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Searching for how the desert came to be, and where it is going, is a magical path.

Ben Wilder, Director of the Desert Laboratory at Tumamoc Hill, is as well-trained, expansive in his vision, and innovative as any desert scientist I know.

Have been mentored by the likes of the late Ray Turner and Richard Felger – not to mention the vigorous minds of Exequiel Ezcurra and Rudolfo Dirzo, there is very little about the history of the Sonoran Desert that hasn’t already passed through his eyes and mind.

Yet, he humbly concedes that there is something both elusive and enigmatic about deserts, their history and even their future:

“Searching for how the desert came to be and where it is going, is like hunting for the snark. It is a magical path that takes one to the center of the desert, to its outer limits, and back again. And yet, I still find myself chasing these secrets, staring into the edge.”

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