Desert Botanical Garden Educational Portal. Return to DBG.org
Welcome
Enjoy a full range of educational classes and programs for learners of all ages!
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.

Eagles
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday / Oct. 23 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Learn about this iconic bird as we discuss both the bald and golden eagles found in Arizona, management efforts, status, life history and identification. Students will also have an opportunity to view an eagle from Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation. Instructed by Kyle McCarty from the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Program. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Mon, Oct 23, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Woodpeckers
Regular Price: $80.00
Member Price: $65.00
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Thursday and Friday / Nov. 2 & 3
Thursday / 6:30 - 8 p.m. / Friday / 7:30 - 10:30 a.m. (fieldtrip)


Woodpeckers are noisy but interesting birds. How do their brains withstand the impact of the many blows they can deliver to a tree in a second? Why do some have five-inch tongues? Focusing on 10 species of woodpeckers in Arizona, we will discuss their differences, behaviors and habitats. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2017: Thu, Nov 2, 2017 6:30PM - 8:00PM   (3 AVAIL)

Insect Eye
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday / Nov. 6 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Join Dr. Ron Rutowski from ASU's School of Life Sciences as he takes you through a journey of the structure and operation of the eyes of insects, especially butterflies. Discuss how clearly insects perceive their world, how biologists study insect vision and the performance of insect eyes. Examine popular representations of how insects see the world and discuss a more accurate alternative. A recurrent tactic in the discussion is an explicit comparison of butterfly and human eyes and the visual perceptions of insects and humans. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Mon, Nov 6, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

How Plants Domesticated Humans
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday / Nov. 9 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The human species learned how to grow and use plants for food, clothing and shelter, leading to a deep relationship with plants. Examine the adaptations that this relationship has fostered between plants and humans. Starting with the roots of local agriculture, examine the human relationship with plants-how it began, where it is today, and what tomorrow might hold. Instructed by Dr. Ken Sweat from ASU's School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Thu, Nov 9, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Raptor ID
Regular Price: $94.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Friday and Saturday / Nov. 17 & 18
Friday / 6:30 - 8 p.m. / Saturday / 7:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. (fieldtrip)


This class provides an overview how to identify raptors not only by size and shape, but by behavior, habitat and season. You will learn the different categories of raptors, as well as unique species like osprey and northern harrier, plus turkey and black vultures. The accompanying field trip to the West Valley gives participants experience with identifying some of these species in the wild. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2017: Fri, Nov 17, 2017 6:30PM - 8:00PM   (4 AVAIL)

Winter Waterfowl
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Wednesday and Friday / Jan. 10 & 12
Wednesday / 6 - 8:30 p.m. / Friday / 8 - 11:30 a.m. (field trip)


Winter waterfowl of various kinds crowd the Phoenix urban and suburban ponds. This interactive class will explore the variety of ducks, grebes and cormorants as you practice identifying these waterfowl. We will then explore the nationally known Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch where we can view many of these bird species. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Wed, Jan 10, 2018 6:00PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

Gems and Minerals of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Saturday / Jan. 13 / 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Arizona produces a tremendous wealth of gems, such as turquoise and peridot, and minerals, such as malachite. Learn about the geological history that led to the formation of these gems and minerals, and where they are located. Instructed by Raymond Grant, geologist and author of Checklist of Arizona Minerals. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Sat, Jan 13, 2018 10:00AM - 12:00PM   COMING SOON

Cognitive Biases
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday / Jan. 15 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Human brains have not evolved to any significant degree over the last 50,000 years, despite the fact that the world has changed drastically. In trying to make sense of the challenges and problems associated with the modern world, we are in essence running new software with 50,000-year-old hardware. Chief among these are the instincts that helped our ancestors survive. As we make everyday decisions, we are literally battling with our instincts. In this class, we will discuss a variety of cognitive biases built into the human brain and address how they negatively impact decision-making in simple terms that are relevant to real-life situations. Instructed by
Dr. Kirstin Hendrickson of ASU's School of Molecular Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Mon, Jan 15, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

A Geological Narrative of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday / Jan. 22 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The spectacular and complex modern landscapes of Arizona are geologically young, but they reveal rocks, fossils, and other features that record a colorful history of almost two billion years. Join us on a journey through deep time as we explore the geology of Arizona and the origins of its signature landscape features such as the Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, the Mogollon Rim, and the low deserts in the south. Instructed by Dr. Steven Semken from ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Mon, Jan 22, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

The Science of Dog Intelligence
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday / Jan. 24 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

An estimated 80 million dogs share human homes in the U.S. Lisa Gunter will introduce recent research on behavior and cognition of dogs, a subspecies of gray wolf, with comparisons to their wild relatives. Dogs are sensitive to people's actions and intentions, but wolves can be similarly sensitive if they have had the opportunity to live intimately alongside humans. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Wed, Jan 24, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

Insects of the Sonoran Desert
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday / Jan. 25 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The Sonoran Desert is full of creepy-crawly critters, but we need most of them. Join Dr. Carl Olson as he debunks bug-related myths and highlights the benefits of these desert insects. From the wood-recycling desert cockroach to the singing cicada to hardworking pollinators, discover the insects that keep our desert ecosystem thriving. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Thu, Jan 25, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

