Sky Island Near Las Vegas Valley

Friday, July 21 | 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Co-Presentation with Dr. El Hachemi Bouali

The Spring Mountains are considered a “sky island” where endemic species are stuck at high elevations as they cannot cross the arid Mojave to get to the next mountain range. Dr. El and Dr. Sigel are investigating microbes in the springs to see, among other things, if they can find any endemic bacteria or archaea that may ultimately be useful for pharmaceutical production. The topic of this talk includes a decent introduction that includes the geology of the last ice age (which includes large mammal fossils found at Tule Springs) before this area of Las Vegas became a desert.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation, the audience will have a greater understanding of the geology of the last ice age and how it has influenced the desert surrounding Las Vegas in modern times; the concept of ‘Sky Islands’ that exist in the Spring Mountains close to the city of Las Vegas; how bacteria or archaea that is endemic to the Las Vegas region may be useful for pharmaceutical production

Keywords: Geology, Pharmaceutical, Sky Islands, water, chemistry, ice age, Las Vegas Valley

About the Presenter
Dr. Sigel is a conservation ecologist interested in how human activities affect biodiversity. He was inspired to pursue a career in ecology by his professors at the University of California Los Angeles, and by participating in undergraduate research opportunities there, which included a field course in the tropical rainforest of Nicaragua. He received a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Tulane University and a BS in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from the University of California Los Angeles. Currently, he is Associate Professor of Biology at Nevada State College, where he strives to provide his students equally engaging experiential learning and to inspire future generations of scientists.