Download the complete preliminary list of 2017 Education and Training Opportunities to be offered at the 24th Annual Conference.


Three uniquely Southwest field trips for you to experience New Mexico!

Visit a sky island via the world’s second-longest tramway, the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, or the Southwest’s first urban wildlife refuge…take advantage of these three incredible conference field trips custom designed for TWS conference-goers!

Important note: Since these trips are being offered Sunday through Wednesday, we expect them to sell out quickly. Field trips must be selected and paid for on conference pre-registration. No onsite field trip registration will be offered.


Sandia Peak Tramway

When most people think of New Mexico, they think about the desert. Few people realize that the Albuquerque Basin, situated in the Chihuahuan Desert, is surrounded by 10,000-foot mountain peaks. More than 11 million people have stepped aboard the Sandia Peak Tramway to take in the breathtaking views on the way to the Sandia Crest in the Cibola National Forest, traversing several altitudinal life zones before arriving at a true sky island 10,378 feet above sea level that overlooks 11,000 square miles of New Mexico.

Visit the spectacular Sandia Crest and learn about this beautiful, but complicated, national forest area:

  • Ascend more than 4,000 feet in roughly 15 minutes on the longest U.S. aerial tramway (2.7 miles long), and the second-longest in the world…
  • See how altitude influences wildlife distributions in the Southwest…
  • Learn how Cibola National Forest staff manage this complicated area…



  • Sunday, Sept. 24, 1-5 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 25, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 27, 1-5 p.m.

Cost: $55


Valle de Oro Urban Wildlife Refuge

How do you build an urban National Wildlife Refuge from scratch in the shadow of Superfund sites in just a handful of years? At the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge you will discover how a 570-acre former dairy farm is gradually being transformed through a vast network of partnerships, citizen science and community engagement into a riverside oasis that already provides habitat to over 200 bird species and is a central hub for conservation education along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque’s south valley.

Visit Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the Southwest’s first urban wildlife refuge to:

  • See how a Wildlife Refuge is environmental justice in action…
  • Learn how partnerships with a wide variety of organizations have been critical building blocks toward success…



  • Monday, Sept. 25, 8-11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 26, 8-11 a.m.

Cost: $25


Acoma Pueblo Sky City

This year’s conference theme, Wildlife Conservation: Crossroads of Cultures, will resonate beyond session rooms with this unique field trip to the Acoma Pueblo Sky City. Regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, the settlement is situated atop a sheer-walled, 367-foot sandstone mesa about 64 miles outside Albuquerque. With year-round sunshine and an altitude of 6,460 feet, you’ll take in breathtaking views and amazing rock formations on a 3/4-mile-long tour. Featuring the educational tour, cultural exhibits and even shopping, the half-day trip allows conference attendees to experience customary Native traditions and learn about the history of the Acoma Pueblo and the Southwest.

Visit Acoma Pueblo Sky City, North America’s oldest continuously inhabited community, to:

  • Tour the cultural architecture of the Pueblo…
  • Experience the history of the Southwest, from Acoma’s initial role as the home to the Anasazi people, to the thirteenth century founding of the Pueblo, which is still alive and well as a community and touchstone for Native Americans in the area and nationwide…
  • View a window in time where Native people carry on customary traditions such as Native American pottery making and tribal celebrations…



  • Monday, Sept. 25, 1-5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 26, 1-5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 27, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Cost: $55