Arizona: A Natural History
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday / Jan. 29 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The extreme environment of the Sonoran Desert engenders many extraordinary adaptations in the living beings that inhabit it. Dr. Ken Sweat will introduce students to the geology, flora, fauna and human history of Arizona. Using biology, ecology, geology and archaeology, this class will explore adaptations of desert animals, plants and other life forms that call this desert home. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Mon, Jan 29, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

Woodpeckers and Wrens
Regular Price: $81.00
Member Price: $65.00
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Monday and Saturday / Feb. 5 & 10
Monday / 6:30 - 8 p.m. / Saturday / 8 -11 a.m. (field trip)


We often take woodpeckers and wrens for granted, but they are remarkable birds. This interactive class will introduce both families of birds, why they are similar--and not--and offer some uncommon facts for five common Arizona species of woodpeckers and wrens. Then, head to Boyce Thompson Arboretum where most of the 10 species may be observed. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Price includes entrance fee to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Mon, Feb 5, 2018 6:30PM - 8:00PM   COMING SOON

Backyard Astronomy
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Saturday / Feb. 17 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Arizona's night skies present the observer remarkable opportunities to gaze at the wonders of the celestial universe from their own backyard without the need of fancy or expensive instruments. In this class, participants will learn how to tell the difference between a planet and a star and more importantly where to locate them in the sky. Get acquainted with the night sky through group discussions and telescope observations. Instructed by Mario Gonzalez. Limit 20.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Sat, Feb 17, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

Arizona Weather
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday / Feb. 20 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Have you ever wondered why Arizona is so dry or why we have the famous monsoon season? Arizona has a uniquely diverse climate with hot desert summers and cold alpine winters. Learn about our state's varied climate and meteorology. Topics of discussion may also include winter storms, blazing heat, and severe weather associated with monsoon thunderstorms such as microbursts, haboobs, hail, flash floods and even tornadoes. Instructed by Mike Santoro from ASU's School of Geographical Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Tue, Feb 20, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

Memoir Writing: What's Your Story
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Wednesdays / Feb. 21 & 28 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

In this class, discover how to write your personal memories, help people make sense of them and determine the key moments in your life. Get ready to embark on the most rewarding writing endeavor you will undertake. Instructed by Barbara Geis. Limit 15.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Wed, Feb 21, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

A to Z Bird Anatomy
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Thursday and Saturday / February 22 & 24
Thursday / 6:30 - 8 p.m. / Saturday / 8 - 11 a.m. (field trip)

Take a closer look at an alphabet of bird body parts, some exterior and some interior. This class will help you with bird identification and will give you a new appreciation of multiple miracles and amazing adaptations that make up a bird. A local field trip to several Tempe urban ponds will help integrate this new knowledge. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Thu, Feb 22, 2018 6:30PM - 8:00PM   COMING SOON

Evening Flights: Birds and Wines
Regular Price: $88.00
Member Price: $70.00
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Sunday / Feb. 25 / 5 - 7 p.m.

Enjoy the twilight hour in the beautiful Garden setting. In this program, we will take a leisurely stroll around the Garden observing the birds as they slip into their nighttime routines, discussing the species seen and their behaviors. Then, we will settle into a typical human nighttime routine--a flight of wines and cheeses to wrap up the evening, with additional information about birds and their nighttime strategies. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 15.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Sun, Feb 25, 2018 5:00PM - 7:00PM   COMING SOON

Arizona Snakes
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday / Feb. 26 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Arizona is famous for its rich diversity of interesting and unique reptiles found nowhere else in the U.S. The Sonoran Desert is a center for snake diversity. In this class, you will learn about Arizona's more singular snakes along with those species that inhabit the Sonoran Desert. We will discuss the role these serpents play in the overall ecological picture and how they are vital to our desert ecosystem. Learn about their habitat, feeding habits and life history and improve your chances of spotting one of these fascinating creatures. Instructed by Randy Babb, Arizona Game and Fish Department. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Mon, Feb 26, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

Mammillaria
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday / Feb. 27 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Explore the diversity of the Mammillaria, the little giants of the cactus world. These gem-like cacti are highly prized among collectors and home hobbyists. Scott McMahon, cactaceae collections manager at the Garden, will highlight and discuss the anatomy, natural history and identification of these beautiful little gems.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Tue, Feb 27, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

Phoenix: Where are We Going?
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday / Feb. 28 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The city of Phoenix is a bustling and vibrant epicenter with a blossoming, sustainable and successful future. In this class, discuss where Phoenix has been, where we are and where we are going. Use the lens of sustainability to examine the growing pains of a vibrant desert city and how Phoenix compares to other locations around the world. Instructed by Colin Tetreault. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2017-2018: Wed, Feb 28, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   COMING SOON

CANCELLATION POLICY

Program registration may be canceled up to two weeks prior to the start date for a $20 processing fee. If you are unable to attend a class/workshop, you may transfer your registration to an alternate participant with your confirmation. 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. Please contact registrar@dbg.org or call 480 481.8146 (Option 2) for cancellations and refunds.