Desert Invertebrate Diversity Great and Small - a Macro Photography and Microscopy Primer

Course Number: BIOL X412.19


1 units

An introduction to the major groups of respectively macroscopic and microscopic invertebrates found in Southern California's deserts. You will learn where and when to find them, and how to observe and identify them with the aid of online tools after taking digital macro photographs in the field (in the case of insects and other animals visible to the naked eye), or with the aid of a compound microscope in the lab (for smaller animals). The first part of the course includes basic techniques for approaching and photographing different macro subjects with a compact camera or an interchangeable lens/SLR camera. In the second part, we will demonstrate:

  • simple techniques for isolating microscopic invertebrates from different materials
  • how to transfer them to microscope slides
  • how to operate a compound microscope to observe them

Available Sections

Starting Mar 10


Starting Mar 10

Course Fees



Paul De Ley [ bio ]

close [x] Paul De Ley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Nematology, UCR. As an undergraduate and graduate at the University of Ghent in Belgium, Dr. De Ley studied the taxonomy, morphology, and ultrastructure of freeliving nematodes. His subsequent postdoctoral project worked with the molecular phylogeny. His current research focuses on ecology, diversrity, and systematics of nematodes in arid ecosystems, using methods that combine light microscopy observations with DNA sequence analyses. Dr. De Ley is also an avid nature photographer with particular interest in macro photography as a tool for exploring the biodiversity of Southern California's deserts and ranges.


Sat 8:00 am-5:00 pm
Mar 10, 2018

Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 7:45 a.m.-3 p.m., Mar. 10 & 11.

Sun 7:45 am-3:00 pm
Mar 11, 2018

2 Meetings

Online Enrollment not available for this course. Please see section notes for instructions on how to enroll.


Joshua Tree National Park Association

[ map ]

Section Notes:

Students are to register through the Desert Institute at JTNP. 760-367-5535; email or visit



No Textbook Required.


No Prerequisites for this course

Applicable Certificates

Submit Feedback

Thank you for taking the time to submit your feedback about the UCR Extension website. Please be sure to include all relevant information to ensure that we can follow up with your request as soon as possible.

Add Supporting Files