• 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.

Graduate Student Research Program

Since 2003, Joshua Tree National Park has encouraged independent field research by graduate students enrolled in accredited institutions. Thanks to the Lee Family Foundation, multiple grants of up to $4,000 are available to assist students with field study expenses, including data analysis, lodging, transportation, field supplies, and research equipment.

The Robert Lee Graduate Student Research Grant benefits the student researcher by providing an opportunity to demonstrate how their research can apply to land management issues. In addition, it provides park staff with a better understanding of the resources at Joshua Tree National Park.

More than 25 independent research projects have been conducted to date, adding significantly to the knowledge of the park and its natural and cultural resources. Robert Lee Research Grants are administered by the non-profit Joshua Tree National Park Association.

Applying for a Research Grant

The application period for the 2014 Robert Lee Graduate Student Research Grant is now open. Research proposals should focus on some aspect of the natural or cultural resources of Joshua Tree National Park. If the proposed project addresses climate change impacts to park resources, applicants should note this in their proposals. The application deadline is October 10, 2014; awards will be announced by October 24, 2014.

Grant recipients are required to:

  1. submit six-month progress reports to Joshua Tree National Park;
  2. submit to the park a final report that provides details of the study methods and conclusions;
  3. present their work to a suitable public forum, ideally in a local setting such as the Joshua Tree National Park Association's Desert Institute Lecture Series; and
  4. provide suitable content for the NPS website.

All awards are administered through a reimbursement program. Recipients are expected to complete all of the requirements of the grant within two years of receiving the award.

Learn more about the 2014 Robert Lee Graduate Student Research Grant program by downloading an application form (213 KB PDF).

Questions? Contact the program administrator.

Did You Know?

Joshua Tree Blooms

One of the most beautiful spectacles in spring is the creamy-white blossoms of Joshua trees. These white candles can be seen from February to late March. Joshua trees do not branch until after they bloom, and they don’t bloom every year. More...