Field Explorations


We firmly believe the best way to learn about the desert is to experience it. The Desert Laboratory provides occasional opportunities to travel to some of the region’s most spectacular sites with a group of experts in a unique experience available through no other institution.


Field Trips

From one to 10 days, our field trips are exploratory and focus on sharing a region, often with a tie to the Desert Laboratory research and when possible with local and Indigenous partners as trip leaders. Examples include Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, Mexico (Fall 2018); Ancient Agave Roasting Pits of Tumamoc (most years in the Spring); our sister archaeological site Trincheras, Sonora, Mexico (Spring 2020). Fees for trips vary according to duration and details such as transportation.

Step Into the Green Planet Field Trip – July 24–27, 2022

Join us on a journey of creativity and discovery as we step literally into the world of nature documentary filmmaking with a BBC Green Planet cinematographer. Working under the direction of Keith Brust and in conjunction with the release of the Desert Worlds, Green Planet episode, the group will collaboratively plan, film, and create a short documentary film of their journey across two North American Deserts, documenting stories of desert adaptation, survival, and conservation.

For details > COMING SOON<

Coastal Foragers Sea of Cortez Field Trip April 2023

Explore the northern Sea of Cortez with Desert Laboratory scientists to learn about the fascinating coastal foraging cultures over the last several millennia. A combination of camping and rustic lodging, transportation and meals included. 

To get on our "interest list" please send an email with your request to


Desert Laboratory Field School and Field  Camps

In 2023 we will launch the Desert Laboratory Field School and other Field Camp experiences that will offer unparalleled experiential learning opportunities. Attendees will directly engage in investigating the priority issues facing the future of life in arid environments. Field camp topics will be selected in concert with active research of the Desert Laboratory.

These immersive learning experiences will engage students as well as paying members of the public in community science.  Participants will engage in real-world problem-solving guided in scientific investigation by a team of experts from the working group. Participants will emerge from the Field School having deeply explored a core ecological and/or cultural challenge and will present their findings to the group and will be conferred a Tumamoc Field School commendation. Participation will be by application. 

The Desert Lab will reserve a portion of the revenue and seek matching funding from donors so that every third year we will host a Field School experience for Indigenous researchers in their communities, including the Comcaac, Tohono O’odham, and Yoeme.

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Mary Loyd at Tumamoc Field Camp 1906

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Tumamoc field researchers today.