Insights to the Outdoors

Insights to the Outdoors is offered once a month on Tuesday mornings, March through November. Classes are held outdoors in our covered ramada in the James Family Discovery Gardens, weather permitting, and include a hands-on field and/or lab component. The number of participants per class is limited to ensure low student-teacher ratio.

Surviving in the desert: a Gila monster’s perspective

with Dale DeNardo

For this month’s Insights to the Outdoors, Zoologist and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine Dale DeNardo will present research on the strategies Gila monsters use to survive in the harsh desert environment.The talk will be followed by a demonstration with a live Gila monster where participants can get a close look at how Gila monsters walk and be able to safely touch a Gila monster. The presentation will end with a question and answer session.

Where: Highlands Center for Natural History (1375 South Walker Road)

When: November 18, 2019

Cost: $30 for class, 10% discount for members

Past Programs

Healing Oceans: Tackling Plastic Pollution in Marine Ecosystems

ASU researcher Charlie Rolsky brought us a vibrant presentation on how microplastics have pervasive effects in marine and freshwater ecosystems. We discussed how to avoid certain plastics, and took a microscopic look at some of his lab’s ocean samples.

Grasses 101: Earth’s most versatile and dominant flowering plant

Liz Making introduced us to the beautiful, intricate, and often overlooked world of Poaceae (the grass family) through a presentation, microscope lab, and short field expedition.

Insects of Death: The Science of Forensic Entomology

Derek Uhey dove into the world of forensic entomology and learn about how insects can play an important role in solving complex murder mysteries.

Language, Culture, and Climate

Nikki Cooley discussed the impacts of climate change on natural and cultural resources in some of the country’s most vulnerable indigenous communities.

The Verde: Exploring Arizona's Last Wild & Scenic River

Dr. Nancy Steele and Dr. Maxwell Wilson focused on the Verde River, Arizona’s last free flowing waterway, and the dramatic contrast it has to Arizona’s rocky and dry expanses. 

Spider Pharm

Spider Pharm founder, Chuck Kristensen, focused on on collecting, breeding, and harvesting venom from spiders and scorpions for antivenin.