Desert Discovery Field Studies

The Mojave Desert Land Trust created the Desert Discovery Field Studies program as a way of providing middle and high school students from desert communities with a creative and innovative way of boosting their understanding of the environment and learning about desert ecology and conservation.  

These after-school experiential learning labs focus on important environmental themes while providing a chance for students to safely explore and learn as citizen scientists. This immersive program helps students become inspired advocates for the desert they call home.  

The learning labs are comprised of: 1) classroom talks/participatory group activities on general themes of desert conservation which utilizes specialized knowledge of the unique ecosystems of the Mojave; 2) outdoor field explorations that include near-by wilderness areas.  

Desert Discovery Field Studies gives students an opportunity to study natural sciences and conservation collaboratively while applying knowledge about social studies, history, mathematics, health, and art.

At the program core is a rigorous academic environmental education curriculum designed with engaging lessons about exploring the natural world that complement and augment all subject areas and grades. When students investigate and share their discoveries with others, they learn faster, understand better, and retain information for longer. Teachers and school administrators’ value the program because it gives students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to the real world.   

Moreover, students learn personal development skills not usually included in curriculum at school and for many this helps reinforce new ideas and ways of thinking. Desert Discovery Field Studies helps students explore and grow as social beings. Supported by experienced and thoughtful staff, students learn healthy ways of interacting, the value of teamwork, how to be a leader, and fun new ways to express themselves.  

Desert Discovery Field Studies equips young learners with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to address complex environmental challenges and foster a sense of stewardship.  

Desert Discovery Field Studies is supported in part by the Anderson Children’s Foundation, Edison International, and Trilogy.

To find out more, contact Mary Cook-Rhyne, Education Program Manager. Email: [email protected] or call 760-366-5440