Anza-Borrego: In Focus Series

Forbidden Canyons of the Carrizo Impact Area
November 11-12, 2016
Instructor: Ernie Cowan
Explore the beauty of the Carrizo Impact Area through the magic of the photographer’s lens! Our first class in the Anza-Borrego: In Focus series explores a unique twist on research using photo documentation. Cowan spent eight years exploring, photographing and mapping the human history, natural history and military history of the area.

The Historic Landscape of the Vallecito Valley
November 25–26, 2016
Instructors: Dr. Joan Schneider, Heather Thomson & descendants of Granville and Mollie Martin
Explore the ranching history of the valley and the landscape features that have attracted humans to Vallecito for thousands of years. The valley was home to the Campbell Ranch, a full-time desert ranching operation, for more than 40 years. Descendants of ranchers Granville and Mollie Martin will share personal stories and read diary entries that reveal what life was like for this hired cowhand and his family. The field class will include a hike to Bailey Cabin and an overview of the ranch operation.

Photo by Bill Zombeck
Photo: Bill Zombeck

Wilderness & Enlightenment: On the Value of Desert in the Western Religious and Historical Tradition, from Biblical Sojourns to Southern California
December 9–10, 2016
Instructor: Matthew T. Herbst, Associate Teaching Professor, Eleanor Roosevelt College, UC San Diego; Director, Making of the Modern World Program
This class explores Western perceptions of desert environments, from Biblical sojourns and monastic ascetics to the incorporation of desert into the American landscape. We will consider how this setting was perceived, the ways it was valued (and not valued), and the technological and historical changes that made a grand cultural transformation possible in the twentieth century. A field trip and hike in the West Butte area will augment what is covered in the presentation.

iNaturalist and Citizen Science
January 7, 2017
Instructor: Bradford Hollingsworth, San Diego Natural History Museum
Brad will discuss how researchers are utilizing the app, iNaturalist to collect and share data. Learn how you can get in on the action as a citizen scientist at this morning presentation and afternoon field class.

Sentenac Canyon & Cienega: Acquisition Restoration and Research 
January 13-14, 2017
Instructors: Robert Fisher, USGS; Dave Van Cleve, California State Parks, Retired
Twenty years ago, Anza-Borrego Foundation drastically changed its game plan. Instead of focusing only on small inholdings within the Park, ABF included the additional goals of connectivity, wildlife corridors, and outholdings to its land acquisition portfolio. The first transformative project was Sentenac Canyon, a privately held parcel in the San Felipe Valley. We will take a hike to look at historic sites such as the Butterfield Stage site and the Sentenac brothers' "cabin", discuss the results of landscape restoration at Scissors Crossing, and explore the gallery riparian forest of San Felipe Creek.

What’s Shaking? Earthquakes in Borrego Valley and Around the World
February 3–4, 2017
Instructor: Jamison Steidl, Research Seismologist, Earth Research Institute; Adjunct Professor, Earth Science, UC Santa Barbara
The talk will focus on both local earthquakes and faults in and around the Borrego Valley, as well as provide a more global view of earthquake hazards in light of recent earthquake disasters. Along the way we will take a look at some earthquake myths, and see if any of them stand up to scientific scrutiny. The field trip will be an introduction to earthquake monitoring in the internet age, a visit to the UCSB Borrego Valley Seismic Station, and a stop at Lute Ridge.

Anza-Borrego Place Names – Why is it called that?
February 17–18, 2017
Instructor: Diana Lindsay, historian and author of Anza-Borrego A to Z: People, Places, and Things
Most common names in the Park are based on historical events or characters, natural or cultural features, or geographical names. We will explore names in each of these categories to see why and how popular park places were named. Some of the interesting names include: Indianhead, Fish Creek, Fonts Point, Alcoholic Pass, Coyote Canyon, Nude Wash, Hellhole Canyon, Canyon Sin Nombre, Ghost Mountain, and even the name of the Park. A loop hike in Coyote Canyon will explore a popular riparian area, and a desert valley and canyon and give us an intimate look at local place names.

Anza-Borrego’s Mountain Lions
March 3-4, 2017
Instructor: Dr. T. Winston Vickers
Hear Dr. Vickers share what his team of researchers has learned since the beginning of their 15-year study of mountain lions in San Diego County. Objectives of the study include estimating puma population density, determining individual home ranges, assessing the animals’ health status, identifying puma activity patterns in relation to people and prey, and residents’ opinions about current mountain lion management strategies.

Caterpillars of the Western United States
March 17-18, 2017
Instructor: Dr. David L. Wagner
Join visiting researcher, Dr. Wagner, for a day in the field assisting him with data collection for his book, Caterpillars of the Western United States. Anza-Borrego caterpillar diversity peaks in March and April so prepare for a fun day of citizen science in the Park!