$45

Sound: Thunderstorms Awaken the Desert

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$45

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Learn about desert toads, their emergence based on sound frequencies and moisture, their cacophonous choruses, and explore spoken poetry.

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With that first rumble of thunder, and the thudding patter-patter-patter of rain on the parched desert floor, the annual resurrection begins. Spadefoot toads, which have been entombed in the dry soil for many months, awaken and emerge to begin their short, frenzied, and loud mating cycles in ephemeral pools.

Robert Anthony Villa, research associate and garden curator at the Desert Laboratory and president of the Tucson Herpetological Society, will share the natural history of our desert toads, as well as the most recent science behind what triggers the perfect timing of toad emergence: is it low-frequency sound? Or is it thunder, or a combination of other factors?

Then, we’ll learn to make our own celebratory sounds through the art of spoken poetry with Logan Phillips, UArizona MFA Creative Writing / Poetry ’21 and published poet. Logan will introduce the word-vehicle of the “ode” poem, a traditional song of praise. Working as a group, we will construct an ode to the monsoons focusing on the emotional tides of longing and mourning that desert dwellers experience with the coming of—or the delay of—the monsoon rains.

Field Trip > You can also sign up for an optional evening field trip with Robert Villa to search out stormwater pools where toads are emerging; the date will be “on call” depending on rain events. We will meet at the base of Tumamoc and then self-drive in a convoy to other locations. $45 additional fee. You can add the field trip to your workshop ticket during checkout, or if you perfer to wait, you can also order a field trip ticket later, from the main Eventbrite page for Tumamoc.

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Refund requests will be accepted up to three days prior to the workshop.

Student discounts (50%) are available; please email Roseann Hanson with details of your school enrollment. [roseannhanson at arizona dot edu]

For more information about the University of Arizona's Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, please visit our website at http://www.tumamoc.arizona.edu

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