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.

Dragonflies
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday / Aug. 24 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Learn about the brutal and brief lives of dragonflies, megafauna of the insect world whose exceptional flight and jewel-like colors have captivated humans for centuries. Join Pierre Deviche from ASU's School of Life Sciences as he shares his enthusiasm and knowledge of the order Odonata. You will learn about dragonfly anatomy, life cycle, behavior, diversity of Arizona species, and how, where and when to find them. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2017: Thu, Aug 24, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

STARLAB
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Friday / Aug. 25 / 6 - 8 p.m.

Spend a celestial evening in the Garden as we explore the night sky using the STARLAB Portable Planetarium from Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration. Discover an overview of the constellations and learn what stars mean to us, and what they meant to the native people who lived here hundreds of years ago. Please wear comfortable clothing and your favorite socks; no shoes are allowed inside the STARLAB. During the program, participants will be asked to sit on the floor in a cross-legged position. Limit 20.
Session Summer 2017: Fri, Aug 25, 2017 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (1 AVAIL)

Impact of Water
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday / Aug. 30 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Water is essential for all living organisms. Without it, life could not survive. We will discuss how ancient and modern societies are able to survive in the desert and the history, development and impact of water on social, environmental and economic fabric. Instructed by Dr. Colin Tetreault. ASU's Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2017: Wed, Aug 30, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Northern Lights
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday / Sept. 6 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The Northern Lights - the Aurora Borealis - is a stunning and colorful natural phenomenon, which we have only recently begun to understand. We will discuss the changing explanations for this "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 Fall 2017: Wed, Sep 6, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   (10 AVAIL)

Kingbirds, Phoebes and Flycatchers
Regular Price: $80.00
Member Price: $65.00
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Thursday and Friday / Sept. 7 & 8
Thursday / 6:30 - 8 p.m. / Friday / 6:30 - 9:30 a.m. (fieldtrip)


The Tyrant Flycatcher family of birds is the largest in the world, including kingbirds, pewees and phoebes, and presents some of the most frustrating identification issues. In this interactive and investigative class, we will discuss the flycatcher family and focus on 12 species seen locally, representing distinctive sub-families. Transportation to the fieldtrip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2017: Thu, Sep 7, 2017 6:30PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

People of the Southwest
Regular Price: $44.00
Member Price: $35.00
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Mondays / Sept. 11 and 18 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Join ASU professor Eduardo Pagán, a host of the popular PBS series "History Detectives," as he shares an overview of the social and economic development of the American Southwest, from the prehistory of the region, to the impact of the Spanish and American colonial enterprises. With a particular emphasis on Arizona as a case study, he will discuss an integrated understanding of change over time within the American Indian, Mexican, and Anglo communities of the region, by looking into the major, formative historical forces that effected these populations. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Mon, Sep 11, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Astronomy at the Garden
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Saturday / Sept. 16 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Spend a celestial evening in the Garden exploring the night sky from one of the city's best locations for stargazing. This class will start with an overview of astronomy, then move to an ideal location in the Garden to view the stars and planets using telescopes provided by the Phoenix Astronomical Society. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Sat, Sep 16, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Foxes of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday / Sept. 19 / 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Arizona is home to three species of fox, found in northeast portions of the state and low-lying desert regions. Learn about these species and their quiet, illusive nature, behaviors and adaptations. Instructed by Randy Babb from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Tue, Sep 19, 2017 6:30PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Arizona Lichen
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday / Sept. 27 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Lichens, a diverse group of organisms that are a symbiosis between fungi and algae, are found on every continent of Earth. They come in a diversity of colors, including bright yellow, orange, pink and green as well as drab gray and black. This class examines the unique relationships of these species, diversity, and the many human uses from their survival in the harshest of environments to their uses as dyes or air pollution indicators. Instructed by Dr. Ken Sweat from ASU's School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Wed, Sep 27, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Natural History of the Organ Pipe Cactus
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday / Oct. 4 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The iconic Organ Pipe cactus is a foundation plant found in southern Arizona and Mexico. Learn the natural history of this amazing cactus and its ecological importance to the Sonoran Desert. Plus, discover how indigenous groups used this cactus as a source of food, medicine and building materials. Instructed by Raul Puente, curator of living collections at the Garden. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Wed, Oct 4, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Little Bitty Gray Birds
Regular Price: $94.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Thursday and Saturday / Oct. 5 & 7
Thursday / 6:30 - 8 p.m. / Saturday / 6:30 - 11:30 a.m.


In Arizona, several little gray birds puzzle even experienced birders. However, these birds represent different families of birds with distinct behaviors and habitats. This interactive and investigative class features the backstory and identification of similar flycatchers, vireos, verdins, gnatcatchers and more. Then, put your new skills to use during a fieldtrip to Payson, where you should spot a variety of these little gray birds. Transportation to the fieldtrip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2017: Thu, Oct 5, 2017 6:30PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Father Kino and the Spanish Missions
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Saturday / Oct. 7 / 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

In 1692, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino drove 1,500 head of cattle to the Tohono O'odham village of Bac, where he would soon establish the mission San Xavier del Bac. From the 1680s until his death in 1711, this intrepid traveler established more than twenty missions in southern Arizona and northern Mexico, bringing not only the Catholic religion, but also metal tools, livestock and a wide variety of foods to enhance the Tohono O'odham diet. Join historian Jim Turner, as he uncovers Kino's impact on Arizona settlement and his lasting legacy of diplomacy, humanity and cultural cooperation. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Sat, Oct 7, 2017 11:00AM - 1:00PM   OPEN

Scene of the Crime
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday / Oct. 11 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Join Dr. Ken Sweat as he examines the use of plants and other organisms as evidence in criminal investigations. Beginning with the wood grain of the ladder left at the Lindberg residence and continuing into modern genetic techniques, review how plant evidence has in the past and will in the future help solve crimes, prosecute the guilty and free the innocent. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Wed, Oct 11, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Geology of South Mountain
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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DATE HAS CHANGED TO: Saturday / Oct. 7 / 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Delve into the geological history of South Mountain with Dr. Stephen Reynolds from ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration. Discuss how South Mountain Preserve was formed over geologic time. Then, head out for an easy guided walk along one of the trails to observe and explore the park's history and geology. Participants must be able to walk over gravel and loose soil and must wear closed-toed shoes. Transportation to the fieldtrip site is not provided. Limit 15.
Session Fall 2017: Sat, Oct 7, 2017 10:30AM - 1:00AM   (7 AVAIL)

Biomimicry: Creations from Nature
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday / Oct. 19 / 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Do you ever wonder where ideas like Velcro and airplane wings came from? They came from observations of nature! Nature has already solved many challenges humans still face. Millions of years of natural selection and evolution among animals, plants and microbes have engineered efficient ways for them to adapt and survive. All we need to do is convert these adaptations into marketable products. This class will look at examples of biomimicry, discuss the details of biology, work in small groups to respond to different biomimicry challenges, and develop a marketing plan for your new product. Instructed by Dr. David Pearson from ASU's School of Life Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2017: Thu, Oct 19, 2017 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

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 fieldtrip 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   (8 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 fieldtrip 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   (5 AVAIL)

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.