SNAG is a Low-Residency Field Studies program. For the 2022 non-academic year SNAG assembled applicants who wished to explore in higher resolution what it means to be an artist in the rainshadow of these rich biotic erratics. SNAG is open to all. Tuition is non-monetary and collected throughout the non-academic school year in the form of inquisitive participation and engagment.

SNAG is funded in part by MOCA Tucson’s Night Bloom Grant / The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program.

SNAG will collaboratively be produced by its participants, but is loosely facilitated by Erik Schmahl ( and Susanna Battin (

2022 - Sky Islands


Susanna Battin*
Tasha Bjelić
Rebeca Bollinger
David Dearmore
Noémie Despland-Lichtert
Kimi Eisele
David Fenster
Conor Fitzgerald
Mariana Gonzolez
Ryan Hill
Eden Kinkaid
Loren Klyne
Scott Larson
Maria Renee Johnson
Liz Scherffius
Gabb Schivone
Erik Schmahl*
Brendan Shea
Caroline Tracey
Mattea Wallace
Rachel Zollinger

Zachary Michels**
Janice Gallagher**
Jack Dash**

field guides**

Field Trips

Field Trip #1: Zircons & Elevation Markers

Date: March 6th, 2022
Location: Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina Highway from the Tucson basin to the peak of Mt. Lemmon

  • Experiencing Elevation “Are We High Yet?”, psychogeographic exercise led by Erik Schmahl
  • Geologic primer w/ guest Zachary Michels SEM Lab Manager/Arizona LaserChron Center
  • Geologic poetry/art selections compiled by Loren Klyne and Maria Renée Johnson

    Field Trip #2: Deep Tree Time

    Date: April 17th, 2022
    Location: Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, Bryant Bannister Tree-Ring Building, University of Arizona

    • Dendrochronology Primer - climate history and abiotic systems read through biotic system of trees w/ guest Paul Sheppard
    • Laboratory of Tree Ring Research Facility Tour w/ guest Janice Gallagher

    Field Trip #3: Sky Tide Pools

    Date: May 1st, 2022
    Location: Madera Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains

    • Plant Walk & Talk led by ecologist Jack Dash
    • “Becoming Animal” movement exercises led by Kimi Eisele
    • Flora poetry selections compiled by Loren Klyne

    Field Trip #4: Finding Histories

    Date: May 29th, 2022
    Location: Santa Catalina Mountains, Gordon Hirabayashi Campground to Sycamore Reservoir [hike, 4 mi]

    • Arizona’s Geographies of Incarceration, guided itinerary by Scott Larson
    • Documentation/Storytelling methods & activities by SNAG

    Reading List

    Cronon, William. “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.” Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, edited by William Cronon, 1st ed., W. W. Norton and Company, 1996, pp. 69–90.

    Wendy Moore. “Sky Islands.” A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert, edited by Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Second, University of California Press, 2015, pp. 20–23.

    Bjornerud, Marcia. “Prologue: The Allure of Timelessness” & “Chapter 1: A Call for Timefulness.” Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, Illustrated, Princeton University Press, 2018, pp. 1–20.

    “Tohono O’odham Creation Story.” Hanksville.Org,

    Solnit, Rebecca. “The Overview: Elements of a New Landscape.” As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, University of Georgia Press, 2003, pp. 45–62.

    Hastings, James Rodney, and Raymond Turner. The Changing Mile. First Edition, University of Arizona Press, 1965.

    Yetman, David, et al. “A Saguaro Primer” & “The Ecology of the Saguaro.” The Saguaro Cactus: A Natural History, University of Arizona Press, 2020, pp. 3–17, 35–78.

    Haraway, Donna. “Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene.” Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Duke University Press Books, 2016, pp. 30–57.

    Sheridan, Thomas. “The Political Ecology of a Desert State.” Arizona: A History, Revised Edition, First, University of Arizona Press, 2012, pp. 399–413.

    Shimoda, Brandon. “State of Erasure: Arizona’s Place, and the Place of Arizona, in the Mass Incarceration of Japanese Americans.” The Margins, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 20 Jan. 2020,

    Luis Aldama, Frederick. “Graphic Reclamations: A Foreward.” La Voz De M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo Vol. 1, edited by Henry Barajas and Jason Gonzales, Top Cow, 2019, pp. 1–2.

    Le Guin, Ursula K. The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. Ignota Books, 2020.

    Screening List

    The Hidden Life of Trees (2020), directed by Jörg Adolph
    Viewed 04/19/2020 at The Loft Cinema w/ introduction by Dr. Kelly Heilman, University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree Ring Research

    Gordon Hirabayashi (2020), directed by David Fenster, Arizona Public Media

    Double Time (2022), directed by Ashley Hunt (2-channel video)