Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




The Desert Solitaire curriculum was designed as a basis for exploring Edward Abbey's book, of the same name, in a high school field ecology class. Students read the book over a period of six weeks during the middle of the school year. Lessons were designed to aid students in exploring their home ecosystem, the Mojave Desert, via comparison with Arches National Monument as described in Desert Solitaire. This exploration fosters in students a sense of place and connection with their home environment. With little alteration, the curriculum can be used by students to examine their own ecosystem, even if it is not a desert. Furthermore, this curriculum can be used for delving into environmental issues, exploring environmental values and/or beliefs, or as an introduction to the genre of nature literature.