• Sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

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  • Cottonwood Trails Closed

    Trail access remains closed to Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Lost Palms Oasis, and Mastodon Peak. More »

  • Pinto Basin Road Under Construction; Expect 30+ Minute Travel Delays

    Visitors should expect 30+ minute waits when heading north and sound bound on the Pinto Basin Road. Due to construction activity around Cottonwood Visitor Center, additional waits of 30 minutes may be in place when leaving the visitor center parking lot. More »

  • Deteriorating conditions of Black Rock Canyon Road

    The road leading to Black Rock campground has deep potholes, is deeply rutted, and can be difficult to negotiate, especially in large vehicles. Please drive with caution.

Discovering The Ancients

Content Standards for California Public Schools

Grade 9th -12th - Cell Biology: 1. The fundamental life processes of plants and animals depend on a variety of chemical reactions that occur in specialized areas of the organism’s cells. As a basis for understanding this concept: f. Students know usable energy is captured from sunlight by chloroplasts and is stored through the synthesis of sugar from carbon dioxide. g. Students know the role of the mitochondria in making stored chemical-bond energy available to cells by completing the breakdown of glucose to carbon dioxide.

Ecology: 6. Stability in an ecosystem is a balance between competing effects. As a basis for understanding this concept: a. Students know biodiversity is the sum total of different kinds of organisms and is d. Students know how water, carbon, and nitrogen cycle between abiotic resources and organic matter in the ecosystem and how oxygen cycles through photosynthesis and respiration. g.* Students know how to distinguish between the accommodation of an individual organism to its environment and the gradual adaptation of a lineage of organisms through genetic change.

Evolution: 8. Evolution is the result of genetic changes that occur in constantly changing environments. As a basis for understanding this concept: a. Students know how natural selection determines the differential survival of groups of organisms. e. Students know how to analyze fossil evidence with regard to biological diversity, episodic speciation, and mass extinction. g.* Students know how several independent molecular clocks, calibrated against each other and combined with evidence from the fossil record, can help to estimate how long ago various groups of organisms diverged evolutionarily from one another.

Investigation and Experimentation: 1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other four strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will: a. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (such as computer-linked probes, spreadsheets, and graphing calculators) to perform tests, collect data, analyze relationships, and display data. b. Identify and communicate sources of unavoidable experimental error. c. Identify possible reasons for inconsistent results, such as sources of error or uncontrolled conditions. d. Formulate explanations by using logic and evidence. e. Solve scientific problems by using quadratic equations and simple trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions. f. Distinguish between hypothesis and theory as scientific terms. g. Recognize the usefulness and limitations of models and theories as scientific representations of reality. h. Read and interpret topographic and geologic maps. i. Analyze the locations, sequences, or time intervals that are characteristic of natural phenomena (e.g., relative ages of rocks, locations of planets over time, and succession of species in an ecosystem). j. Recognize the issues of statistical variability and the need for controlled tests. k. Recognize the cumulative nature of scientific evidence. l. Analyze situations and solve problems that require combining and applying concepts from more than one area of science. m. Investigate a science-based societal issue by researching the literature, analyzing data, and communicating the findings.

History and
Social Science

Grade 11th - 11.11 Students analyze the major social problems and domestic policy issues in contemporary American society. 5. Trace the impact of, need for, and controversies associated with environmental conservation, expansion of the national park system, and the development of environmental protection laws, with particular attention to the interaction between environmental protection advocates and property rights advocates.

Grade 12th - 12.7 Students analyze and compare the powers and procedures of the national, state, tribal, and local governments. 5. Explain how public policy is formed, including the setting of the public agenda and implementation of it through regulations and executive orders.

Language Arts Grade 11th -12th - 2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials): Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They analyze the organizational patterns, arguments, and positions advanced. The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Grades Nine Through Twelve illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. In addition, by grade twelve, students read two million words annually on their own, including a wide variety of classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, and online information. Structural Features of Informational Materials 2.1 Analyze both the features and the rhetorical devices of different types of public documents (e.g., policy statements, speeches, debates, platforms) and the way in which authors use those features and devices. Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text. 2.3 Verify and clarify facts presented in other types of expository texts by using a variety of consumer, workplace, and public documents. 2.4. Make warranted and reasonable assertions about the author’s arguments by using elements of the text to defend and clarify interpretations. 2.5 Analyze an author’s implicit and explicit philosophical assumptions and beliefs about a subject. Expository Critique: 2.6 Critique the power, validity, and truthfulness of arguments set forth in public documents; their appeal to both friendly and hostile audiences; and the extent to which the arguments anticipate and address reader concerns and counterclaims (e.g., appeal to reason, to authority, to pathos and emotion).

Grade 9th – 12th - Geometry: The geometry skills and concepts developed in this discipline are useful to all students. Aside from learning these skills and concepts, students will develop their ability to construct formal, logical arguments and proofs in geometric settings and problems. 5.0 Students prove that triangles are congruent or similar, and they are able to use the concept of corresponding parts of congruent triangles. 8.0 Students know, derive, and solve problems involving the perimeter, circumference, area, volume, lateral area, and surface area of common geometric figures. 19.0 Students use trigonometric functions to solve for an unknown length of a side of a right triangle, given an angle and a length of a side. 20.0 Students know and are able to use angle and side relationships in problems with special right triangles, such as 30°, 60°, and 90° triangles and 45°, 45°, and 90° triangles.

Trigonometry: Trigonometry uses the techniques that students have previously learned from the study of algebra and geometry. The trigonometric functions studied are defined geometrically rather than in terms of algebraic equations. Facility with these functions as well as the ability to prove basic identities regarding them is especially important for students intending to study calculus, more advanced mathematics, physics and other sciences, and engineering in college. 7.0 Students know that the tangent of the angle that a line makes with the x-axis is equal to the slope of the line. 12.0 Students use trigonometry to determine unknown sides or angles in right triangles.

Mathematical Analysis: This discipline combines many of the trigonometric, geometric, and algebraic techniques needed to prepare students for the study of calculus and strengthens their conceptual understanding of problems and mathematical reasoning in solving problems. These standards take a functional point of view toward those topics. The most significant new concept is that of limits. Mathematical analysis is often combined with a course in trigonometry or perhaps with one in linear algebra to make a yearlong pre-calculus course.

Did You Know?

Desert Tortoise

The reptiles of Joshua Tree National Park include one tortoise, 18 lizards, and 25 varieties of snakes. More...