Bringing Nature to our Community

The Desert Institute’s community outreach program brings cutting edge presentations on the cultural history, natural science and the arts pertaining to Joshua Tree National Park to the Morongo Basin and the Coachella Valley with various partners.

The Desert Institute partners include Joshua Tree National Park, the Twentynine Palms Historical Society,  the Palm Springs Public Library, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Instute, Palm Desert.

Programs Offered:

Old School House Lectures – Twentynine Palms

Palm Spring Public Library Lectures – Palm Springs

The Desert Institute has two more free lectures in March:

March 16  La Rumorosa Rock Art of Baja California  The Kumeyaay and their ancestors have lived on the Baja-California border at least 10,000 years in accordance with a recent excavation near Jacumba. Their descendants are probably the Yuman speaking Tipai. The striking red, black and white pictographs were painted in caves and on rocks along the southern California border, up the Gila River and along the Colorado River, ranging from the lower Grand Canyon to the Sea of Cortez. This tradition of ancient art is called La Rumorosa, after a site in northeastern Baja, Mexico. No one knows for certain who painted the pictures or carved the images, nor can any modern human tell us exactly what the rock art is portraying, though interviews with Native Tipai point to the realm of the spiritual – a shamanistic tradition.
Don Liponi, the author of La Rumorosa Rock Art agrees with that indigenous assessment; he recognizes that the value of preserving of archaeological sites and saving wilderness draws from the same well. The most intriguing and complex artistic motifs suggest the crossing of human boundaries to meld with wild nature – that wilderness which has always been our home.


March 29  Sandi Wheaton Photography Presentation.  Join Sandi Wheaton in this presentation of her photographic images taken on Route 66 — yes, she traveled the full length of the “Mother Road.” She will also introduce you to her work on the Salton Sea. She has been documenting the Salton Sea and its changes annually since her first visit in 2004.