Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter, 2000, 3:15
© 2000 by Chelonian Research Foundation

Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter

Environmental Education Kiosks Feature Multi-Media Programming for Mojave Desert Visitors

Michael J. Connor
Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, 4067 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501;

The Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc., a nonprofit environmental organization based in Riverside, California, has launched a Mojave Desert-wide outreach program called the Mojave Desert Discovery Centers. The Discovery Centers feature an interactive CD-Rom web site, videotape presentations about the desert and its wildlife, and customized maps and brochures to guide visitors to featured desert attractions.

The first phase of this innovative approach to environmental education involves locating Discovery Center kiosks at three Mojave Desert locations:

§ California Welcome Center, Barstow, California
§ Joshua Tree National Park, Cottonwood Visitor Center, California
§ Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

“The Mojave Desert Discovery Centers offer a unique way for the Committee to fulfill one of its major goals: to provide information and education to the public on the threatened tortoise and its habitat, and on the associated plants and animals that share its desert ecosystem,” says executive director, Michael Connor.

“The Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee has leveraged technology to reach out to diverse audiences throughout the Mojave Desert,” says project manager Jun Y. Lee. “Unlike traditional visitor center concepts, the Discovery Centers are mobile and can be deployed in areas where recreational visitors congregate.”

“We estimate that more than 500,000 people per year will interact with the Discovery Centers at the initial three locations,” says Min Yang, AIA of the design firm Project: Architecture.

The Mojave Desert Discovery Center program was made possible by a significant contribution from the late Joan Leslie Dotzenrod and the generous support of members of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc.

Additional information about the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc. and its programs may be found at its website,