$85 – $160

Desert Tortoise Conservation Biology Spring 2020 (Biology x412.18 1 unit)

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Copper Mountain College

Bell Center, Community Room

Joshua Tree, CA 92252

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The desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii is a fascinating species whose existence is threatened. This class will highlight critical issues in desert tortoise conservation, and the unique morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits essential for these reptiles to survive. In the morning participants will explore the tortoise preserve at Copper Mountain College (CMC). Moving to the classroom, Kristin Berry Ph.D. will explain the ecology, life history and current threats to this species. Edward LaRue Jr. M.S., will then show how to detect tortoises in the field, and discuss their occurrence in the Morongo Basin. Michael Vamstad M.S. will discuss tortoise conservation and education activities in Joshua Tree National Park. Brian Croft will describe the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s range-wide monitoring program for desert tortoises. Paul Delaney Ph.D. will summarize preserve management, and the remarkable variety of adaptations exhibited by these amazing animals. Participants then return outside to practice detecting tortoises, scat, tracks and burrows using field equipment.

Course fee includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Download the class outline: Desert Tortoise Conservation Biology Spring 2020

Hike Level: Easy (Fitness Levels)

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

Before registering, please take the time to review our General Class Information and download the Enrollment Attachments, that contain pertinent information about your class, the Joshua Tree National Park and camping reservations which can be made at recreation.gov

Please print and fill out the PARTICIPANT AGREEMENT. You can bring the completed form to the class.

Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel, notify us at least seven days prior to the start of the course and we will process your request minus a $25 cancellation fee. No refunds, transfers, or credits will be granted if cancellation occurs within the seven day period. Please note that we cannot make any exceptions to this refund policy for any reason, including but not limited to medical reasons, illness, travel delays, personal situations, emergencies, or weather. This program depends on registration for its funding. While inconvenient, please understand that this policy enables us to sustain our programs even with last minute cancellations.


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Copper Mountain College

Bell Center, Community Room

Joshua Tree, CA 92252

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