Wild Coachella Lecture Series

This series investigates the history and habitat of the Coachella Valley and beyond. Each free lecture is open to the public.  NOTE: This series will be returning in fall 2023, but take a look at some lectures we've had in the past! 


Wild Coachella Lecture Series
6 p.m. May 20, 2021: Coachella Valley — A Pit of Snakes!

Coachella Valley: A Pit of Snakes! will discuss the role snakes play in local ecosystems and why that matters to local residents, and how to spot and safely observe snakes, as well as introduce viewers to many of the local species that can be found in the Coachella Valley. There will also be some snake trivia (just for fun) at the end!

A smiling bald man with a trimmed goatee
6 p.m. June 9, 2021: Conserving cougars and corridors in urbanizing Southern California

Don't miss this look at wildlife corridors in Southern California and the conservation of cougars. 

6 p.m. July 15, 2021: A Tale of Three Beetles
Doug Yanega holding a beetle that's the size of a deck of playing cards

When is a pest not a pest? When is an insect an existential threat to an industry? When is an insect worthy of protection?

Our speaker, Dr. Doug Yanega from the UC Riverside Entomology Research Museum, will explore three examples of beetles, discussing how the lives of these species impact the Coachella and Palm Desert regions.

6 p.m. Aug. 5, 2021: Rare Plant Conservation
A tiny plant growing from a seed

Join us for a presentation by botanist Naomi Fraga on rare plant conservation, working to have threatened species listed as endangered, and a broader discussion of rare plants throughout the California deserts.

6 p.m. Sept. 2, 2021: Wild Bees of the Desert
Hollis Woodard stands in a beekeeping hat outside in nature

Join us for a presentation on wild bees of the desert by Hollis Woodard, UCR assistant professor of entomology. Woodard received a PhD in Biology (2012) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she worked with Dr. Gene Robinson on the molecular basis of social evolution in bees. She is broadly interested in native bee ecology, evolution, and social behavior.

5 p.m. Oct. 7, 2021: Effects of Light Pollution on Avian Communities
Birdwatcher and ornithologist Lauren Pharr, photo taken in profile

With the increase of people moving into urban areas every day, anthropogenic (human-produced) sources of light are having a drastic effect on near and inhabiting wildlife. Birds have been particularly useful to study when looking at these urbanization effects, specifically urban noise and light pollution. Join Lauren Pharr, Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University, for a discussion on how urbanization continues to affect local bird species.