Dr. Brett Mattingly and I are finally kicking off our first semester teaching a new course on desert ecology and biogeography, topics that have long excited us both. In addition to standard lectures on ecological interactions and biogeographic process in the North American deserts, thirteen students will accompany us to the Mojave, Sonoran, and Great Basin deserts for a week of exploration during spring break. Many of these students (true New Englanders) have never visited a desert and picture them as barren expanses of sand and cacti. We can’t wait to blow their minds! Deserts are just so much more than that. Stay tuned as we document our travels and the unique organisms that call these extreme environments their home. A map outlining our tentative itinerary is provided below.