Science2021-10-22T11:14:29-07:00
IUCN Project
Protecting Threatened Sonoran Desert Plant Species

Sonoran Desert Plant Specialist Group Host
for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature

PARSONS FIELD INSTITUTE

Reseed/Restore Project
Transplanting and Seeding Restoration Sites in the Sonoran Desert

PARSONS FIELD INSTITUTE

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The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is nestled in the rich biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert and on the edge of a thriving urban metropolis. Working with partners and citizen scientists, The Parsons Field Institute provides solutions to regional invasive species control, ecological restoration, conservation of native species, and long-term monitoring and preservation projects.

WHAT WE DO

Biodiversity Protection

Urban stressors and climate change are expected to cause significant change to our plant and animal communities.



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Biodiversity Protection

Learn about the work Parsons Field Institute is doing for long term protection of  plants and wildlife in the Preserve.

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Invasive Plant Mitigation

From surveying, removing and monitoring invasive plants to sharing our work with conservation partners across the region, the Parsons Field Institute is taking action.


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Invasive Plant Mitigation

We are helping control invasive, non-native plants through a multi-tiered approach:

  • Experiments to control non-native bunchgrasses
  • Mapping and removing invasive species
  • Collaborating for broad impact

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Ecological Restoration

Arid lands pose a challenge. When the Sonoran Desert is damaged, we need good science to help restore its function.



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Ecological Restoration

We are restoring the desert and helping inform management in the Sonoran Desert:

  • Restoration planning and action
  • Restoration experiments
  • Biocrust cultivation

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Current Projects

Biodiversity Protection

Invasive Plant Mitigation

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Ecological Restoration

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YOU CAN HELP

Conservancy Stewards


Become a Conservancy Steward. Volunteers founded the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in 1991, and stewards continue to be the lifeblood of the organization. Opportunities abound to contribute, learn, get exercise, teach, and enjoy and care for the beautiful Preserve.

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Become a Conservancy Steward

Stewards can be active participants in various Parsons Field Institute activities.

Stewards may obtain additional training leading to a Certified Citizen Scientist designation. This achievement allows for a greater participation in ongoing research including leadership positions.

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Volunteer Opportunities


Citizen Scientists are volunteers who work with Parsons Field Institute staff, Conservancy Stewards and Certified Citizen Scientists. These volunteer opportunities are often available on certain projects.



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Volunteer Opportunities

Our citizen science model is unique – we partner with scientists and actively involve volunteers in research from project development through publication.

To learn more, please contact Mary Fastiggi, mary@mcdowellsonoran.org or by phone at (480) 998-7971 x114.

Support Parsons Field Institute


The Parsons Field Institute is a committed partner in scientific research and an indispensable educational resource for our community,




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Support Our Work

Parsons relies on supporters like you who care about nature and understand that the threats to our natural world have never been greater.

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Meet Our Partners

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Protect Your Sonoran Desert

The Power to Sustain the Sonoran Desert for Future Generations is Yours

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