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Traditional Desert Food and Medicine with ethnobotanist Martha Burgess

February 8, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

DRBI is proud to host a presentation and discussion with renowned ethnobotanist Martha Burgess. By sharing her deep knowledge in traditional ethnobotany and nutrition Martha will open our eyes to the how desert cultures have lived sustainably for centuries within the desert environment.

Click here to learn about an upcoming session on Traditional Desert Medicines and Foods. Feb 8 2022, at 5:00 pm Pacific time.

Participants will leave with a new understanding of the culinary and healing plants that fill the desert, as well as how to both utilize and respect those gifts.

90 minute session on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 starting:  8:00 PM Eastern _ 7:00 PM Central  _ 6:00 PM Mountain _ 5:00 PM Pacific Time
This session is complimentary however a donation today helps DRBI continue to offer exceptional content to you. Thank you in advance. Please donate here.  And note, donors still need to register for the course.


Presenter Biography:  Martha Burgess Research Associate and Adjunct Professor, Tohono O’odham Community College.

Martha Burgess’ professional career has involved teaching others about traditional desert ethnobotany and nutrition, the desert environment— its plants, landscapes, animal relationships—and cultural ways people have lived traditionally and sustainably in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem.

Photo of Martha Burgess picking desert food from a tree. She wears a white loose shirt with colorful pants and a beige sun hat.She was mentored by Tohono O’odham elders in traditional wild-harvesting and cultivation of desert foods and medicines.  Following the model she was given; she teaches as an adjunct professor at Tohono O’odham Community College courses related to Tohono O’odham ethnobotany.  In addition she teaches seasonal classes and workshops in wild-food harvesting, gastronomy, and cookery for organizations such as Presidio Museum Tucson, Mission Garden, NativeSeedsSEARCH, and Pima County Parks and Recreation.

For the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Martha founded, coordinated and guided the members’ study tour program consisting of natural history hikes, Native foods workshops, and expeditions throughout Arizona, Sonora, Baja California, and the Sea of Cortez.  Later, she served as Education Director for NativeSeedsSEARCH, running the Diabetes Outreach Program to O’odham schools, and founded outreach events such as La Fiesta de los Chiles and la Fiesta de San Juan to create public awareness of genetic diversity in our local foods.

With her business ‘Flor de Mayo’, Martha provides access to traditional foods, along with nutritional and horticultural information.  For the past eight years she has volunteered as designer and consultant for time-period gardens at Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace Mission Garden. With an ability to express natural sciences in lay terms, she has also contributed to several publications such as  ‘Edible Baja Arizona’, ‘Desert Plants’, ‘AZNPS The Plant Press’, and ‘ASDM sonorensis’.

As climate changes and water becomes ever more limiting, Martha’s vision is for the Sonoran Desert’s native plants to again become sustainable participants in regional food security.



February 8, 2022
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST




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