Welcome
The Garden classroom stays open year-round and hosts an array of programs led by experts who draw inspiration from our plant collections and the desert environment. Mobile users: Find the members login in the menu to the right.
Lifelong Learning
Get inspired and learn new skills through one of our programs in art, gardening, photography, science, travel and wellness.
Desert Landscape School
Gain skills and confidence to get the job done in all aspects of desert landscaping, plus earn a credential after you successfully complete all the certificate programs.
Children, Family & Educators
Families engage in hands-on, nature-based experiences in a fun and safe environment, and teachers can participate in professional development opportunities.
Science
If you are intrigued by your environment and the living things that comprise it, explore the Garden's interactive science programs. The Garden offers classes designed to illuminate topics from Arizona geology and history to celestial objects in the desert sky. Discover the remarkable characteristics and behavior of desert animals or enjoy the history of desert people. Many classes are hands-on lectures or with trips full of adventure and excitement.

The Secret Lives of Dogs
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday | Jan. 22 | 6 - 8 p.m.

It is estimated that more than five million dogs enter animal shelters each year in the United States. Dr. Lisa Gunter will discuss new research from the Canine Science Collaboratory that explores the canine experience in the shelter, what we can do to reduce stress for these dogs, and how we can help owners after adoption. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Tue, Jan 22, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Gems and Minerals of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Saturday | Jan. 26 | 2 - 4 p.m.

Rock out as you learn about Arizona's tremendous wealth of gems and minerals, such as turquoise, peridot and malachite. Discuss the geological history that led to the formation of these gems and minerals and where they are located. Instructed by Amy Englebright. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Jan 26, 2019 2:00PM - 4:00PM   OPEN

Magic of Mushrooms
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | Jan. 28 | 6 - 8 p.m.

There's much ado about mushrooms. Some are delicious, some are deadly, and some are intoxicating. Join us for a discussion of a wide variety of fungal species, including the death cap and fly agaric mushrooms, coffee rust, hallucination-inducing ergot and chocolate-eating mushrooms. Instructed by Dr. Ken Sweat, from Arizona State University's School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2018 - 2019: Mon, Jan 28, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Are We Alone?
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | Jan. 30 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Recent discoveries of thousands of planets have put new focus on the age-old question, "Are we alone in the Universe?" Does extra-terrestrial intelligence exist, and how and where can we find it? Dr. Per Aannestad, Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, discusses these questions in the context of our own 100 billion- star galaxy, emphasizing our improved knowledge and the many factors that are still unknown. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Wed, Jan 30, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Birding 101
Regular Price: $44.00
Member Price: $35.00
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Saturday | Feb. 2 | 8 - 11 a.m.

Fly through a quick review of bird anatomy and terminology, get briefed on binocular use and then train your eagle eyes on the skies. The instructor also covers field guides, apps, websites, guided field trips and books about birding locations. The field experience will help participants find birds, as well as develop a vocabulary of field marks for identification. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Feb 2, 2019 8:00AM - 11:00AM   WAIT LIST

Birding: Bills, Behaviors and Diet
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Thursday and Saturday | Feb. 7, 9
Thursday | 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Saturday | 8 - 11 a.m. (field trip)


Successful bird-watching takes more than guesswork and luck. Give your birding life wings with a deeper understanding of anatomy and behavior. Start predicting specific bird movements by finding the seeds, fruit, nuts or prey suited to each bird's bill. Then learn to look and listen for their many behaviors-noisy, silent, shy, bold, solitary, communal, active or sedentary. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Thu, Feb 7, 2019 6:30PM - 8:00PM   (5 AVAIL)

Birding: Environment and Families
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Tuesday and Saturday | Feb. 19, 23
Tuesday | 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Saturday | 8 - 11 a.m. (field trip)


Make birding an immersive practice by gaining knowledge of avian families and the environments they inhabit. Arizona's habitats include low desert to high elevation tundra, rivers, urban and rural spaces and transition zones. Identify the key characteristics of Arizona's habitats and the birds commonly found in these areas, including seasonal migration fluctuations. The field experience will focus on habitats birds frequently occupy. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Tue, Feb 19, 2019 6:30PM - 8:00PM   (6 AVAIL)

Memoir Writing: What's Your Story
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Mondays | Feb. 4, 11 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Learn the secrets and joys of putting your personal journey to paper. In this class, discover how to capture your memories in words, and help people make sense of, and even find meaning and solidarity in, the key moments in your life. Instructed by Barbara Geis. Limit 15.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Feb 4, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Desert Edibles
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | Feb. 10 | 9 - 11 a.m.

Join Kelly Athena for an ethnobotanical tour through Sonoran Desert bean trees, including mesquite, paloverde and ironwood. Learn how to identify them, harvest their buds, blossoms, and beans, and prepare and store them. You will also receive recipes on how to use the beans as edamame, sprouts, snacks and tea. Dress comfortably, some walking in the Garden. Limit 15.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Sun, Feb 10, 2019 9:00AM - 11:00AM   (3 AVAIL)

A Geological Narrative of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | Feb. 13 | 6 - 8 p.m.

