Biodiversity and Animal Behavior of the Chiricahua Mountains: May 7-13, 2023
The Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona include five recognized ecological life zones and contain some of the richest reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth. This workshop provides an introduction to the fauna and flora of the Chiricahuas, and includes several studies of the animals (insects, reptiles, and birds) that are adapted to the high desert and mountains. Understanding the behavior of diverse species helps us appreciate human evolution and increases our ability to preserve biological diversity through conservation. Our base is the Southwestern Research Station of the American Museum of Natural History. In addition to our own projects, we will have the opportunity to interact with other scientists, attend their seminars, and even accompany them into the field. Get information on this, and other Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Trips and Classes (scroll down to May offerings.)
Bat Survey Trainings
Field Survey: June 6-13, 2023
Acoustic Survey, June 15-20, 2023
Cave Creek Canyon is home to at least 21 species of bats, more species than in any similarly sized area in the U.S. Yet bats are among the most challenging animals to study since they are active at night, fly high and fast, and are largely silent to human ears. Bat Survey Solutions presents two classes each year for professional biologists, students, and serious naturalists. Instructors with over 30-years of experience at SWRS will acquaint participants with detailed bat inventory and monitoring techniques designed to shed light on this amazingly diverse order of mammals. Choose from an 8-day / 7-night comprehensive monitoring workshop that teaches a full range of capture, handling, identification, natural history, bat-detector use and other bat survey techniques. Or choose a 6-day / 5-night course specializing in non-contact survey methods using bat-detectors and echolocation analysis software. Field Survey: More Information | Acoustic Survey: More Information
SWRS Coleoptera Course: Beetle Morphology, Classification and Identification July 12-21, 2023
Southeastern Arizona has one of the most diverse beetle populations in North America, making it an excellent location for beetle research and education. The course will include a rigorous examination of over 100 families of beetles, half of which can be collected during the course. The course is intended for students, biologists and entomology professionals. More Information
SWRS Herpetology Field Course: July 26-August 3, 2023
This 8-night course is designed for students, conservation biologists, and other individuals who have a background in biology at the college level. It will emphasize taxonomy, ecology, and field identification of reptiles and amphibians of southeastern Arizona and parts of southwestern New Mexico. The course will include lectures, field trips, and labs. However, field trips will be a major part of the course. Students will visit a wide diversity of habitat types ranging from mountain tops to desert. More Information
Conservation Medicine and Diseases of Amphibians and Reptiles: July 30-August 5, 2023
The six night course is designed for undergraduates and graduate students in Conservation Ecology, Wildlife, Biological Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine who expect to study, breed, and manage populations of amphibians and/or reptiles in the field and in captivity. “What does conservation medicine mean” and “How can it functionally be used to manage populations of amphibians and reptiles” will be explored. Concepts of infectious diseases, anesthesia, the use of pain medications, sampling techniques, surgical techniques, and handling of venomous species will be covered. The course will include lectures and necropsy labs. There will be opportunities to go out locally in the field to observe native herps. More Information.
SWRS Lepidoptera Course: August 4-14, 2023
Designed for students, amateur naturalists, conservation biologists, and other biologists who have an interest in learning more about butterfly and moth taxonomy. Taxonomy, ecology, and field identification of Lepidoptera in southeastern Arizona will be emphasized. Offered in parntershop with the California Academy of Sciences. More Information
The Bee Course: August 16-26, 2023
Designed primarily for botanists, conservation biologists, pollination ecologists, and other biologists whose research, training, or teaching responsibilities require a greater understanding of bee taxonomy. Emphasizes classification and identification of more than 50 bee genera of North and Central America (both temperate and tropical), and the general information provided is applicable to the global bee fauna. Lectures include background information on the biology of bees, their floral relationships, their importance in maintaining and/or improving floral diversity, and the significance of oligolecty (i.e., taxonomic floral specialization). Field trips acquaint participants with collecting and sampling techniques; associated lab work provides instruction on specimen identification, preparation and labeling. Information on equipment/supply vendors, literature, and people resources is also presented. More Information
Past Courses: Not Currently Scheduled
A meeting of arborists, naturalists, and biologists to study trees and their adaptations in the Chiricahua Mountains of Southeast Arizona. Please refer to the Course Flyer below.
The Fungi of the Sky Island program is a multi night program during the summer Southwestern monsoon season that is dedicated to the exploration and documentation of the macrofungi of the Chiricahua Mountains. Students should come to the course with prior experience collecting mushrooms and possess a knowledge of basic mycology. Nestled within the Chiricahua Mountains at an elevation of 5,447 feet in gorgeous Cave Creek Canyon, the Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) will be our base for exploration and study.
The American Southwest is a hot spot for North American ant diversity, with over 350 species of ants known from Arizona, and a variety of ecologically interesting taxa - including leafcutters, harvester ants, army ants, and honeypot ants. In this 10-night course, participants will gain knowledge of the outstanding diversity, ecology, and behavior of southwestern ants. This course is designed to complement rather than compete with the California Academy of Sciences Ant Course, which is also held at the SWRS once every few years, and which focuses heavily on the taxonomy and systematics of ants. The main focus of this course will be the ecology and behavior of ants.
This workshop is designed for students, nature enthusiasts, biologists and anyone who wants to learn about this important, but much maligned arthropod group. The emphasis of this workshop will be on spider field identification, taxonomy, ecology and behavior, utilizing the rich and intensively studied spider fauna found in the Chiricahua Mountain area of southeastern Arizona. We will also hunt for other arachnids frequenting the area including scorpions, solpugids and whip scorpions.
The Weevil Course is targeted towards students, postdocs, and other biologists who have a strong interest in understanding weevil diversity and taxonomy. Weevil taxonomy will be emphasized, along with identification and natural history, with an emphasis on North American taxa including the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.