Mark your calendars, desert folks

The California Desert office of the National Parks Conservation Association is sponsoring a series of free talks on desert environmental issues, especially as they relate to climate change, and they’ve asked me to present one this month. Here’s the description from the NPCA’s email alert:

Tuesday, September 25, 6 p.m.

In the Old Growth Desert
Join environmental journalist and natural history writer Chris Clarke on a journey through the California Desert’s old growth! In this presentation, Clarke weaves striking photography and decades of scientific research to convey a stunning fact: millennia-old plants are all around us in the desert, lining freeways and reigning over vacant lots.

The venue will be the Palm Springs Public Library, 300 South Sunrise Way off Baristo, Palm Springs, California. Come on by and say hello.


  1. raven says

    millennia-old plants are all around us in the desert, lining freeways and reigning over vacant lots.


    There is a creosote bush clone in southern California that is around 11,000 years old.

    Twice the age of the fundie xian universe.

  2. fastlane says

    I used to go to the summer (night) presentations like that, usually at the Sonoran Desert Museum, in Tucson.

    I love living in the PNW, but I really miss the desert. Az native, and I am a desert ratt at heart…always will be, I think.

    That looks like a fun, informative series.

  3. rq says

    This is a series I’d love to attend; I know next to nothing about the desert (besides the fact that it gets incredibly hot by day and incredibly cold by night – stereotypically, that is). Too bad it’s half-way around the world. Any chance of getting video or something after the fact?

  4. says

    The one thing I miss most about living in Southern California is the trips out into the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts. So incredibly beautiful, especially during the wildflower season.

    But I gave it up for the Coastal Redwoods of North-Central California.

  5. says

    If my car weren’t being horrible, I’d actually drive the sevenish hours to get there from Tucson.

    @ Chris Clarke: I second rq’s request for video. If you can, it’d be much appreciated.

  6. thewhollynone says

    Oh, video, Chris, please! We folks here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast would like to enjoy vicariously some drier climate.

  7. georgemontgomery says

    Boy, am I jealous. My last duty station was China Lake, 1975. I was too dumb to realize what was around me.
    Fast forward to the year 2008 and I get a week-long working trip to Fremont Valley. I get a taste of it. Red Rock Canyon State Park; Jawbone Canyon, Marilyn Monroe Peaks; Edwards AFB. Isabella Walker Pass Rd gives me a nice view of the Mojave. I want to spend time there, but I have a family, I live in New Jersey, and I don’t have a lot of money or vacation time. Boo-hoo, right?
    I third the video request, btw.

  8. krubozumo says

    I wish I could attend, I am too far away unfortunately.

    The high desert is very fine and interesting to the casual hiker
    as well as the serious investigator. I have been lucky enough to see desert bighorns on several occasions.

    I am very pleased Sr. Clarke is contributing to the squid kingdom’s archive. There is a strong parallel between geology and biology in terms of deep time and so the combination of the two is particularly gratifying to those of us who are vested in the rocky side of things. Appropriate to the science I might add.

    Some of us are video impaired so please whenever possible provide transcripts to things you address. Yes I am slavishily enamored of the written word.

  9. azgeo says

    I agree with the calls for video! I live in Phoenix and love our precious desert. Unfortunately, I do not love six hour drives. ;)