Learn More About SymbioArtlab and Our Work on The Soul of California Podcast

Joshua Trees on The Soul of California

by Richard Dion

In this 34-minute episode, UC Santa Cruz artist/scientist Juniper Harrower places the iconic Joshua Tree in the context of the desert, her PhD research (complete with her mom and a ladder), then moves on to the implications of climate change on the tree (min. 6), and her own nod to social media’s dating power for the tree (min. 12). 

She then moves on to the balance of the throngs of tourists now visiting the park, stretching public services (min. 24), which medium she prefers to make an impact (min. 27) and closes out with her favorite spot (min.33). 

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 


More at http://thesoulofcalifornia.libsyn.com/#AZ7mHOieRkWoZKXF.99

The Mojave Project and KCET Artbound

The Mojave desert is a strange and intriguing piece of American subculture. Kim Stringfellow – transmedia documentarian and professor of art at San Diego State University, weaves a narrative with haunting imagery, video, art, and stories collected from and inspired by people of the Mojave Desert. Juniper Harrower’s Joshua tree ecology and arts research is featured in her latest dispatch by the talented writer Chris Clarke.

The Joshua Tree: Myth, Mutualism and Survival.

“Given this slender reed of hope, perhaps a bit of deliberate optimistic mythmaking is in order. But imagine those Sierra Nevada clumps of Joshua trees persisting, growing by cloning themselves, flowering often enough to maintain a population of yucca moths. Every so often a fruit with viable seed offers itself up to the local antelope ground squirrels. Every so often one of those fruits rolls downhill and to the west. In time—a long, long time, well after the last industrial farm is long forgotten and the freeways are fossilized outcrops—clonal clumps of Joshua trees appear at the mouth of the Kern River canyon on the floor of the San Joaquin Valley. They populate the southern Sierra foothills. Moth larvae delve the deeper soil of the Valley. San Joaquin antelope squirrels decide to cache Joshua tree seeds.”

Norris Center Art Residency

SymbioArtlab Creator Earns Artist Residency at UCSC's Norris Center

For this art/science collaboration, Juniper Harrower has translated her doctoral research into a narrative for stop motion animation. Joshua trees are under threat from climate change. Her ecological research focuses on how the plants are reproducing across Joshua Tree National Park, and whether the plants’ key symbiotic interactions will be affected by the changing climate.