Natural History Classes

Adult Programs

The Highlands Center offers educational programs for adult learners throughout the year on and offsite regarding the natural history of the Central Highlands of Arizona. For our full list of upcoming events, please view our calendar.

Guided Walk: Hike with a Naturalist

Saturday, May 11th

8am – 10am

This event is free but donations are welcome

tiny blue flowers with a bug on one petal
Awesome Arizona by Roger Naylor

Awesome Arizona: 200 Amazing Facts About the Grand Canyon State

Arizona is rugged and gorgeous, and historic and weird and funny and utterly magnificent. It’s full of surprises, not what most people expect at all. And with this book, Naylor piles up the evidence. With his latest book, Roger Naylor, Arizona’s premier travel writer and a member of the Arizona Tourism Hall of Fame, says what needs to be said. Arizona is awesome!

Wednesday, May 15th

12:30pm – 2:00pm

Suggested $10 donation.

Seeking Sun and Adventure in South America and Antarctica

We are thrilled to have Ron Miller return to the Highlands Center for Natural History to offer another stellar presentation!

This program is about a January 2024 trip to Antarctica via Argentina, Uruguay, and the Falkland Islands with a primary focus on wildlife, particularly penguin species encountered on the voyage.

Wednesday, May 22nd

5 pm – 7 pm

$15/members, $20/nonmembers


Native American Culture

Native American Culture

We are excited to welcome Manuel Lucero, Executive Director of the Museum of Indigenous People, to offer a presentation about Native American Culture at the Highlands Center for Natural History!

Wednesday, June 19th

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Suggested $10 donation.

Natural History Book Club

Sitting in the Highlands Center ramada while the wind rustles through the ponderosa pine needles and a robin chirps, there is a moment of silent contemplation. Natural history is complicated – personal and universal at the same time. Our Natural History book club met beginning in 2021 and the discussions occasionally resulted in these special moments of quiet thoughtfulness. 

We’re excited to continue to offer this free and open to the public program. Reading is something on many of our “to-do” lists, but some of us need a little extra incentive, like having a group that meets monthly to discuss. This group focuses on books related to natural history, with some southwestern component, written in the last decade or so. Books are selected by the group and then sold in the Benson Family Nature Store. We take our time reading – two months for each book. And we encourage personal connections, as well as universal questioning, when we come together for our meetings. People can jump in at any time!

Join the Natural History Book Club today!

Book club meetings are the first Friday of each month from 1pm-2pm and meet in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Discovery Gardens Ramada, weather depending.

2024 Natural History Book Club Books and Dates:

  • February/March: Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon by Melissa Sevigny
  • April/May: What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the Worlds Most Enigmatic Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
  • June/July: A Salad Only the Devil Would Eat: The Joys of Ugly Nature by Charles Hood
  • August/September: Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  • October/November: The Sound of Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey
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