Roaming the Southwest: Natural and Cultural Landmarks of the Sonoran Desert Region

Class Dates

August 15, 2022 to August 29, 2022

Meeting Days

Mondays, 5:30 - 7 PM


Online Course



Course Instructor(s)

Course Description

In this three-week online course with David Yetman, research social scientist at the University of Arizona, you will wander around Arizona taking in the state's natural history and the monumental geological forces that have shaped what we see today. The irregularities that form our landscapes reveal a deep and violent geological history, but their size, variety, and majesty have also inspired humans and their imaginations.  Over the last twelve thousand years or so, people have related mythical stories and historical events that commemorate the significance of our natural monuments. 

Arizona has a greater variety of landscapes than any other state except for California. Our great continental deserts--the Chihuahuan, Great Basin, Mohave, and Sonoran combine to cover much of Arizona, each with its characteristic life forms and each shaped by deep forces and world climates.  Our Sonoran Desert is an exquisite product of global climatic forces and local geological history, all related to the natural monuments that rise from the flats and shape our consciousness of where we are.  They also form a deeper impression in our brains than we are liable to admit.  The monuments are a convenient excuse to form a deeper understanding of the land that makes us who we are.

Since 1992, David Yetman has found an academic home at the Southwest Center of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. From 2001 to 2010, he hosted the PBS series The Desert Speaks.

Since 2011 he has been host and co-producer of In the Americas with David Yetman. 

Course Format

Registered community members will meet with Professor Yetman for three live online sessions on the following Mondays from 5:30 to 7 PM: August 15, 22, and 29.

Attendance & Participation

This course will be delivered via the University of Arizona Zoom platform. All class sessions will be LIVE ONLINE and will be recorded. The recordings will be shared with registered students after each session to facilitate access for those who cannot make the live sessions


Online registration for this course opens on Monday, August 1, 2022 at 10 AM. After registration, participants will receive a receipt of registration. Subsequently, participants will receive instructions about how to access the course online 1-2 weeks before the start of the course.


Refunds are available and must be requested before the second class meeting (August 22). To drop a class, please contact Stephanie Noriega at

A $25 administrative fee for each cancellation will apply.