Corina Godoy felt she had a calling to work in conservation. Along the way, she didn’t see many people who looked like her. Undeterred and embracing her passion, she forged ahead, knowing that she would have to clear her own path.

The dark night sky is being mapped in the monument thanks to an MDLT project promoting women in STEM.

The Milky Way above Mojave Trails National Monument

In February 2021, MDLT’s Dark Night Sky Measurement Project finished a six-month long survey of the night sky quality in the western portion of Mojave Trails National Monument (MTNM). Using both a Sky Quality Meter — or SQM — and Dark Sky Meter (DSM) phone app, three Women In Science Discovering Our Mojave (WISDOM) interns were able to contribute vital scientific research in the monument.

Photo: Global Eyes Media

Research by WISDOM interns help us understand the quality and the importance of the Mojave Desert’s dark night skies. Last fall a cohort of three college women began monitoring the night sky quality in the western portion of Mojave Trails National Monument. Their research will help the Bureau of Land Management in its effort to work toward International Dark Sky support for the National Monument. Our latest interns have begun the second half of this research project, this time in the eastern portion of the 1.6-million-acre monument. …

How to identify native and non-native seedlings popping up in the high desert this summer

A yellow carpet of native chinchweed (Pectis papposa) near MDLT’s Quail Mountain property in Joshua Tree.

Text and photos by Madena Asbell, Director of Plant Conservation Programs, Mojave Desert Land Trust

If you live in the high desert, you have probably noticed the landscape has become unusually green recently.

Monsoonal rains across the Mojave Desert this summer have led to the germination of summer annuals like chinchweed and fringed amaranth in some parts of the desert. Summer precipitation in the desert can be spotty and unpredictable, with storm cells delivering a lot of moisture in brief, isolated patches.


Celebrating Latino voices in environmental literature

Latino Conservation Week celebrates the connections of the Latino community with their passion for the outdoors, both for preservation and enjoyment. We have published a list of suggested reading in recognition of LCW, compiled by MDLT staff and our near and dear partners in conservation and outreach from our desert communities.

We hope that it inspires you to read and learn more about the world around us from our community of Latino voices.

Climate Change from the Streets: How Conflict and Collaboration Strengthen the Environmental Justice Movement by Michael Méndez

Mendez offers a holistic overview of the intersections of California’s…

WISDOM interns discovered the darkest spot in the western portion of Mojave Trails National Monument. A new group is continuing that quest for the entire monument.

Night Sky as seen in Piute Mountain Wilderness within Mojave Trails National Monument. Note the Milk Way’s prominence juxtaposed with the sky glow from the town of Needles. Photo: MDLT

By Mary Cook-Rhyne, MDLT Education Coordinator and program manager of the Women in Science Discovering Our Mojave (WISDOM) program.

Research by WISDOM interns has reminded us how beautifully dark the night sky is out in the western part of Mojave Trails National Monument. In the continuation of the Dark Night Sky Measurement Project, three new interns have picked up where the last group left off — well, in a way.

Mojave Trails National Monument…

Mojave Desert Land Trust book club

Black authors on science, conservation, and the environment

June 19th — Juneteenth — commemorates the day the last enslaved people were emancipated in the United States in 1865, although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed January 1, 1863. At MDLT, we celebrate some fiction and nonfiction writings by black authors that continue to shape our culture, contribute to conservation awareness, celebrate exploration, and acknowledge the ongoing work towards equality still necessary over 150 years later.

Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner
By Janice N. Harrington

Charles Henry Turner (1867–1923) was an animal behaviorist who pioneered the science of entomology, specializing in the study of social…

Help support the Mojave Desert’s unique biodiversity by landscaping with desert natives

With environmental threats like habitat loss and climate change upon us, our beloved wildlife and pollinators will appreciate the sanctuary of your yard. We can all try to cultivate an arid oasis. As native plants are well-adapted to this climate and soil, they require less water and don’t require fertilizers, making them a low-maintenance way to beautify your outdoor spaces. Before you get started, check out our guide to managing invasive plants to allow your plants to live their best lives!

The Mojave Desert is spectacular at all times of year, but springtime is especially abundant with wildflowers and other fresh sprouts. While seeing splashes of bright green amidst our sandy washes might seem like a sight for sore eyes, in actuality, not all of the greenery is beneficial. Some of these are invasive species that if left unchecked, can run rampant over the landscape, harming ecosystems and the animals who rely on the native flora for food.

When gardening in your little slice of desert paradise, you’ll want to pull the invasive weeds as soon as you notice them to…

This edition of the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center January 2021 newsletter has been reprinted in full. Subscribe to the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center newsletter here.

Fires burned the Inland Southern California landscapes all around us in summer and autumn 2020. Nearly six months later, with little rain, native plants are growing back across the area’s charred Native American homelands.

Mojave Desert Land Trust

The Mojave Desert Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization protecting lands with natural, scenic, and cultural value within the Mojave Desert.

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