Desert Plant Conservatory Tours

Fall 2023 Guided Tour Experience for the CALES Ambassadors:

On Friday November 3rd, 2023,  the College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences Ambassadors attended a tour of the Mark Dimmitt Desert Plant Conservatory located on the roof of the 6th Street Garage. These 19 student Ambassadors support the recruitment efforts of the college to prospective students, and their attendance of the tour served to share a resource of the Campus Arboretum in the education, care, and conservation of unique arid-climate plants from across the globe. Highlighting unique resources available such as the Conservatory provides the Ambassadors with opportunities that can be offered to students at the University of Arizona.


The Mark Dimmitt Desert Plant Conservatory displays a diverse collection of the most peculiar desert plants that could be acquired, many of which were donated by Mark Dimmitt himself. Currently, the conservatory houses over 100 unique species, spanning 14 different botanical families. Campus Arboretum student interns developed a webpage to house photos of each specimen along with student-authored research profiles outlining their care and botanical characteristics. Botanical signage designed by the students also provides visitors with QR codes, allowing for the development of an interactive tour of the conservatory where student and community visitors can engage with the educational content on the web pages corresponding to each species.


The Ambassadors attending the tour were given free rein to explore these detailed pages, while also participating in the interactive exercises incorporated within the guided tour. These exercises were designed to be unique and interesting to individuals who may already possess botanical knowledge, as well as introduce foundational knowledge to those who do not. Exercises include a group-led analysis of varying botanical adaptations shared by arid-adapted plants and their functions, an ethnobotanical uses scavenger hunt, and a discussion on taxonomy and nomenclature.

Friday, November 3, 2023 - 10:00 to 11:00