Nancy M. Flagg

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Curriculum Material

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The Red Rock Desert Learning Center, formerly known as Oliver Ranch, is a 300-acre parcel acquired by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 1993 and incorporated into the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The Desert Learning Center is being designed to teach participants about the natural world through inquiry-based experiential and interdisciplinary methods in a residential outdoor setting in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located outside metropolitan Las Vegas, Nevada. The intent is for students, teachers, and researchers to gain an appreciation of desert ecosystems and to begin to apply and connect their knowledge to world ecological systems.

The Red Rock Desert Learning Center campus will incorporate many “green building” systems in its design and operation, and those systems will be an active part of the school’s curriculum. The curriculum is designed to be involving, flexible, and experiential, with programming that may be adjusted to span anywhere from one to four days—although the preferred model is a multi-day, intensive experience. While the primary focus of the curriculum will be the life and physical sciences, students will also participate in activities related to the cultural history of the area, astronomy, technology, art, and literacy.


Curriculum planning; Desert ecology – Study and teaching; Environmental literacy; Environmental sciences – Study and teaching; Nevada


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Desert Ecology | Science and Mathematics Education