jim lowery banner.jpg

Choosing a Field Class

The Desert Institute offers classes for adult learners in cultural history, natural science, survival skills, desert naturalist studies, women’s programs, citizen science, and creative arts. All programs are taught by expert instructors who provide a personal and fun learning experience on these educational adventures.

Click on the classes below to learn more. 


Camping Programs

October 7-8 Creative Campfire Cooking with Chef Tanya Petrovna 
October 14-15 Women’s “Get-Away” Weekend
November 11-12 Backpacking for Women in Joshua Tree National Park  (new)  Full!

Creative Arts

September 16-17 Night Sky Photography full, please sign up for the wait list!
October 21 Botanical Illustration in Joshua Tree National Park  new
October 22 Picture the Park in Black & White
October 28 Take a Walk With Me and See the Park Through the Eyes of an Artist new
November 3-5 Fine Art Photography
November 4 Beginner’s Guide to Digital Photography  new
November 11 Keys Ranch Nightscape and Star Trails Workshop  Full!
November 18 Light & Color:  Oil Painting in Joshua Tree National Park
November 18-19 Pine Needle Basketry
December 2 Photographing the Hi-Desert
December 3 Photographing the Hi-Desert
December 9 Capturing the Nuances of Joshua Tree National Park;  Making Memorable Images  new

Guided Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park

October 15 Discover the Wonderland of Rocks
November 11 Summit Lela Peak  new
November 19 Explore Queen Mountain West
December 9 Hike to Samuelson’s Rocks  new
December 10 Explore the Coxcomb Inner Basin

Cultural History

October 28-29 Archaeology in Joshua Tree National Park

Natural Science

September 24 Desert Snakes: Mystery & Intrique*
September 29-
October 1
Insects and Arthropods of the Morongo Basin*
October 7 Bighorn Sheep of Joshua Tree National Park
November 4-5 Geology: Creation of the Joshua Tree Landscape*Full! Please sign up for the wait list!
November 4 Geology of Amboy Crater new
November 11 Geology of the San Andreas Fault
November 11 The Joshua Tree:  Ecology of a Keystone Species  new
December 3 Geology and Cultural History of Cottonwood Spring

“How-To” Courses

September 17 “How-To” Identify Animal Burrows
October 7 – 8 Creative Campfire Cooking with Chef Tanya Petrovna
November 12 “How-To” Identify Animal Scat


Credit is available from University of California, Riverside Extension. Optional credit courses are marked by the symbol *. The number of units are listed with each class. Credit fees are listed separately from noncredit fees.