Joshua Tree National Park Association, Desert Institute

Photo Credit: Paul Moeller

Exploring Nature through Education

The Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park is an adult education program offering an in-depth exploration of the park’s natural wonders. Learn from highly qualified instructors who are passionate about sharing their expertise and committed to providing a personal and fun learning experience. The Desert Institute is sponsored by the Joshua Tree National Park Association and operates with the full endorsement of the National Park Service. Join us this season for an educational adventure.

This season of Desert Institute classes is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Visit 29 Palms. Check out to learn about all the great shops, restaurants, lodging and attractions in Twentynine Palms and start planning your visit.

If you are a member of JTNPA you will get a $10 discount off every Desert Institute class. Visit to learn more.

For information on all classes and to register for Desert Institute events, go to

Old School House
Friday, January 13th, 7pm
“Managing Cultural Resources at the Mojave National
Preserve” by David Nichols.

David Nichols has been working for the National Park Service for 22 years as an archeologist and Cultural Resources Program Manager. Before landing at his current position with the Mojave National Preserve, David worked in Hawaii, Guam, Australia, and throughout neighboring Pacific islands. Join us at the Old Schoolhouse Museum to get an insider look at conservation of our public lands.

This lecture series is a co-production of Desert Institute and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society. Lectures are held monthly (through June) at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive in 29 Palms. Doors open at 6:15p, and lecture starts at 7p. $5 paid at the door.

To learn more about our programs and register for Desert Institute events, visit:

A Beginners Guide to Incredible iPhone Photography
Saturday, Jan 14th, 6p-9p

Join Joshua Tree-based photographer and artist, Rose Cefalu, for an evening of iPhone photography. We’ll meet at her workshop to learn the unique qualities of iPhone cameras and some basic principles of design, and then take a short walk along a nature trail to capture images. Students will wrap up the evening with an editing session in Rose’s studio, and all participants will leave with a matted 8.5”x11” print, ready to frame. No experience required, all are welcome!

Birds and Other Wonders of the Salton Sea
Friday, Jan 20th, 7:30a to 4:30p

Spend the day with College of the Desert instructor Kurt Leuschner, exploring the birds and natural history of the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is an important migratory stop along the Pacific “Flyway,” and many species choose to spend the winter here. We hope to see hundreds of Snow and Ross’s Geese along with Sandhill Cranes and Burrowing Owls. We’ll also discuss the geology, human history, and current status of the area as we car-caravan down the eastern side of the Sea. Bring binoculars!

From Our Partners

Love Your Park Hi-Desert Food Tour

Joshua Tree National Park Association, Joshua Tree National Park’s primary non-profit park partner, will be hosting the Love Your Park Hi-Desert Food Tour. During Valentines week, Feb 11-19, participating restaurants will be donating a portion of their proceeds from a specialty food item or drink to help fund programs for Joshua Tree National Park. Please join us in sharing the love for the park we love most! To learn more, please visit our website at

JTNPA members receive a $10 discount for all Desert Institute courses.
Join today at or email

From Our Partners