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Biological Soil Crusts of Joshua Tree National Park Spring 2017 (Biology x412.28 1 unit)

Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 4:00 PM (PDT)

Registration Information

Registration Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Member (JTNPA or PINE) Mar 18, 2017 $110.00 $0.00
Non Member Mar 18, 2017 $120.00 $0.00
Credit Fee (JTNPA or PINE) Mar 18, 2017 $160.00 $8.99
Credit Fee (Non Member) Mar 18, 2017 $170.00 $9.49

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Event Details

The desert floor may look like dirt and sand but it is full of living small and 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 Nicole Pietrasiak and Kerry Knudsen will introduce crypto-biotic 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. Nicole and Kerry will discuss the components of crusts such as cyanobacteria (one of the oldest known life forms on earth), green algae, diatoms, bacteria, fungi, and lichens. During the lab session, participants will see the biodiversity of the park’s crusts up close through two different types of microscopes. On the second day, the class will go into the field to identify and assess the condition of several types of algal and lichen soil crust communities found in JTNP.


Please review this pdf package that contains pertinent information about your class, the Joshua Tree National Park, camping reservations and lodging in the area around the park:  enrollment attachments.

If you are a member of JTNPA/PINE you will get a $10 discount off every Desert Institute class. If you are not a member you can become one here.

Please take the time to review our General Class Information and Fitness Levels before registering.

Have questions about Biological Soil Crusts of Joshua Tree National Park Spring 2017 (Biology x412.28 1 unit)? Contact Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

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When & Where


Oasis Visitor Center
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 4:00 PM (PDT)


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Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

Exploring Nature through Education

The Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park is an adult and family education program offering an in-depth exploration of the park’s natural wonders. Learn from highly qualified instructors who are passionate about sharing their expertise, and committed to providing a personal and fun learning experience. The Desert Institute is sponsored by the Joshua Tree National Park Association, and operates with the full endorsement of the National Park Service. Join us this season for an educational adventure.

Field Classes

The Desert Institute offers outdoor field classes for adult learners in cultural history, natural science, survival skills, desert naturalist studies, citizen science, and creative arts. The Desert Institute also offers half day courses for children from 8-13 years and their parents.  Enrollment is open to all, and some courses may be taken for optional university credit. All field programs follow “Leave No Trace” principles to minimize impact on the desert environment, and where necessary, obtain special permits to access certain aspects of Joshua Tree National Park that would otherwise be restricted. Weekend courses ranging from one to three days are scheduled over two class semesters, Fall and Spring. Discounts are available for members of the Joshua Tree National Park Association and Partners in Nature Education.

Custom Programs

Whatever you interest in Joshua Tree National Park, we can design a custom educational program to be a perfect fit for you or your group. Click on the sidebar for program ideas, or contact the Desert Institute for more information.

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Biological Soil Crusts of Joshua Tree National Park Spring 2017 (Biology x412.28 1 unit)
Things to do in Twentynine Palms, CA Class Travel & Outdoor

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