The lab is a place dedicated to study, practice, and shared learning. The N-Gen Lab Meeting is a virtual space to do just that. The 3rd Wednesday of every month at 12:00 pm (Arizona, Mountain Time), N-Gen invites a researcher to share with the network their latest research or exciting initiative. These open and interactive one-hour seminars are meant to foster science communication and spark interdisciplinary collaborations. They are also a time to learn the latest news and activities within the network and for you to share exciting updates with others. A brief opening will be followed by the presentation, 30-35 minutes, and are followed by 10-15 minutes Q&A. By bringing together a wide array of thinkers and practitioners, N-Gen Lab Meetings seek to broaden collective understandings of social and environmental processes and pressing issues facing the Sonoran Desert, the Baja California Peninsula, the Gulf of California, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. With this goal, N-Gen Lab Meetings are recorded and archived as podcasts made publicly available through our YouTube site. The meetings take place in WebEx, a free and user-friendly online platform available at http://www.webex.com/. Because our network is bilingual in English and Spanish, the presentations are in either language as per the presenters’ choice.

  • February 17, 2016: Diane Austin, University of Arizona
  • March 16, 2016: Juan Manuel Perez Cantu, Cuenca de los Ojos A.C. — POSTPONED
  • April 20, 2016: Juan Carlos Bravo, Director of the Mexico Program, Wildlands Network — POSTPONED
  • May 18, 2016: Hem Nalini Morzaria-Luna, NOAA Affiliate
  • June 15, 2016: James Watson, Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona

We strongly encourage N-Gen members to send us recommendations for speakers for the next cycle (August to December, 2016). Please email Lucero Radonic (radonicl@msu.edu) and Marcia Moreno (spatial.octopus@gmail.com) with your recommendations and your colleague’s contact information. Past Lab Meetings can be seen here.

This Month’s Lab Meeting

When: June 15, 2016, 12 noon (AZ time)

To join the Lab Meeting go to this link:


Click “Join” when it’s time for the meeting to start (session opens at 11:50 am)

James Watson, Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona,

The Biological Consequences of Prehistoric Human Adaptations to Desert Ecosystems

Human adaptation is a constant interaction between biology and culture, and the environments that we interact with and modify. Desert ecosystems have long presented a unique challenge for prehistoric humans but also provided resources that enabled successful adaptations. The balance between environment and culture shifted with the transition to agriculture and deserts were transformed into even more hospitable environments for human subsistence through niche-construction behaviors. This talk describes two case studies, from the Atacama Desert and the Sonoran Desert, and how humans actively modified and built niches with horticultural technologies and prospered. These behaviors also had significant biological consequences for these groups. However, local resources continued to play important roles in both subsistence and social lives of these communities.