Ray Turner (1927-2018) was a research botanist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Tucson before his retirement in 1989. He worked well into his 80s, and much of his final work dealt with adding to long-term research on saguaros in the northern Sonoran Desert. Turner and his colleague, Rod Hastings, started work on saguaros in 1959 in response to a general research push within the academic community of southern Arizona to understand long-term growth rates, demography, and fate of saguaros. Turner's multi-pronged approach included permanent plots that measured mortality, recruitment, and growth rates as well as some rudimentary physiological measurements looking at water uptake. His legacy of research is the reason why we have a broad understanding of the complicated responses of saguaros to climate change and land use across the northern Sonoran Desert.
Please be sure to come and enjoy some historical information gathered by one of our saguaro research pioneers, Ray Turner. Welcome our new members and visitors and also, make some new friends. Visit our library and check out an excellent book! During the break, you will want to enjoy the great refreshments and also, try your luck to win some of the plants available in the raffle. Stay until the end of the meeting and get your free plant offered to you by the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society.