Climate Change Research - header

Springs - What we do (header)

What we do

Climate Change Research - SEGA project info

Southwest Experimental Garden Array 

Climate change is happening. We're figuring out how we can help nature adapt.

Climate Change Research - SEGA (intro)

Start date: 2014

Location: North Rim Ranches

Project goal: Determine which plant species grow the best in hot and dry conditions

The Southwest Experimental Garden Array (SEGA) is a tool that helps us study how plants will respond to climate change. We do this with different garden plots, planted at different elevations across northern Arizona. The Trust works with Northern Arizona University researchers and graduate students at four of the 10 gardens, which are spread out across the North Rim Ranches.

Climate Change Research - SEGA (plants)

Climate Change Research - SEGA (plants)

What's planted in the gardens?

We're studying different subspecies of Southwest white pine at each of our four garden sites. Our gardens, which range from 4,000 feet in House Rock Valley, to 8,000 feet on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, naturally simulate climate change. The lower the elevation, the warmer the temperatures. So far, researchers have found that even though more seedlings die at lower elevations, the ones that survive adapt to warmer temperatures by using water more efficiently.

Climate Change Research - what are we measuring

What are we measuring? 

We are collecting data on the seedlings' growth, noting new shoots, buds, and general health. This information will help us determine which subspecies do the best in hotter and drier conditions.

Shots from the field

Michael Remke
Michael Remke
Michael Remke

Climate Change Research - outdoor classroom

Climate Change Research - outdoor classroom

A learning laboratory

We work with AP biology students from Flagstaff-area high schools each year, using the SEGA gardens as outdoor classrooms. We've built garden boxes, placed irrigation lines, and planted seedlings. Now we're measuring seedlings and recording data. Read about how one high schooler took SEGA back to her school courtyard ›

Climate Change Research - why matters

Why does climate change research matter?

Climate change is happening now, and we have to adapt.

Humans have a leg up on adapting to climage change by being able to quickly move or change. But animals and plants need time, and may also need our help. We can use the lessons we learn from the Southwest Experimental Garden Array to build more resilient forests. As fires, drought, and diseases intensify on the Colorado Plateau, we can plant species we know will thrive in the changing conditions.

Volunteer - CTA (volunteer with us)

Volunteer with us!

Volunteers in Action Blog


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