Educational Resources

Books and Handbooks

Natural History of the Ironwood Forest National Monument: A Sonoran Desert Primer

“…a wonderful introduction to…geography, plants, animals…scientifically accurate but…easy to read…will make you want to visit in person…”
Dr. Mark Dimmitt, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum naturalist retired and lead scientist for initial biological survey of IFNM

Dr. Royce Ballinger, former Board of Directors member for the Friends of Ironwood Forest, retired professor of herpetology at the University of Nebraska, and former resident of Marana, has created the definitive introduction to the natural history of the Ironwood Forest National Monument. In addition to being a good read, the book features the stunning photography of Young Cage.

Email us and we will direct you on where to purchase this book in the Southern Arizona area.

Archaeology Activity Handbook for Teachers

Archaeology of the Ironwood Forest National Monument and the surrounding Tucson Basin: An introduction for teachers and parents of young children. Includes games and activities.

How to use this guide

This guide is a very basic introduction to the study of archaeology for young people, ages 6 to 16. It exposes students to several ways to better understand the things people in the past left behind, and thus the people themselves.


  • Historic Timeline and Study of the Stratigraphic Periods
  • Classroom and Home Activities
  • Pottery and Shell Designs & Symbols
  • References and Recommended Reading

Rattlesnakes are part of the natural fauna of Ironwood Forest National Monument but
visitors need not be fearful. The Mohave Rattlesnake, and How It Became an Urban
is written by Mike Cardwell, a consulting biologist with the Arizona Poison and
Drug Information Center and an adjunct researcher with San Diego State University. His
2020 book summarizes in non-technical language what biologists, toxicologists,
physicians and other experts know about Mojave Rattlesnakes and the mythical
“Mohave green,” as well as containing a wealth of information about rattlesnakes in
general and the injuries they can cause.

Order here $14.95 Soft Cover, 140 pages, 111 Photos and Maps.

Read reviews here


Ironwood Forest National Monument

Arizona Illustrated Nature Video: Ironwood Forest

National Public Lands Day (timelapse of work)

Hike The Monument- support for public lands