Hi friends!

Spring is a little different this year. This is usually one of the busiest times in the Coachella Valley, with all kinds of festivals, galas, parties, and events squeezed in between our lectures, movie screenings, workshops, classes, and more.

We miss it too.

This springtime we're all slowing down, staying in, focusing on our own wellness, but also extending care and concern for the wellness of others.

The good news is that we still have plenty of things for you to do, everything from a virtual book club to a webinar on dealing with pandemic-related stress, a nature scavenger hunt to a literary podcast. Join us in discovering what's blooming this season.


The UCR Palm Desert Team
Our online-only book club launched two weeks ago, and we're gearing up for a Q&A with the author soon.

Questions have been posted on our UCR Palm Desert Facebook page about the first 180 pages of the book, with more to follow shortly. Pick up "The Lost Book of Adana Moreau," and read with us!
12 to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 8

We have a free webinar coming up this week on how to deal with stress and uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, presented by Kate Sweeny, PhD, UCR Dept. of Psychology.

Dr. Sweeny will offer tips and strategies to cope with our current working and daily lives. The webinar will be conducted via Zoom, so you'll need to register at this link to participate.

Related: Dr. Sweeny is conducting research on coping with stress during COVID-19. If you have a few extra minutes, your anonymous input would be appreciated. Click here .
Spring won't last forever, even though it might feel like it. And we'd like to help you enjoy the beauty of our desert during your walks/hikes (in open spaces, while maintaining safe distance from others).

Snap a photo of all the items on this scavenger hunt card, and send your images to palmdesert@ucr.edu. People who find all nine by May 1 will be entered to win a prize package of California Naturalist goodies.

Happy photo hunting!
We really miss seeing your faces, so show us your selfie!

Send us a photo of yourself and how you're staying active and having fun (following appropriate social distancing guidelines) at palmdesert@ucr.edu and we'll put together a photo collage. Posting your selfie on Instagram or Facebook? Use the hashtag #PalmDesertSelfie
We've been hard at work recording special stay-at-home editions of our podcast, Open Book with Tod Goldberg and Maggie Downs. Now we're pleased to present Open Book @ Home.

First up is an interview with Liska Jacobs, author of Catalina and The Worst Kind of Want , who gives us her picks for sexy reads while quarantined. The list might surprise you!

Take a listen here .
The CA Naturalist program, led by Dr. Cameron Barrows of UCR's Center for Conservation Biology, has continued online during the pandemic.

Saturday, April 4 was the final class, and the students presented thoughtful, dynamic, and creative capstone projects. We’ll be sharing some highlights of their projects in the coming weeks. 
This is also research season for the Center for Conservation Biology, and Dr. Barrows' team continues important field research here in the desert. 

From this week's lizard survey on the Art Smith Trail, Palm Desert, the team located:  
  • 59 Chuckwallas! (46 adults and 13 juveniles)
  • 106 Side-blotched Lizards 
  • 16 Whiptail Lizards
  • 2 Desert Spiny Lizards
  • 1 Granite Spiny Lizard
  • 2 Banded Rock Lizards
  • 2 Desert Iguanas
  • 1 Leopard Lizard

While we're all sheltering in place, we love bringing the desert to you. Check out our Facebook page for some of the incredible photos from this week’s surveys, shared by Dr. Barrows. 
NEWS: UC launches grant program to spur necessary COVID-19 research
To accelerate urgently needed breakthroughs in the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of California is providing $2 million in seed funding to scientists across the state to help jump-start high-impact research projects.

Awards of up to $25,000 are available immediately, said Theresa Maldonado, Ph.D., vice president of UC’s systemwide Research and Innovation division. The goal is to help researchers begin work as soon possible, knowing that larger federal grants may take longer to be distributed.

Read more about it here .
Six daily question to ask yourself while you're in quarantine
From Greater Good Magazine at UC Berkeley comes this piece about how to check in with yourself when you're physically distant from others.

Find out more.

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