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The Desert Speaks
THE DESERT SPEAKS is an Emmy award-winning series focusing on desert regions around the world. Much more than a nature documentary, THE DESERT SPEAKS presents stories about the people, cultures, plants, animals and geological features encountered on travel adventures in deserts near and far away. Host David Yetman is a research scientist at the University of Arizona's Southwest Center and is a nationally known author and accomplished photographer who specializes in the plants, geography and people of northwestern Mexico. Using boats, bikes and burros, Yetman takes viewers from Bolivia to Baja California, bringing his boundless enthusiasm, energy and knowledge to the series.

Below is a list of broadcasts scheduled to air in the next 60 days on any of our three channels.

Episode #1910
Navajo Canyon Lands
The creation of Lake Powell forced the evacuation of many Navajo families and forever changed the lives of many others. Today, host David Yetman and his brother, Geologist Dick Yetman, travel with native Navajo families to learn some of the geological and spiritual history of the Glen Canyon region.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri May 29th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1401
The Driest Desert in The World
The Pan-American Highway stretches thousands of miles from Alaska to the southern tip of Chile and includes a jaunt through the extremely arid coastal desert of Peru. From Peru's capital city of Lima, hit the road on an adventure through this "driest desert in the world." The first stop is the Ballestas Islands 15 miles off the coast and home to a rich array of marine life. Get an up-close look at the marine mammals and millions of sea and shore birds. Learn how the cold Humboldt Current attracts the wildlife to the islands and contributes to the dry desert on the mainland. Along the way, marvel at a 600-foot geoglyph of a San Pedro cactus carved into a hillside hundreds of years ago. The road continues through the desert town of Ica and its oasis surrounded by immense sand dunes, which encompass more than 1,000 square miles of shifting sand. Finally, visit Toro Muerto - essentially a large canvas of rock and sand that contains one of the richest collections of petroglyphs in the world.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Jun 5th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1402
Ancient Andean Civilizations
La Paz, Bolivia, at nearly 12,000 feet, is one of the highest cities in the world and the mystical home to a variety of religious beliefs as evidenced by the amulets and ceremonial items sold in the Witches' Market in the city center. The surrounding countryside holds the remains of the Tiahuanacos whose culture, impressive rockwork and irrigation accomplishments were a source of inspiration to the Incas. After exploring the archeological wonders of the area, take a side trip down the aptly-named "Most Dangerous Road in the World" - a narrow, precipitous dirt road that snakes its way along the sheer cliffs of the Andes. Then, it's off to Lake Titicaca to examine the traditional reed boats used to transfer stones across the lake for use at Tiahuanaco. Finally, hop on a more modern vessel to visit Isla del Sol, the legendary birthplace of the sun and the Grand Inca and home to the mysterious Temple of the Sun - said to be the origin of the Incas.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Jun 12th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1403
People and Their Prickly Plants
Enjoy a slice of the cactus-collecting life with a look into the ways people collect and enjoy some of the oddest plants in the world, then head to Scottsdale, Arizona to see the largest private collection of desert-area plants in the world. Also on the itinerary are visits to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and an amazing collection at Bach's Nursery in Tucson, Arizona, where they have a better success rate with their individually raised saguaro cacti than Mother Nature herself. Finally, travel on Interstate 10 to Los Angeles for North America's largest cactus and succulent show - the Olympics of cactus cultivation.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Jun 19th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1404
The Lost Palm Weavers of Sonora
The Opatas were probably the largest aboriginal group in what is now Sonora, Mexico but by the 1950s anthropologists could not locate a single speaker of the native language. While the people may be extinct, the Opatas left behind numerous traditions. Join the search in Buena Vista, Sonora for the descendants of Opata palm weavers and explore the tradition of native palm weaving that has survived through the centuries. The women still weave in "hookies" - small underground cellars that provide the cool and humid climate needed to maintain the elasticity of the palms for weaving.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Jun 26th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1405
Monumental Dunes
The accumulation of wind-blown sand into a dune marks the beginning of one of Nature's most interesting and beautiful phenomena. In addition to the remarkable structure and patterns of sand dunes, they also provide habitats for a variety of wildlife. The arid regions of the southwestern United States contain a vast variety of dune systems. Visit three groups of sand dunes located on public land in the United States. First, explore a set of dunes that sit at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and are fenced in by two river systems complete with stands of Aspen trees. Learn how these river boundaries affect the nearby dunes and inspect the insects that call the dunes their home. Next, travel to the base of the Guadalupe Mountains in west Texas where a tiny gypsum dune system plays host to wildflowers on its edges and rodents living within. Finally, visit White Sands National Monument in New Mexico and examine ancient hearths built by Native Americans who made the trek to the dunes to escape the harsh mountain winters.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Jul 3rd @ 7:00 am