The complex landscapes of Arizona are geologically quite young, but they reveal rocks and fossils that record a history of almost two billion years. Explore the geology of Arizona and the origins of the Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, Mogollon Rim and the low deserts. Instructed by Dr. Steven Semken of Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration. Limit 30
Session Winter 2018-2019: Wed, Feb 13, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (5 AVAIL)

Afternoon Flights: Birds and Wines
Regular Price: $88.00
Member Price: $70.00
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Sunday | Feb. 17 | 3 - 5 p.m.

Note: If you are a Garden volunteer (VIG), your discount cannot be applied to this program.

Take a leisurely stroll around the Garden observing the birds as they slip into their nighttime routines, and discussing the species seen and their behaviors. Then settle into an indulgent human nighttime routine-enjoying a flight of wines and cheeses while discussing the birds and their nighttime strategies. Students must be 21+, and are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 15.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Sun, Feb 17, 2019 3:00PM - 5:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Arizona Snakes
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | Feb. 27 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Slither into this class focused on the Sonoran Desert's more singular snake species. Discuss the roles these serpents play in the overall ecological landscape and how they are vital to our desert ecosystem-including some information about the newly discovered role rattlesnakes play in seed dispersal. Instructed by Jeff Meyers, Arizona Game and Fish Department Limit 30.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Wed, Feb 27, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Scene of the Crime
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | March 18 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Join Dr. Ken Sweat as he examines the use of plants and traditionally related organisms as evidence in criminal investigations. Beginning with the wood grain of the ladder left at the scene of the Lindberg baby kidnapping, and continuing into modern genetics-based case studies, review how plant evidence has solved past crimes and will help future investigators prosecute the guilty and free the innocent. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Mon, Mar 18, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Insects of the Sonoran Desert
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | March 24 | 1 - 3 p.m.

The Sonoran Desert is full of six-legged critters that we might find creepy, but that we would surely miss if they disappeared. From the wood-recycling desert cockroach to the singing cicada and hardworking pollinators, discover the insects that keep our desert ecosystem thriving. Join Dr. Carl Olson as he debunks bug myths and highlights the benefits of these desert insects. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Sun, Mar 24, 2019 1:00PM - 3:00PM   OPEN

Pleasant Valley War
Regular Price: $60.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Mondays | March 25, April 1 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Drawing from his recently published book "Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence," Eduardo Pagán shares the true story of the fabled "Pleasant Valley War," also known as the "Graham-Tewksbury Feud," which raged in northern Arizona from 1881 to 1887, and then reached its conclusion in Tempe in 1892. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Mon, Mar 25, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Hummingbirds
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Sunday | March 31 | 8 - 11 a.m.

Learn about the dozen-plus species of hummingbirds found in Arizona, where to find them and the anatomy of a hummingbird feather. We will spend time in the Garden looking for hummingbirds and unusual migrants. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2019: Sun, Mar 31, 2019 8:00AM - 11:00AM   OPEN

Javelina
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | April 1 | 6 - 8 p.m.

While piggish in appearance, javelina are actually members of the peccary family, a native group of hoofed mammals. Learn about their natural history, habitats, features and behaviors from Jeff Meyers of Arizona Game and Fish. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Mon, Apr 1, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Water in Arizona: Past, Present and Future
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | April 3 | 6 - 8 pm.

Water is Arizona's most precious resource, yet few people know where their water comes from, how its quality is assured or how secure future water supplies are for the state's 6 million residents. We face very serious water supply sustainability challenges in the coming decades. Who loses out when there is a shortage? Who has priority? Who makes these decisions about our water future? Instructed by Paul Hirt of Arizona State University's School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. Limit 20.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, Apr 3, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Birding by Ear
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Friday | April 5 | 7 - 10 a.m.

Dusk and dawn draw the songs out of mockingbirds, grackles and warblers, but singing is just one aspect of these birds' daily communication repertoire. Not all birds sing, but most have vocalizations and other techniques for making themselves heard. This class will discuss bird sound anatomy, the variety of noises and melodies we hear locally, and tips about how to start listening. A walk in the Garden to hear these songs will be included. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2019: Fri, Apr 5, 2019 7:00AM - 10:00AM   OPEN

Iconic Ironwood Tree
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | April 8 | 6 - 8 p.m.

The iconic ironwood tree is considered a foundation plant in the Sonoran Desert due to its great ecological importance. Learn which animals depend on the desert ironwood for food and shelter, and which plants grow under its shady, protective canopy. Plus, discover how the indigenous groups of the Southwest and Mexico used the ironwood as a source of food, medicine and building materials. Instructed by Raul Puente-Martinez, curator of living collections at the Garden. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Mon, Apr 8, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Butterflies of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | April 10 | 2 - 4 p.m.

