Topics & Speakers

The final Symposium schedule of sessions and speakers is still in the works, but the following information will give you a sense of how each of the days is developing. Watch this site for more detail as it develops. 


Plenary Session -- Keynote Speaker: Jesus Garcia, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Natural Resources Topics

  • Aquatic biodiversity—Rio Sonoyta Basin
  • Hidden water: pozos of the Gran Desierto
  • Management of Quitobaquito Springs
  • Aquatic invertebrates—Anzo-Borrego Desert
  • Lowermost Santa Cruz River: An unexpected resource in the Sonora Desert
  • Desert restoration projects and challenges
  • Science-based and inspired borderlands activism

Cultural Resources:  A Summary of the Prehistory and History of the Western Papaguería

  • Place names in the Gila River area
  • Research in the Prehistory of the Western Papaguería
  • The Archaic Period in the Western Papaguería
  • The Ceramic Period in the Western Papaguería
  • The Post-contact Period in the Western Papaguería
  • Pottery in the Western Papaguería

Sonoran Desert Foodways

  • The Desert is FOOD! Growing, farming, research
  • O’odham dry farming: historic and contemporary
  • Growing corn in Eagletail Mountains

Outside the Box

  • Knowing by naming: probing the depths of place names
  • Learning by drawing: shadows and horse latitudes in the Sonoran Desert


Natural Resources

  • Pinacate Biosphere Reserve: volcanoes and geology
  • The Pinacates and Surroundings: Used as Analogs in Planetary Exploration 1960s-2018
  • Endangered species topics—flat-tailed horned lizard, Sonoran Desert toad, masked bobwhite quail, Sonoran pronghorn, and more
  • Sonoran plant community vulnerability to changing climate
  • Increased fire risk in Sonoran creosote shrublands due to exotic species and climate change
  • Vulnerability analyses to prioritize species for management: case study

Cultural Resources

  • The History of Ranching Around Ajo
  • Early Ranching Families of Ajo
  • Ajo's Mining Identity: Past, Present, and Future
  • The Hia C-ed O’odham: Dome Valley, Quitobaquito and Bates Well
  • The Hia C-ed O’odham: Chico Suni Village
  • The Hia C-ed O’odham: Darby Well Village

Outside the Box

  • A new kind of company town: the borderland, the desert, and the next extractive industry

Native American Perspectives

  • The history and culture of the O’odham peoples and their lands as known through their stories and songs


Natural Resources

  • Border impacts on wildlife, etc.
  • Wildlife stewardship in border security strategies
  • Tinaja database for border barriers and wildlife movements
  • Invasive Sahara Mustard research
  • The United States Border Patrol effort to minimize impacts on natural resources

Cultural Resources

  • Historic O’odham travel in this region, including the Salt Trail
  • Prehistoric Summit Paths in the Great Bend of the Gila River
  • They’ve got game: stone balls in Central Arizona

Sonoran Desert Foodways

  • Long beans, long life: the history of Chinese Farming in the Tucson basin
  • Magueyes y Mezcales of the Sonoran Desert: a hands-on approach
  • Sonoran Desert Foodways: an architecture of local food meanings

Closing Plenary Session -- Keynote Speaker (invited): David Yetman, Host of The Desert Speaks

Eventbrite - 4th Tri-National Symposium: Past, Present & Future of the Sonoran Desert