This site is dedicated to understanding and preserving the unique resources of the American Southwest through science and education. It delivers information about the natural and cultural resources of the region and about scientific activities underway. The primary focus is to present the results of research and monitoring to land managers, students, researchers, policy makers, and the interested public, and to promote mission-oriented research within the region.

Stellar jay at Bandelier National Monument

Birds are an important and lively component of many ecosystems in the American Southwest.

False color satellite image of wildfires burning in Arizona in 2002
Climate Change

Climate models predict that over the next 100 years, the Southwest will become warmer and even more arid.

Eastern collared lizard
Reptiles & Amphibians

Many uniquely adapted reptiles and amphibians inhabit the aquatic and terrestrial habitats of the American Southwest.

Vegetation and landcover map for El Morro National Historic Monument
Vegetation Mapping

Vegetation mapping efforts produce detailed maps of park vegetation types.

Series of T-doors in Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Culture NHP
Prehistoric Cultures

The American Southwest has been home to a diversity of cultures for as long as 13,000 years.

Integrated upland vegetation and soils monitoring plot at Bandelier NM

Monitoring projects are designed to collect information about resources over time.

Arizona pocket mouse found during a mammal inventory

Inventories help document the presence/absence, location, or condition of resources in parks.

Cycladenia jonesii is listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act
Rare Plants

Several plants in the American Southwest are rare, with very limited ranges or existing in low numbers.

Pinyon-juniper woodlands at Navajo National Monument
Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands

Pinyon-juniper woodland is the most common forest type in the American Southwest

Last updated: February 13, 2018


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