Home Events Survival Strategies: Exploring Plant and Animal Adaptations in the Desert (Field Trip)

Survival Strategies: Exploring Plant and Animal Adaptations in the Desert (Field Trip)

Date: Saturday, March 16 

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Includes a one-hour lunch break. End time is approximate.) 

Location: TBD – Stay tuned for updates about the location! 

Cost:  Non-member – $50.00, ABF Member – $40.00, Student – $20.00 

Note: A limited number of scholarships are available for those with financial hardship. If you’d like to request a scholarship, please reach out to [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph description about why you want to attend this program and your need for a scholarship. 

Description: Join us for an Anza-Borrego: In Focus full day field trip in the Park with two expert leaders sharing insights about how plants and animals adapt to harsh (and magical) desert conditions.  

The morning will be led by former Colorado Desert District superintendent, Mike Wells, as we explore how plants have become so well adapted to this desert environment. Mike will take you on a journey from dirt to dunes to uncover the secrets that plants hold to surviving in some of the most arid environments in the world. Mike is no stranger to the Park and a brilliant naturalist – you won’t want to miss this opportunity to see plants as you’ve never seen them before. 

The afternoon will be in a new location with expert animal tracker, Terry Hunefeld. Terry travels around the world tracking animals and is a fantastic teacher and outdoorsman. He’ll guide us on a walk looking for animal signs and highlighting animal adaptations to being in the desert. While animals may be elusive to see, there are many around in Anza-Borrego and Terry will teach us how to spot their tracks, scat, and burrows.   

Hiking & Driving Notes:  This field trip will require some driving on dirt roads. AWD is recommended but not required as there will be opportunities to carpool if your vehicle cannot make it.  

The morning and afternoon hikes may be a couple miles long each, though we’ll take our time and move slowly, looking at the environment along the way. Please come prepared with sun protection and plenty of water.  

Please bring your own lunch.  

Space is limited! Please register in advance.  Register Here 

Related Events: This field trip will cover information presented in a lecture on March 15 about Community Ecology in Anza-Borrego. Join us in person or online the night before! Click here to view details and to register. 

About the Field Trip Leaders: Mike Wells completed a 34-year career with California State Parks in 2010. Through his career he was a State Park Ranger, Resource Ecologist, and a Park Superintendent. His first permanent assignment was as a patrol ranger in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. His last assignment was as District Superintendent for Colorado Desert District which includes A-BDSP. He has a BA from UC Santa Barbara, a MA from San Diego State University, and a joint PhD from UCSB and SDSU. His area of study is the fire ecology of chaparral and conifer communities. He served as a part time lecturer from 2001-2017 in the Department of Biology at the University of San Diego. 

Terry Hunefeld is a certified volunteer naturalist for California State Parks, member of the Anza-Borrego Tracking Team, a level 3 Cybertracker of Track and Sign, and a regional eBird reviewer for the low desert of San Diego County. He was the former president of the Anza-Borrego Desert Botany Society and is on the Steering Committee of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center. Terry also volunteers for and is the former moderator for San Diego Field Ornithologists birding listserv. 

Cancellation Policy:  Notification must be received at least 7 days before the first day of the event if you need to cancel and wish to receive a refund. For cancellations made after the 7-day deadline, we cannot issue refunds for any reason. We understand that unforeseen or emergency circumstances may arise, but our nonprofit organization operates on a limited budget and, while inconvenient, this policy enables us to sustain our programs even with last-minute cancellations. If ABF cancels a program, we will issue a full refund or credit. Thank you for understanding! 

The event is finished.


Mar 16 2024


9:00 am - 4:00 pm



More Info

Register Here


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park


Anza-Borrego Foundation
[email protected]
Register Here
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