Ivanna C. – BASIS Phoenix

BASIS Phoenix Senior Ivanna C.

The Beauty of Our Desert: Succulents in the Sonoran

Project/blog link: The Beauty of Our Desert: Succulents in the Sonoran
BASIS Advisor: Brittany Holtzman
Internship location: Desert Botanical Gardens
Onsite Mentor: Nancy White, Volunteer Services Program Director

Project Abstract

The Sonoran Desert is beautiful and inspiring. For those who live in Arizona, the desert is home; it has been mine for more than fifteen years, and the breathtaking landscape never fails to amaze me. But as we continue to expand our industries worldwide, our ecological footprints grow with the consistent demand for land. Over the past decade, the landscape in Scottsdale has morphed from native wilderness to growing suburb, despite sustainability efforts. Plants are the foundation for ecosystems, but they are often overlooked and taken for granted. Worldwide, more than 34,000 known plant species are at risk of extinction. Cacti, which are types of succulent, are globally ranked the fifth most threatened group of living organisms. This project focuses on communicating to the public the great importance of conserving our natural desert landscapes and protecting the indispensable succulents that inhabit them. I am volunteering at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG), and with the resources available to me as an adult volunteer I am researching Sonoran Desert succulents to further my understanding of the interactions between succulents and the desert environment. I will explore the importance of native succulents, to both the desert and our own lives. I will also create an art piece that conveys this idea, which hopefully will be displayed to the public, illustrating why the desert is beautiful and must be preserved.

The Beauty of Our Desert: Succulents in the Sonoran