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Desert Diary
Museums/Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute


The number of institutions that focus on the northern Chihuahuan Desert are few and far between. Of course, the Centennial Museum is one of the few and the proud, but another one worthy of notice is the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, located near Fort Davis.

Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, the CDRI, as it's fondly known as, is officially an old timer. Like the Centennial Museum, the CDRI focuses on research and education to publicize the wonders of our desert, but it has the advantage of not being squeezed into a small corner of a university campus. With 507 acres to call its own, a 20-acre botanical garden doesn't seem excessive, and its cactus greenhouse supports one of the largest collections of Chihuahuan Desert cacti in the world. Outdoor field schools for the kids (and adults) in the Davis Mountains are something no one forgets. A few pangs of jealously would be expectable, but the brutal reality is that there are all too few sources of desert knowledge out there—we need all the help we can get.
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Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest.


Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.



Web Resources

CDRI Home Page