The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dr. Bonar and Chelsea Powers develop desert fishes exhibit at Sabino Canyon Visitor Area

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

SNRE student Chelsea Powers and Dr. Scott Bonar have just finished an exhibit for the USFS Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. The exhibit features high definition underwater footage of Gila chub in Sabino Creek, interspersed with facts on the importance of protecting desert fishes and riparian areas in Arizona including their benefits to AZ economy, ecology, and heritage. It’s been put together into a short film that is playing on a large ultra-high definition TV in the visitor center in order to bring the underwater environment in the desert to life. Chelsea will be conducting human dimensions research to examine the exhibit's use and community interest.

This project makes use of Scott's lab’s work using high-speed videography and infrared imaging to monitor cryptic desert aquatic species and their habitats. This pilot exhibit is a foray into using these techniques for education. Dr. Bonar hopes to improve the lab's techniques even more in the future, and to collaborate with other scientists who are interested in using similar technologies for education and outreach.

Thanks very much to the collaborators on the project: The Desert Fish Council, AZGFD’s Don Mitchell, USFS’s Josh Taiz, UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Dave Bogner (and the Bonar family’s resident graphic designer Sophia Bonar).