Tumamoc Hill Science Café

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Series Title: Campos de Fuego - Explorations of the Pinacate Volcanic Range

Since the Hornaday expedition set off from the Desert Laboratory in 1907, captured in the book Camp fires on Desert and Lava, there has been a unique connection between Tumamoc Hill and this enigmatic volcanic range in NW Mexico. Recognized by many as the desert’s heart, the Pinacate has captivated and inspired those who have traversed its rugged slopes, peaks, and dunes. Please join four of those individuals as they connect you to this special region of our desert and in celebration of the first bilingual publication of the 1928 novel Campos de Fuego: A Brief and Fantastic History of an Expedition into the Volcanic Regions of the Pinacate by Gumersindo Esquer, Contribution 2 of the Proceedings of the Desert Laboratory.

The talks are held in the library of the Desert Laboratory, the buildings roughly half-way up Tumamoc Hill.

Please reserve a space with Cynthia Anson at  desertlaboratory@gmail.com or 520-629-9455, due to limited seating.

Tumamoc Hill Cliff Art
Photo by Ben Wilder

Fall 2018 Science Café Presenters:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 6:00PM

The Pinacate Volcanoes

David Brown PhotoPresenter: Dan Lynch, Geologist, PhD Alumni, UA Department of Geosciences

The Pinacate Volcanic Field comprises nearly five hundred cinder cone volcanoes scattered across a distinctive gray landscape of their own creation. Eruptive activity ceased just over 10,000 years ago and Pinacate Peak is an oceanic-island volcano on continental crust with a unique cinder cone that melted inside. The field is most famous for its giant steam explosion craters. Come to learn about the inner secrets of the desert’s volcano.


Dan Lynch's Science Café Talk

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 6:00PM

Time Frame: An Artist's Long-term Relationship with Pinacate

America Lutz Ley PhotoPresenter: Richard Laugharn, Artist/Editor, UA Center for Creative Photography and UA Southwest Center

Richard Laugharn is an artist whose current long term project involves photographing individual desert plants over time. From an early age, he has had a compulsion to honor – through repeated visits – a particular patch of land. For over thirty years, the place that he has returned to most avidly is the Pinacate region of Sonora, Mexico. In his lecture, illustrated by his stunning work, he will tell you why.

Coming Soon: Richard Laugharn's Science Café Talk

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 6:00PM

Sonoran Pronghorn in the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, a Story of Challenges and Adaptations

Ron Pulliam PhotoPresenter: Miguel Angel Grageda Garcia, Reserva de la Biosfera El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar, Sonora, Mexico

Sonoran pronghorn antelope are a subspecies adapted to the harsh environment of the Sonoran Desert. This species original range goes from southern Arizona to northwestern Sonora, including the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve where a subpopulation has been roaming freely without human intervention for centuries. Now they are increasingly isolated by highways, fences, the US-Mexico border, and human development. Fortunately, the number of Sonoran pronghorn within the Reserve has been increasing in recent years, but solving connectivity problems and ensuring the conservation of large continuous areas of habitat are key in preserving these incredible animals for the future.

Coming Soon: Miguel Grageda Garcia's Science Café Talk

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 6:00PM

The Ties That Bind: Natural History of Plant and Animal Interactions in El Pinacate

Ron Pulliam PhotoPresenter: Paul Dayton, Professor, Integrative Oceanography Division at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Why is a world renowned marine ecologist studying cactus and jackrabbits in the middle of the desert? Born and raised in Tucson with a childhood full of flying to remote corners of the desert with back country pilot Ike Russell and scuba diving off San Carlos as a teenager with home-made regulators, Paul is first and foremost a desert rat. His career has been driven by the belief that one must understand nature to protect it. Focused in the Antarctic, California kelp forests, and as you will hear, in the Pinacate, he has attempted to use analytical techniques of simplification, testing, and synthesis as an approach to understand community organization.

Coming Soon: Paul Dayton's Science Café Talk


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