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Student Information


What to Bring

Sleeping bag or blankets & sheets
Flashlight with spare bulb and batteries
Boots or sturdy walking shoes
Writing materials essential
Toilet articles, towel, washcloth
Winter: layered clothing and gloves
Summer: bathing suit and sandals
First aid kit
Camera and film
Cooler and drinks
Extra set of car keys
Alarm clock

Dry Goods, Automobile Services, and Other Supplies

No dry goods, automobile, or other supplies are available at the Center. Baker has several stores, gas, fuel, automotive, and other services.

The Southern California Automobile Association number is (800) 400-4222. Off-road service fees are charged by the tow services.

Remember, the desert can be very cold and windy in winter and early spring and very warm to hot at other times.


As a desert field station of the California State University, standards of conduct established for CSU campuses apply here. Our regulations also prohibit:
Loud or boisterous behavior after 10 pm
Illegal drugs
Alcohol abuse
The Desert Studies Center is located within the Mojave National Preserve, and encompasses several sensitive habitats, archeaological and historical sites, and a pond and spring containing Mojave Tui Chub, an endangered fish. Therefore, please do no collect any material, plants or animals without prior authorization and do not wade or throw anything into the ponds.

For Your Safety

If you leave the Center, tell the Manager where you are going and when you plan to return. Never hike alone. Take plenty of water along. Wear hiking boots and a hat. Exercise care while walking or working in the field. It is good practice to empty your shoes and shake your clothing before putting them on. The emergency telephone numbers at the Center are (714) 936-0461 or (714) 732-8326. There is no public telephone at the Center, however, emergency calls can be made. Please contact the Site Manager or the Site Steward.


Sleeping accommodations are dormitory style with two to 12 individuals sharing each room. Bedding is not available. Furnishings include beds, mattresses, chairs, tables, and mirrors. Cleanup procedures are posted in or near each room. Please clean your room before departure. The central bathhouse has hot showers and flush toilets. Minimally equipped kitchen stations provide space for group food preparation. The tap water at Soda Springs is not satisfactory for drinking because of its high salt content, which can have a laxative effect. Drinking water is available in the kitchen at a special tap labeled "potable water." Do not fill water bottles from the bathhouse sinks. Please help us conserve drinking water. There are no cold beverages available at the Center. You may bring your own ice chest and provisions. If your meals are being provided by the Center, please call the administrative office in Fullerton if you have special dietary requirements and we shall try to accommodate your needs.

Power is provided continuously. However outside lighting turns off at 10 pm. Motion sensors activate lights in the bathhouse after 10 pm.

Desert Studies Center Administration

The Desert Studies Center, a desert field station dedicated to research and teaching on topics related to the desert, is operated at Soda Springs by a consortium of campuses of the California State University under an agreement with the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Soda Springs is a unique natural environment with rich cultural resources. The administrative office of the Desert Studies Center may be contacted by writing or phoning:

California Desert Studies Consortium
c/o Department of Biological Science
California State University, Fullerton
P.O. Box 34080
Fullerton, California 92634-9480
Phone: (657) 278-2428
Fax: (657) 278-4289
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