Celebrating 50 Years of Adventure
Speaker and Lecture Series at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Speaker and Lecture Series at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

Speaker Series and Classes

Conservation Speaker Series

Learn from the experts. This enlightening Conservation Speaker Series highlights programs and projects The Living Desert supports through financial contributions, partnerships and more. We’re proud to bring world-renowned experts, researchers, biologists, and conservationists to share their stories and experiences about conservation projects happening around the world.

The Living Desert's Speaker Series is free to attend and is held at the Rancho Mirage Library located at 71-100 Highway 111.

Upcoming Lectures:

Challenges and Triumphs: Protecting the Endangered Painted Dog in a Human Dominated Landscape

Thursday, February 20  |  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Rancho Mirage Public Library

Dr. Gregory Rasmussen grew up in Zimbabwe where he developed a strong affinity for wildlife, to the point of spending all his spare time in the laboratories of the Natural History Museum. After a stint in the British Navy, he returned to Africa where he began researching the endangered painted dog (also known as the African wild dog). Founder of the Painted Dog Research Trust, Dr. Rasmussen continues his life’s research into painted dogs and also pursues a new vision. Believing that good conservation must be supported by sound science, Dr. Rasmussen is building a conservation ecology center to inspire and train tomorrow’s generation of conservationists. His mission is to mentor young Zimbabwean and international university students. On top of all that, he is one of the few people to survive a plane crash where he was stranded in Hwange National Park for a day and a half with his pelvis and both legs broken. Join us for what promises to be an exciting (and entertaining) talk about his life, his work, his vision, and solutions to protect the painted dogs of Zimbabwe.


Living Desert University


Just because you’re ‘all grown up’ doesn’t mean you’re too old for some wild education at the zoo! Through LDU we are pleased to offer adults the chance to learn more about our desert biome. We have Garden & Home tours and nature themed walks to some of the Coachella Valley’s most interesting locations—including several outings to the world-renowned Smoke Tree Ranch. 

Open to the public; however, space is limited. Fees apply.

2019 - 2020 LDU Catalog

LDU Member RegistrationLDU Non-member Registration

For more information, contact us at (760)346-5694 ext. 2505 or email

Search the Living Desert WebsiteMagnifying glass icon