Overlooking Grand Canyon from the proposed Marble Canyon Dam site. Photo by Joseph Holway.

Join Dr. Larry Stevens, MNA's Curator of Ecology, on a two-week entomological collecting expedition across the greater Grand Canyon ecoregion. Joined by other noted experts, including Dr. Gary Alpert, the group will circumnavigate this vast, complex, and entomologically rich landscape. Each day will be filled with hikes, spectacular scenery, interesting presentations, and invertebrate collecting and processing. Our crew will provide fresh cooked meals as we camp, traveling to many different locations. The Grand Canyon ecoregion is an ecologist's dream.  Dr. Stevens will lead this entomological and bio-geographical excursion, circumnavigating the Grand Canyon. We will depart from Flagstaff, Arizona on July 24, returning August 5, 2017.  We will have the opportunity to visit and collect in 5 of the 6 Merriam life zones, with a potential to visit all 6.  The trip is planned to capture the maximum expression of invertebrate and plant life at middle and upper elevations in the greater Grand Canyon ecoregion. 

Larry Stevens, Curator of Ecology at the Museum of Northern Arizona and author of The Colorado River in Grand Canyon. First published in 1983, it is now in its 22nd printing, with over 250,000 sold.  Photo by Jeri Ledbetter.  

Larry Stevens, Curator of Ecology at the Museum of Northern Arizona and author of The Colorado River in Grand Canyon. First published in 1983, it is now in its 22nd printing, with over 250,000 sold. 
Photo by Jeri Ledbetter.
 

We invite you to join Dr. Larry Stevens as we explore highly productive springs ecosystems and explore invertebrate biodiversity in this spectacular canyon country on an expedition that entirely circumnavigates Grand Canyon.

The macroinvertebrates (Arthropoda, Mollusca, several worm and flatworm taxa, and other taxa) of the Grand Canyon region include most of the biodiversity in the region, perhaps exceeding 20,000 species. However, information on the occurrence and distribution of these taxa has not been compiled or made available to the public, the scientific community, and resource managers. We estimate that fewer than 20% of the species in the region have been documented to date. Recent advances have been made in understanding the diversity of selected taxa, and the role of Grand Canyon as a landscape feature affecting that biodiversity. Such efforts provide important, basic information on the distribution and relative diversity of different habitat types, on endemic and previously undescribed species, on species that affect human health and property, and on non-native specie.  In addition, we are only beginning to learn about the species that play disproportionately large roles in this world renown ecoregion, and which serve as indicators of environmental change. Continuing collection and compilation of macroinvertebrate data will greatly expand the ecoregion's biological inventory, and may contribute to improved interpretation to the public regarding these fascinating, trophically important, and little known taxa. 

Photos and design by Tom Cheknis.

Photos and design by Tom Cheknis.


Participating Entomological Luminaries

Cicindela oregona maricopa collected in Grand Canyon.                   Photo by Gary Alpert.

Cicindela oregona maricopa collected in Grand Canyon.                   Photo by Gary Alpert.

Larry E. Stevens, MNA

Gary Alpert, Harvard University

 

Overview of expeditionary route.

We will meet at the Museum of Northern Arizona on Sunday, July 23, 2017 and depart from Flagstaff on July 24. The following two weeks will be spent circumnavigating Grand Canyon ecoregion, returning to Flagstaff, Arizona the evening of Friday, August 4.   August 5 will be spent in MNA's world renown Easton Collection Center, ending with an after-expedition party. We hope you can join us. 

 

Proceeds from the trip will support the Museum of Arizona's Springs Stewardship Institute. Additional contributions to MNA are tax deductible.

 

Agapostemon melliventris Collected in GCNP.
Photo by Gary Alpert.

The price for the trip is $1900 per person

  • All food is included, a cook will accompany the entire trip (we can accommodate most dietary needs)
  • We will be car camping, sufficient amenities will be provided in camp each night
  • Credit card fees, 2.8% if you use a credit card for final payment. Checks are preferred.
  • Remember, although it will be fun, this is a working expedition to contribute to MNA biological collections and expand current knowledge of the Grand Canyon ecoregion.
 Chrysochus cobaltinus  collected in GCNP.                                      Photo by Joseph Holway.

 Chrysochus cobaltinus  collected in GCNP.                                      Photo by Joseph Holway.

Bombus sp. observed on the North Rim. Photo by Molly Joyce.

Bombus sp. observed on the North Rim. Photo by Molly Joyce.