Discovering the Desert: Legacy of the Carnegie Desert Botanical Laboratory

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University of Arizona Press, 1981 - Science - 276 pages
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McGinnies's book is an excellent review of all aspects of the Sonoran desert and its mountains: geographic, climatic, and geologic.—American Scientist

"This book provides a fascinating introduction to desert life in the Southwest."—True West

"This true labor of love by an outstanding arid lands authority will broaden horizons, deepen understanding, and heighten awareness of the debt we owe to the founders of the Desert Laboratory."—Arizona Highways

"A great source of revelation. . . . Easy and enjoyable to read and has left me with a great respect for the diversity of ways in which desert plants adapt to extremes."—Sylvia Martinelli, Journal of Arid Environments


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The Nature of Deserts
The Sonoran Desert
Desert Mountains
Desert Climate
Desert Soils and Physiographic Conditions
Desert Plants and Their Relationship to
Plant Life Forms
Plant Names

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About the author (1981)

William G. McGinnies, an internationally recognized authority on arid lands, first became acquainted with the desert in 1918, when he moved from Colorado to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. It was later, as a member of the faculty of the College of Agriculture, that he developed a close association with personnel at Carnegie's Desert Botanical Laboratory. Soon after the Laboratory had closed in 1940, McGinnies left Arizona, but he returned to the University in 1960 to become head of tree ring studies and arid land activities. He was founder and director of the Office of Arid Lands Studies, which he continued to serve as a consultant after his retirement.

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