Water comes to the American Southwest in cloudbursts and monsoons, in flash floods that turn dust to fertile soil overnight. For centuries human populations have adapted to episodic rainfall culturally and technologically, using water-sparing methods not unlike those seen in native plants and animals. In this course we will spend the first few weeks learning about the peoples, climates, and ecological communities along the Mexico/US border and up into the Mogollon highlands and mountains of Arizona and New Mexico, with emphasis on the Colorado River Basin. There will be an optional joint trip with OPRA to the lower Colorado. Students will be responsible for all travel expenses. This course is part of the Southwest Studies Program at Hampshire College.