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Field Classes

Desert Institute

Desert Institute Fall 2020 Catalog

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Desert Institute Class on South Astrodome

Desert Institute Class on South Astrodome | Photo by NPS/Robb Hannawacker | Public Domain | Source

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 enjoyable learning experience on these educational adventures.

Before registering, please take the time to review our General Class Info and download the Enrollment Attachments, that contain pertinent information about your class and Joshua Tree National Park. Please print and fill out the Participant Agreement. You can bring the completed form to the class.

If you are a member of JTNPA you will get a $10 discount off every Desert Institute class. If you are not a member you can become one here.

Eventbrite Registration & Schedule External Link

Spring 2021

Wilderness Wellness

Date Class Instructor(s) Outline

"How-To" Courses

Date Class Instructor(s) Outline

Natural Science Courses

Date Class Instructor(s) Outline
September 26 CreditDesert Snakes: Mystery & Intrigue External Link PDF

Cultural History Courses

Date Class Instructor(s) Outline

Guided Hikes in JTNP

Date Class Instructor(s) Outline

Creative Arts Courses

Date Class Instructor(s) Outline
July 17-18, 2021 Online Landscape Painting Class: Painting Joshua Tree National Park External Link PDF

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel, contact the Desert Institute at (760) 367-5539(760) 367-5539 or at least seven days prior to the start of the course and we will process your request. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, we have eliminated the cancellation fee. If you feel ill prior to any class, please cancel to protect our instructors, volunteers and the other participants of Desert Institute classes.


Label Description

An academic credit is available from University of California, Riverside Extension. Optional credit courses are marked by the green label. The number of units are listed with each class in the catalog. Credit fees are listed separately from non-credit fees in the catalog.


A brand new class that has been added to the current season.

New Format

A class that has been altered into a brand new format.


A class that has reached capacity. Any new registrations will be added to a waiting list.


A class that includes a camping option


A class that has been cancelled and will no longer take place