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Take a hike with faculty experts


April 04, 2007

In April, under a wide, azure sky, heat is rising from desert expanses prickling with cactus – just what you'd expect in Phoenix . But just outside the city in Tres Rios Wetlands, the unexpected can be found: scores of birds, water fringed with reedy grasses and trees, and the low buzz of dragonflies.

From 9 a.m. to noon, April 7, faculty and students from ASU's School of Life Sciences will put aside their microscopes and lecture notes to lead guided hikes for the community in Tres Rios Wetlands. Located in Tolleson close to the confluence of the Gila, Aqua Fria and Salt rivers, the wetland reserve is a haven for birdwatchers, plant lovers and folks looking for a cool break from the heat.

This year's hike organizers Pierre Deviche, a birding expert, and Susanne Neuer , an oceanographer, will just be among the more than a dozen ecologists, geologists and field biologists who lead four short nature walks looping through the park. Hikers will get a broad perspective about wetlands, their wildlife, fauna, underlying geology and utility. Besides these guided tours, there will be demonstrations, including one by reptile expert Andy Holycross, who will talk about snakes and snake safety. Holycross coauthored “A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona ” with Thomas Brennan, recently published by Arizona Game and Fish.

SOLS Takes a Hike was launched in 2006 as an annual community outreach event and is one of the many in the quiver of community events and programs in which students, staff and faculty are actively engaged. This event is free and open to the public.

Tres Rios Wetlands is located off of South 91st Avenue, south of West Broadway in Tolleson. A map and more information about the hike is online at http://sols.asu.edu/sols_news/22_news_07.php .

For more details, call (480) 727-8934.