Episode #1406
Tracks in The Shifting Sand
Explore one of the largest dune fields in North America at the Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area. The Algodones Dunes in Southern California stretch across more than two hundred square miles and are visited by more than 1.4 million people each year, most of whom use some sort of off-road vehicle. A state highway splits the northern part of the dune field between wilderness and recreational area, but the task of monitoring the usage creates problems of its own. In stark contrast, the Gran Desierto Dunes are characterized by magnificent isolation. Located in Mexico, these dunes lie within a biosphere reserve and are further protected from large crowds by a nearly inaccessible road built essentially from well-placed trash and old tires. See firsthand why this dune system is known for its unique formations created by the constantly shifting winds and how the native plants adapt to the unpredictable gusts. Finally, visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in southern Utah and become a track detective to learn what stories can be told by animal tracks left in the sand.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Jul 10th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1407
Sea To Sky: Along an Incan Road
Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes are enigmatic remains of pre-Incan cultures, with vast rock art sites, colossal effigies etched into the nearly lifeless desert and burial sites that lay forgotten under the arid land for centuries. Examine these ruins and remains before venturing to the skies for a bird's-eye view of the famed Nazca lines. These mysterious drawings in the desert floor are astonishing in their creativity and size, with images of hummingbirds, monkeys and parrots hundreds of feet long and perfectly proportioned and geometric shapes that extend for miles. Theories abound about why these images were created and how the feat was accomplished. Also, explore spiral structures that provided access to the labyrinth of underground canals and aqueducts used by the Nazcans for irrigation. The next stop is Arequipa, a former colonial capital of the Spanish that was built on an ancient Incan site. The trip ends at a burial ground on the shores of a high Andean lake that has been used for millennia and demonstrates the incredible stone-carving abilities of the Incas.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Jul 17th @ 7:00 am


This list includes any broadcasts that aired in the past 2 months on any of our three channels.

Episode #1909
Dying Traditions in a Mexican Pueblo
Host David Yetman takes a trip to the pueblos of the Sierra Madre, where traditions are slowly dying out as the big cities become more accessible to the population. After stopping to see a donkey-powered Pinole grinder made of stone, he heads to agrarian community of Sahuaripa to visit its talabarteria (a leather goods shop) and call upon the last remaining weaver of palm hats and baskets.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri May 22nd @ 7:00 am

Episode #1908
Into The Swell: Utah's High Desert
Utah's San Rafael Swell is one of the most remote and least-visited wonders of the desert southwest. Host David Yetman and his brother, Geologist Dick Yetman, camp out and explore the geology and vegetation of this intimidating stretch of desert. They also trek through Utah's Little Grand Canyon to see the pictographs and petroglyphs that were created thousands of years ago.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri May 15th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1907
Utah's Slick Rock Country
Host David Yetman and his brother, Geologist Dick Yetman, take a geological road trip to Southeastern Utah's Colorado Plateau. After hiking through an ever-changing slot canyon named Canyon X and the aptly named Kodachrome Basin State Park, they take an eerie trek through Goblin Valley State Park where the mysterious entrada rock sculptures known as "goblins" surround you from all angles.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri May 8th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1906
Jaguars and Vaqueros
Host David Yetman travels along with the Northern Jaguar Project to see how they use motion activated cameras to track jaguar movements through Eastern Sonora Mexico. By paying local ranch owners for any jaguar images captured on their land, this project working to convince the vaquero (the Mexican cowboy) that el tigre is worth more alive than dead.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri May 1st @ 7:00 am

Episode #1905
Desert Venom
Host David Yetman joins Herpatologists (reptile and amphibian researchers) in their various quests to learn more about the many venomous creatures that call the Sonoran Desert home. During the day, they track Tiger Rattlesnakes using radio implants before heading up to the mountains to observe other rattlesnake dens. At night, while studying the impact urban developments have on the movements of a Gila Monster, they encounter rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and desert toads.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Apr 24th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1904
Beyond The Asphalt Part 2
Interstate highways allow for quick trips, but they also provide a gateway to some of the most amazing places you'll ever visit. Host David Yetman travels by foot, car, bike, and motorcycle to examine the caves of Kartchner Caverns State Park, the historic sites of Tombstone, the Sandhill Cranes of Sulphur Springs Valley and the "Wonderland of Rocks" in the Chiricahua Moutains.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Apr 17th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1903
Beyond The Asphalt Part 1
Just off the highway there are a plethora of adventures awaiting the exploratory traveler. Host David Yetman heads west of Tucson to visit some of these undiscovered places. After visiting the largest dune field in the United States, we head to Yuma for a hot air balloon ride and a walk through "the hell-hole of Arizona," the Arizona Territorial Prison. Other stops include the Sonoran Desert National Monument and Picacho Peak State Park.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Apr 10th @ 7:00 am

Episode #1902
The Gadsden Purchase Part 2
Beginning at the San Pedro River and heading west, host David Yetman and Naturalist Jesus Garcia of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, journey through some of natural wonders that would not be part of the United States if it hadn't been for the Gadsden Purchase. They drive through the "sky islands" of the Pinaleno Mountains, travel through the hard-core desert of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and visit the historic desert oasis, Quitobaquito Springs before finishing off their trip at the Colorado River near Yuma, the western border of the Gadsden Purchase. Additionally, they examine the different types of border fences that affect more than just the ecological relationship between the United States and Mexico.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Apr 3rd @ 7:00 am

Episode #1901
The Gadsden Purchase Part 1
Host David Yetman and Naturalist Jesus Garcia, of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, begin in El Paso, Texas at the eastern border of the Gadsden Purchase and head west along the border to explore some of the social, political and financial ramifications of the Gadsden Purchase. They stop off at some of the historical sites along the way: a cemetery in Hachita, New Mexico, the Geronimo Surrenders Monument, and the Gadsden Hotel to name a few. After spending some time at a real desert oasis on the Slaughter Ranch, they finish off with a trip 300 feet underground on Bisbee's Queen Mine Tour.
26 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

Fri Mar 27th @ 7:00 am


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