I have taught many courses at the University of Arizona. Most are sponsored by the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Others are offered through the UA Honors College, or in collaboration with the School of Natural Resources and the Environment or UA Science: Biosphere2.


FIELD COURSE: Ecology & Natural History of the Sonoran Desert and Upper Gulf of California

Last Taught Summer Presession 2014; May & June 2016 Possible

Link to Information and FAQs



ECOL 463/563, UA Catalog Listing: Hands-on, field-based exploration of the Sonoran Desert, its Sky Islands, and the Upper Gulf of California. Students will be introduced to the ecological, taxonomic, and natural-history diversity of the region.  To accomplish this ecological Sense of Place immersion, we will conduct several small independent research projects, visit with topical experts, foray into some of the most beautiful and iconic portions of the desert southwest, and read about the important, exciting, and interesting science to come out of the area. Conservation will be an important sub-theme of the course. Prior to enrollment, students are expected to have the equivalent of a college-sophomore/junior-level background in ecology and evolutionary biology. Students should be prepared for, and able to participate in, desert & mountain hiking, camping, and boating. Contact instructor for more course details.

This 3-week course will be available for 4 - 6 credits.   Link to Information and FAQs

  • Students will be staying (double occupancy) at Biosphere 2 and the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts & Oceans (CEDO) in Puerto Penasco, Sonora.
  • Students will also be camping atop Mt Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains, in the Santa Rita Mountains, and at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
  • Instead of the traditional classroom model, we will be in the field hiking, observing, collecting data, and generating summaries of our findings. Expect to be challenged. You will learn a lot about ecology, Sonoran Desert natural history, and perhaps yourself.

Course Fee: $1250 - pays for on-course transportation, institutional visitor fees, lodging, and most meals plus Presession Tuition (2013 for comparison) [all students pay in-state rates - see UA website] :

- Undergraduate Credits,  4 = $1,579;  5 = $1,959;  6 = $2,339

- Graduate Credits, 4 = $1,759;  5 = $2,184;  6 = $2,609



Sonoran Desert Discovery

Science Outreach and Service Learning, STEM Teaching & Outreach
ECOL 464/564 (3 credits)
last taught spring 2013, Dr. Kevin Bonine
WED 3:00-3:50 pm & FRI 9:00-10:50 am
A few Saturdays afield (Mt. Lemmon, Biosphere 2, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum).
Develop hands-on ecology-education workshops for K-12 students & the public.
Work collaboratively, consult experts, & visit local K-12 classrooms.
Outreach 1 Saturday each at Biosphere 2 and AZ-Sonora Desert Museum.
Friday mornings at UA Flandrau Science Center or in K-12 classrooms.
Undergraduates: ECOL182 or equivalent biological/ecological background expected.
Ecology 302 and other EEB courses will be very helpful, but are not required.
Graduate Students: Develop your outreach, informal education, and broader-impacts training. Create outreach materials based on your research that you can use for years.


UA Courses Taught 2002-2016

  • Introductory Biology II (ECOL 182R)
  • The Examined Life: Are Humans an Invasive Species (HNRS Colloquium 195I)
  • Environmental Biology (ECOL 206)
  • Sustainable Living (HNRS 295H)
  • Conservation Biology (ECOL 406R/506R)
  • Field Conservation Biology (ECOL 406L/506L)
  • Vertebrate Physiology (ECOL 437)
  • Ecology and Natural History of the Sonoran Desert and Upper Gulf of California (ECOL 463/563)
  • Sonoran Desert Discovery (ECOL 464/564)
  • Herpetology (ECOL 483/583)
  • Galapagos Marine Ecology (ECOL 496O/596O)

Other Relevant Courses & Workshops

  • Institute of Desert Ecology, Tucson Audubon Society, 2012
  • Amazon: Changing Identities on a Rainforest Frontier. Peruvian Faculty Field Institute for Experiential Education, National Collegiate Honors Council, 2009
  • Borders, Barriers, and Barrios. Arizona/Sonora Faculty Field Institute for Experiential Education, National Collegiate Honors Council, 2008