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Community Lecture Series

Desert Institute

Spring 2020 Catalog

Juniper and Monolith at Sunset

Juniper and Monolith at Sunset | Photo by NPS/Hannah Schwalbe | Public Domain | Source

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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, 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 Institute, Palm Desert.

Black Rock Symposium Series

The Bell Center at Copper Mountain College
6156 Copper Mountain Rd
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

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The Black Rock Symposium Series will return to feature panel discussions on relevant topics affecting the California Desert Parks, including Joshua Tree National Park and the Gateway Communities. Academic and policy experts will analyze and assess core aspects of challenges to Joshua Tree National Park and the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts that surround and include the park.

7 pm - 8:30 pm. Each event is Free, but pre-registration is required.

This symposium is underwritten by California Grassroots Fund of the Rose Foundation and supported by a partnership with Copper Mountain College

Date Class Instructor(s)
January 20 Shifting Landscapes: Studying the Impacts of Climate Change in JTNP Dr. Lynn Sweet + Chris Clarke + Neil Frakes + Moderator: Daren Otten
February 28 Balancing Tourism with Conservation and Preservation Representative from Visit California + Representative from the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitor Bureau + David Smith + Moderator: Daren Otten
March 20 Climate Change Changes Everything: Fire in the Sierra Char Miller + W.M. Keck
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The Old Schoolhouse Lecture Series started in 1999 and is run in partnership with the Twentynine Palms Historical Society. Lectures start at 7 pm and doors open at 6:15 pm. Cost is $5 at the door.

Meet the speaker - Dinner at the 29 Palms Inn on your own with speaker at 5 pm. RSVP by Wednesday prior to the event by calling (760) 367-5539(760) 367-5539.

For more info call (760) 367-5539(760) 367-5539 or email


Date Class Instructor(s)
December 14 The Next Steps - Tortoise Protection from Raven Impact Allison Fedrick


Date Class Instructor(s)
January 10 Adventures in the Mojave Trails National Monument Kyle Sullivan
February 14 Postcards from Mecca: The California Desert Photographs of Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves
March 13 History of Water in the Morongo Basin - Perspectives on an Underappreciated Resource Marina West
April 10 The History of the Lomeli Family in Amboy Guadalupe Lomeli
May 8 Natural History of Anza Borrego Mike Wells
June 12 Grandfather Burton Frasher, Photographer, 1907 Through the Decades Chris Frasher