Our desert plants and produce support with their leaves, nectar and pollen a fascinatingly diverse and colorful community of butterflies and other insects. Flutter into this class that explores the natural history of some of the most common and fascinating butterflies found in Arizona. Take a walk along the trails observing and identifying butterflies and their caterpillars with Dr. Ron Rutowski from ASU's School of Life Sciences. Limit 15.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 2:00PM - 4:00PM   OPEN

Northern Lights
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | April 10 | 6 - 8 p.m.

The northern lights-the aurora borealis-is a stunning and colorful natural phenomenon that we have only recently begun to understand. Learn about the changing explanations for this natural light show and explore the connection between the northern lights and solar activity, in particular the sunspot cycle, solar flares, and the magnetic fields of the Sun and the Earth. Instructed by Dr. Per Aannestad. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, Apr 10, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Four Corners
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | April 14 | 10 a.m. - Noon

The Four Corners region, where Arizona meets Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, allows for an unmatched convergence of ancient and contemporary cultures, spiritual beliefs and histories. Learn about the landscape's extensive geological and cultural transformation contributed by prehistoric civilization advancements, Native American customs and centuries of conflict and cooperation, the Navajo Long Walk, Mormon settlement, American farming and ranching, and the World War II Code Talkers. Not to mention the cultural and economic impacts of Southwestern tourism created by the Santa Fe Railway, The Fred Harvey Company, and movie making at Monument Valley. Instructed by Jim Turner, historian. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Sun, Apr 14, 2019 10:00AM - 12:00PM   OPEN

Birds' Nests and Eggs
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Wednesday | April 17 | 7 - 10 a.m.

In this interactive class, including a stroll around the Garden to look for evidence, we will review the variety of nest styles and techniques, nest building and maintenance, the amazing anatomy of eggs, and how baby birds "know" when it's time to hatch. In addition to a visual presentation, Kathe Anderson has some different nests, including hummingbird nests, to handle and examine. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, Apr 17, 2019 7:00AM - 10:00AM   OPEN

California Condors
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | April 29 | 6 - 8 p.m.

California condors are the largest flying birds in North America with wingspans measuring up to nine and a half feet. Learn all about these fascinating, elusive giants, the causes of population decline, and the efforts to bring them back from the brink of extinction. Instructed by Jeff Meyers of Arizona Game and Fish. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Mon, Apr 29, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

History Detectives: Stories of the Southwest
Regular Price: $60.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Mondays | April 29, May 6 | 6 - 8 p.m.

As a host on the PBS series "History Detectives," Eduardo Pagán investigated many stories that focused on the history of Arizona and the West. Hear Pagán share behind-the-scenes details from a few of those stories, including the Coronado Expedition, Navajo rug weaving, Pancho Villa's raid on the United States, and the famed Country Western group Sons of the Pioneers. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Mon, Apr 29, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Sleep and Dreaming
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | May 8 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Is sleep a "criminal waste of time," as Thomas Edison said, or is it "your lover, your opiate, your oblivion," as Audrey Niffenegger declares? In this class, we will explore something we usually take for granted: sleep. Then we look at the party that occurs when the boss, rational thinking, is gone: dreaming! Instructed by Dr. Lynda Mae from Arizona State University's Department of Psychology. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, May 8, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Desert Tortoise
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | May 15 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Take a break from modern life's fast pace to learn about the life history of the fascinating Sonoran Desert tortoises, relics of an epoch when this area was a tropical deciduous forest. Discover their life history, feeding habits, survival mechanisms and why they are considered keystone species. Instructed by Jeff Meyers from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, May 15, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Roadrunners and Cuckoos
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Saturday | May 18 | 7 - 10 a.m.

Beep, beep. Stop in and catch up with desert roadrunners, one of the most charismatic and energetic birds in the Sonoran Desert. We will explore their ecology, diet and nesting habitats, paying special attention to the conservation needs of the yellow-billed cuckoo. A walk in the Garden to observe roadrunners is included. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2019: Sat, May 18, 2019 7:00AM - 10:00AM   OPEN

Astronomy at the Garden
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | May 29 | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Spend a celestial evening experiencing the night sky at the Garden, of the best locations in the city for stargazing. We will walk to an ideal location in the Garden to explore and learn about the Sonoran sky. Weather permitting, we will spend part of the evening observing Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Instructed by Mario Gonzalez. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, May 29, 2019 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

CLASS CANCELLATIONS | Desert Botanical Garden reserves the right to cancel programs at its discretion. Programs will run as scheduled, regardless of weather, unless participants are contacted directly by Garden staff either by phone or email. We reserve the right to substitute any instructors in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

REFUND POLICY | To receive a refund, you must send a written request at least 14 days before the scheduled date of your class or program. Please send your written request to registrar@dbg.org. For more information call 480.481.8146/480.481.8121.