Anza-Borrego Foundation would like to partner with 3rd-grade, middle school, and high school teachers interested in preserving Anza-Borrego Desert State Park by educating their students on its natural beauty and abundant resources.
To bring awareness about the desert to classrooms across Southern CA, ABF is hosting three weekend teacher symposiums at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center and in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We are looking for teachers interested in learning more about the desert and willing to learn ways they can influence the next generation of visitors on climate awareness, conservation, and preservation.
We also invite our symposium participants to become advisory council members who provide input into our educational program’s continued development and improvement.
The three-day spring symposium will consist of one full day, “Learning in the Park,” with a certified volunteer naturalist for California State Parks and an Environmental Scientist for the California State Parks, and a hike on Sunday. We will provide all meals and group lodging at the UCI Research Center located in the Park.
(Third Grade) (No Longer Accepting Applications)
March 1-3, 2024 (Middle School) (Space is limited)
May 3-5, 2024 (High School) (Wait List Only)
Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center (UCR Research Center) near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. (Shared bunkhouse lodging).
Twenty-four teachers in each symposium interested in STEM, Art, Drama, Math, and/or Language Arts. (No desert experience necessary)
We want to ensure the next generation appreciates this unique natural environment.
Hiking with desert experts, guest speakers, lodging, and meals
We request a $65 commitment/registration fee. After you complete the INTEREST FORM, we will inform you of your registration status and send you the registration and payment forms and a welcome letter.
Teachers, please complete this “INTEREST FORM” to start our process. (Our third grade symposium, scheduled for November 3 – 5, is no longer accepting applications). Filling this form out does not commit you but gives us an idea of who wants to attend.
We will hear from acclaimed desert photographer Paulette Donnellon and spent in the desert, “Learning in the Park,” with park interpreters. We will be stargazing in the park on Saturday evening and listening to park experts. On Sunday, participants will review and offer input into NGGS lessons to share with teachers in local counties. We will close our symposium with a hike led by Diana Lindsay, author of the book Anza-Borrego Desert Region Guide. We will provide all meals and lodging at the UCI Research Center located in the park.
“I was amazed how much life there is in the desert. It has inspired me to teach more in the desert. I found the hikes most valuable because I was able to experience the desert in such a different way than expected.” ~DD
“Hearing from Will Madrigal was powerful. The symposium would not have been appropriate without Indigenous voices. Learning about the problems and effort towards solutions from Danny was very interesting. Tracking by prints and scat with Terry was really fun.” ~JR
“As a new person to the desert, I was hooked by Paulette’s photography slide show. It made me curious and want to learn more.” ~KR
“My favorite moment from the symposium was during the Font’s Point hike with Terry. We had walked so carefully and mindfully, taking in every small detail about the ground. Once we reached the top of the hill, I was so surprised by the vastness of the land below us. The wind also added a fun aspect. 🙂 It was so beautiful and a pleasant surprise.” ~AL
“This program opened my eyes to the unique biodiversity that the desert holds. I also learned so much about the conservation and preservation efforts by the foundation and partnering organizations.” ~Participant
“Everything was very well planned and organized. Possibly mention to future attendees that we will be driving on rugged terrain.” ~Participant