Conservancy Kids

We bring the Sonoran Desert to you!

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Welcome to Conservancy Kids!

We are so excited to have you with us on this virtual journey of inquiry and place-based learning! Right now we may be social distancing, but we're all connected by the awesomeness of science. We're junior scientists, exploring the natural world, asking questions, and making discoveries. Join us for an adventure that will take you outdoors, around the house, and into the incredible Sonoran Desert. Welcome to Conservancy Kids! We're excited to see you!

Amazing Arthropods

What in the world is an arthropod? An arthropod is an invertebrate animal that has an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and paired jointed appendages. Whoa, that's a lot of information! Let's break it down: An arthropod is any animal that does not have a backbone, has a skeleton on the outside of their body (humans have theirs on the inside), has defined body parts (think about the body parts on an ant), and has limbs that bend (like our knees and elbows) Arthropods are EVERYWHERE--they make up over 80% of all known living animals. Join Luke as he hangs out with ants, one type of cool arthropod!

Luke Learns from Ants!

Luke Learns From Ants!

Giant Hairy Scorpions, Oh My!

They're creepy, they're crawly, and they're so cool! Giant Hairy Scorpions are the largest scorpion in North America and only live in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts. These hairy arthropods may look scary, but like all animals, they are an important part of the ecosystem and won't hurt you as long as you give them space and respect. Join Rich to learn more about this amazing arthropod!

Giant Hairy Scorpion!

See you next time!

Catch us next time where Nicole teaches us about the amazing pollinators of the Sonoran Desert.


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Contact us

We're socially distanced but still connected by the awesomeness of science!

Have questions about the Sonoran Desert? Want a lesson on a specific topic? Email us at

You can also connect by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram @mcdowellsonoranconservancy. We would love to see your science notebooks or learn what teaching resources you're using.

Rich Cochran, MD, Program Chair-Nature Guides

Science has always been a large part of Rich’s life during undergraduate, graduate and medical schools and throughout his career. After retiring, Rich has focused on studying and learning about the Sonoran Desert, especially the Arthropods that inhabit it. He is one of the Conservancy’s Nature Guides and loves educating children and adults about the Sonoran Desert.

Luke Challis, Program Manager

Luke loves science and being out and about in nature! He studies a lot about biology, ways of thinking, and philosophy. Luke also loves to teach and encourage kids and adults to always keep learning.

Nicole Kallman, Education Coordinator

Nicole loves science and exploration. In college, she studied physics and biology. Now, she shares her excitement about science with others, encouraging everyone to follow in the footsteps of Miss Frizzle: "take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"