Social studies educational resources at Las Cienegas National Conservation Area relate to cultural history, geography, and citizenship in action.
Follow a link below or scroll down for all resources.
Learn about the cultural history of Las Cienegas, including archaeology, ranching, and interactive timelines.
Las Cienegas geography resources include geo-education, teaching with GIS, and more.
Citizenship in Action
The power of collaborative conservation is at the heart of citizenship in action to protect the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.
The Las Cienega National Conservation Area has a rich cultural history. Learn more about this history through the following educational resources:
- The Bureau of Land Management’s archaeology program
- Of Marshes and Maize: Preceramic Agricultural Settlements at Las Cienegas by Bruce Huckell
- Archaeology of the Tucson Basin – Downtown Underground
Ranching at Las Cienegas
- Empire Ranch Foundation
- Oral histories of life at the Empire Ranch
- Empire Ranch digital exhibit hosted by the University of Arizona
Interactive Timelines and Other Examples/Ideas for Displaying Information
- Cienega Watershed Timeline project: a really cool, interactive timeline showing many events in the Cienega Watershed.
- Shared History of the Upper Gila Watershed
- Google Timeline (Examples):
- Google Timeline (Tutorial/Training Materials):
- Open Source Timeline Template:
- Cows and Fish in Alberta:
- Community Mapping in Toronto [murmur]
- Somerville, MA:
- Oral histories of people who have lived and worked in the Cienega watershed.
- Through Our Parents’ Eyes is a collection of digital resources about the people of Southern Arizona.
- Colossal Cave Mountain Park – the park is north of Las Cienegas.
- STEM/Geography lesson – The Rain Saved Us uses oral histories and math to teach about how people cope with drought in Southern Arizona.
Check out the following books for additional cultural history insight into the Las Cienegas area:
- Empire Ranch by Gail Waechter Corkill and Sharon E. Hunt
- Around Sonoita by Betsy Barr
- Echoes Down the Century: Memories from the Patagonia and Sonoita Creek Valley by Mary Whetzel
- The View from Bald Hill: Thirty Years in an Arizona Grassland by Carl and Jane Bock
- These is My Words by Nancy Turner – a fictional journal of a young woman as she and her family struggle to build a life in the Arizona Territories, ultimately settling near Cienega Creek.
- A shared history exercise in which stakeholders talked about the history and decisions that have shaped the Cienega watershed.
General Geography Teaching Resources
- Geo-Education at National Geographic
- Arizona Geographic Alliance – an excellent source for local maps and lesson plans, many of which integrate geography and the STEM subjects
Teaching with GIS
- This document is a great map for how to get started!
- Free Esri account for educators
click on the Sign In button.
At the bottom of the options, it says ‘create public account’.
Complete the information and you’re good to go! For free!
- StoryMaps about Conservation
- A Town, a Creek and a Railroad: Environmental History of Vail Arizona
- Interactive Maps of Pima County Watersheds – look at the Understanding Water map
How to use this in the classroom – here’s an activity from National Geographic that can be adapted.
- Maps of Tucson Washes
- Pima Association of Governments Tucson Regional Watershed Map – an excellent full-color brochure
Teaching about Urban Growth
- A documentary about Phoenix’s rapid growth and the implications on the community’s sense of place. The site has lesson plans for the film.
- Sonoran Institute
Citizenship in Action
The Power of Collaborative Conservation
The story of how Las Cienegas NCA became a protected area in the face of other influential interests is an excellent case study of how concerned citizens and scientists can achieve a goal by working together.
Brief background reading about how Las Cienegas gained federal protection status.
- Digital access to a chapter which details the conservation story of Las Cienegas
- View a shared history exercise that occurred on November 29, 2011 by individuals who work together to care for the area
Local groups that conduct restoration work for the health of the local watersheds include:
For additional information, please contact us.