A 501(c)(3) Corporation



About the Desert Symposium

The Desert Symposium is a relaxed and friendly gathering of scientists and lay people interested in the natural history of arid lands. The meeting is two days of scientific presentations followed by a two-day field trip. Oral and poster presentations are given, and a keynote lecture is presented. Student papers are judged with the best being awarded prizes. Traditionally, geology has been the main emphasis. Field trips are lead by professional scientists and often require 4WD vehicles. Overnight camping during the field trip (with catered evening dinner!) may be scheduled. The Desert Symposium and its field trip take place annually, usually in April. Each year the Desert Symposium publishes a proceedings volume including relevant research papers and a field trip guide built around the annual theme. Safety, courtesy, desert awareness and self-reliance are expected of all participants.

MISSION STATEMENT: The Desert Symposium stimulates, reports, documents and disseminates new research on any aspect of arid lands. It promotes scientific research and educational excellence by holding a themed annual meeting, leading field trips and fostering student involvement in research. Topics include but not limited to geologic sciences, life sciences and ecology, climate and hydrology, desert culture, history and arid lands management.

The Desert Symposium is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and Steering Committee with input from diverse scientists and affiliated organizations. Organizations and individuals wishing to contribute to the Desert Symposium in any way (Student award fund, monetary, volunteering, event sponsorship, etc.) or to become a Desert Symposium Affiliate may contact any member of the Board of Directors.

"A short history of the Desert Symposium" by George Jefferson and Fred Budinger (2016) (PDF)

The meeting list below includes links to PDF versions of proceedings from the meetings.

1988    Quaternary History of the Manix Fault (PDF)
1989-1 The West-Central Mojave: Quaternary studies between Kramer and Afton Canyon (PDF)
1989-2 Nelson Lake: Important Early Sites (PDF)
1990-1 The Mineralogy of the Mohawk Mine (PDF)
1990-2 Late Pleistocene (Rancholabrean) Fossil Assemblage from the Northwestern Mojave Desert (PDF)
1991-1 Crossing the Borders: Quaternary Studies in Eastern California and Southwestern Nevada (PDF)
1991-2 The Mojave River Formation, Manix Basin, California: Stratigraphy, Correlation, Magnetostratigraphy and Rotation (PDF)
1992-1 Deformation associated with the Neogene Eastern California Shear Zone (PDF)
1992-2 Old Routes to the Colorado (PDF)
1993    Ashes, Faults and Basins (PDF)
1994-1 Off Limits in the Mojave Desert (PDF)
1994-2 Geological Investigations of an Active Margin (PDF)
1995-1 Ancient Surfaces of the East Mojave Desert (PDF)
1995-2 Short Papers in Anthropology and Paleontology (PDF)
1996    Punctuated Chaos in the Northeastern Mojave Desert (PDF)
1998    Finding Faults in the Mojave (PDF)
1999    A Walk Through Borate (PDF)
2000-1 Minerals from the Mojave (PDF)
2000-2 Empty Basins, Vanished Lakes (PDF)
2001    The Changing Face of the East Mojave Desert (PDF)
2002    Between the Basins: Exploring the Western Mojave and Southern Basin and Range Province (PDF)
2003    Land of Lost Lakes (PDF)
2004    Breaking Up (PDF)
2005    Old Ores: Mining History in the Eastern Mojave Desert (PDF)
2006    Making Tracks Across the Southwest (PDF)
2007    Wild, Scenic and Rapid: A Trip Down the Colorado River Trough (PDF)
2008    Trough to Trough: The Colorado River and the Salton Sea (PDF) aka "Flat Tire Fiesta"
2009    Landscape Evolution At An Active Plate Margin (PDF) Symposium updates (PDF)
2010    Overboard in the Mojave: 20 Million Years of Lakes and Wetlands (PDF)
2011    The Incredible Shrinking Pliocene (PDF)
2012    Search for the Pliocene: Southern Exposures (PDF)
2013    Raising Questions in the Central Mojave Desert (PDF)
2014    Not a drop left to drink (PDF)
2015    Mojave Miocene (PDF)
2016    Going LOCO: Investigations along the Lower Colorado River, and erratum (p 301) (PDF)
2017    ECSZ does it (Revisiting the Eastern California Shear Zone) (PDF)
2018    Against The Current: The Mojave River From Sink To Source (PDF)
2019    Exploring Ends of Eras in the Eastern Mojave Desert (PDF)





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