National Park Service

Sonoran Desert I&M Network (SODN)

Parks in this Network

SODN Network Map
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Network Parks

Sonoran Desert Network

Tavasci Marsh, Tuzigoot National Monument Montezuma Well, Montezuma Castle National Monument Beaver Creek, Montezuma Castle National Monument Tonto National Monument Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Gila River, Gila Cliff Dwellings NM Hoodoos, Chiricahua National Monument Fort Bowie National Historic Site Cottonwood fluff, Tumacácori National Historical Park Coronado National Memorial Juvenile saguaros, Saguaro National Park

Across the Sonoran Desert and up to the southwestern sky islands, ecologists from the Sonoran Desert Network collect information on native and exotic plants, water, air, birds, and climate in 11 different national parks. Back at the office, they analyze the data and share the results with park managers. Knowing which key resources are found in their parks, and whether those resources are stable or changing, can help park managers to make sound decisions about the future.

The Sonoran Desert Network (SODN) is one of 32 National Park Service (NPS) inventory and monitoring networks nationwide. These networks use vital signs monitoring to assess the condition of park ecosystems. Through our work, we can develop a stronger scientific basis for stewardship and management of natural resources across the National Park System; that is, we can help ensure that our national natural treasures are conserved, unimpaired, for future generations.

The Sonoran Desert Network consists of 10 national park units in central and southern Arizona and 1 unit in southwestern New Mexico. These parks are characteristic of two ecoregions: the upper Sonoran subdivision of the Sonoran Desert Ecoregion and the Apache Highlands Ecoregion. SODN parks range in size from half a square mile to 517 square miles (147 to 133,882 hectares).

Featured Information

Science and Hope: Thoughts from Mosaics Intern Kristan Culbert

Streams Monitoring at Tumacácori NHP, 2011

Climate Change BriefsThis document reports on data related to water quality and quantity collected on the Santa Cruz River at Tumacácori NHP during water year (WY) 2011 (October 1, 2010–September 30, 2011).

Heliograph Newsletter, Summer 2014

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Learn about our plans to turn the grounds of the Desert Research Learning Center into a showplace of learning and sustainable practices; which SODN park will be hosting a BioBlitz this fall; and where our writer-editor recently got some excellent training in filmmaking. Find out which SODN staffer cut her NPS teeth brushing trails at Denali NP, and find out what we've been up to and what we've got planned.

Video: It's Alive! Biological Soil Crusts in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts


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Last Updated: December 17, 2014 Contact Webmaster