National Park Service

Sonoran Desert I&M Network (SODN)

Parks in this Network

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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 includes 11 national park units: 10 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

Pre-fire Uplands Monitoring at Chiricahua NM

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Our new brief on uplands monitoring at Chiricahua NM documents conditions prior to the Horseshoe II Fire. The full report is also available.

Just for Kids: Monitoring Sonoran Desert Ecosystems–Dr. Andy Hubbard's Story

The Heliograph: Winter 2015

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The new Heliograph is here! Find out why and where we're testing for "emerging contaminants" in park waters, what's next for the Desert Research Learning Center, and how we're re-tooling our staff assignments to make our monitoring more efficient. You'll also find updates on projects and personnel and a new feature, "Around the Network," highlighting resource management projects at three network parks.

The NPS Inventory & Monitoring Division: What We Do (and Why)


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Last Updated: November 30, 2015 Contact Webmaster