Conservation Alliance Community of Practice & speaker Series

The Central Arizona Conservation Alliance Community of Practice Series is aimed at connecting the dots in the conservation community by offering talks and workshops that are engaging and relevant to land management, science, the public, educators, planners, and decision-makers alike. The free series promotes both “on stage” and “off stage” knowledge-sharing and professional development, and has become a forum for open discussion, collaboration, and idea sharing for preservation and conservation of our mountain preserve system. Please RSVP to join us for these inspiring and productive events!

Upcoming Community of Practice and Speaker Series 2018:

Friday-Saturday, May 4th-5th
Arid Lands Symposium: Integrating Research into Action

Co-hosted with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

As part of the Arid Lands Symposium, the CAZCA Restoration Lab @ McDowell Sonoran Conservancy (what used to be CAZCA Learning Communities), will offer an opportunity to learn more about arid lands restoration and other topics that can enhance collaboration for regional conservation. These talks aimed at restoration make up the first of the Alliance’s Restoration Labs @ McDowell Sonoran Conservancy of the year.

Register to attend this exciting and educational 2-day event. The ticket includes a Twilight Tour Cocktail Party at the Desert Botanical Garden. The Alliance will also be offering future CAZCA Labs on wildlife connectivity, invasive species management, and more on restoration in the future. Be on the lookout for those!

Register today – symposium tickets: For more information visit:

Past Community of Practice and Speaker Series:

A Reading “The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide”

Christopher Cokinos, associate professor of English at the University of Arizona
Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 –  6:30pm-8pm

Understanding how fire is changing our Arizona Upland plant communities

Kara Barron, Research Assistant, Desert Botanical Garden
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 –  12:30pm-1:30pm

Linking Stakeholders to Reduce Non-native Species Introductions

Dr. Kimberlie McCue, Director of Research, Conservation, and Collections, Desert Botanical Garden
Thursday, September 14th, 2017, 12pm-1:15pm

Fracture Zone: Making Loss Visible

Osha Gray Davidson, Award-winning investigative writer and photographer
Thursday, May 25th, 2017, 12pm-1:15pm

Conservation Volunteerism & Community Connectivity: A study of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Ryan Bleam, PhD Candidate with Arizona State University, School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 12pm-1:15pm

Wildlife On The Ground: Linkage Planning in the Preserves

Dana Warnecke, Habitat Specialist III, Arizona Game and Fish Department

Scott Sprague, Senior Research Biologist, Arizona Game and Fish Department
Thursday, November 10th, 2016, 12pm-1:15pm

Saguaro National Park Field Trip: Buffelgrass Back to the Future

May 2016, All Day Event

Understanding User Fees and Place Attachment in Maricopa County Parks

Milo Neild, Undergraduate, School Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University

Eric Steffey: PhD Candidate, School Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University
Thursday, March 2nd, 2016, 12pm-1:30pm

City Mouse and Country Mouse: A Story of Urbanization, Herbivory, and Delicious Desert Plants

Jessica Alvarez Guevara, Undergraduate, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University

Becky Ball: Professor, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University
Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Sonoran Desert Preserves and the Public Good: Solutions and Strategies for Land Preservation

Dale Larsen, Moderator

Maria Baier, Former Arizona State Land Commissioner

Pat Beaty, Senior Fellow, Center for the Future of Arizona

RJ Cardin, Director, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department

Wendy Hodgson, Senior Research Botanist, Desert Botanical Garden

Mike Nolan, Director, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Gyan Nyaupane, Associate Professor, ASU School of Community Resources and Development
Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Human Impacts on Sonoran Desert Herpetofauna

Brian Sullivan: Professor, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University
Thursday, January 15th, 2015