponsored by the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society, this lecture is held at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, on Friday, January 11 at 7 pm. This lecture is open to the public and costs $5 per person at the door. Optional dinner with speaker at 5 pm at the 29 Palms Inn, room is limited and attendees are responsible for their own meal. If interested in dinner please RSVP to Marion Gartner 760-361-1202 or


For further press information, please call the Desert Institute (760) 367-5535.

Joshua Tree Gateway Communities, Palm Springs & Coachella Valley, Inland Empire & Victor Valley