Meet Your Neighbor: Cochran teaches school children about Sonoran Desert

Rich Cochran (submitted photo)

Name: Rich Cochran

Where I live: Scottsdale, at the foot of the McDowell Mountains

When & why I moved here: My wife and I bought our current house in 1999 and moved to Scottsdale permanently in 2002. We relocated to Arizona because of the wonderful climate and wide variety of cultural, educational and recreational activities in the area.

What I like most about living here: I like the sunshine, the blue skies and the open spaces. I also enjoy the relatively easy accessibility of cultural and sporting events.

Activities I enjoy: I enjoy reading science fiction, studying scientific subjects, hiking slowly in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve so I can enjoy its biodiversity, traveling and attending the symphony and Cardinals football games.

Clubs/organizations I’m involved in: I volunteer with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and with the Hasbrouck Insect Collection at Arizona State University’s Natural History Collection.

My favorite charity or volunteer activity and why it deserves support from others? The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, which provides volunteers to operate, maintain and advocate for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the largest urban preserve in North America, deserves the support of local residents. The Conservancy conducts research on sustaining the Preserve and offers a variety of educational programs. It is important to preserve this part of the Sonoran Desert for the enjoyment of future generations.

My No. 1 suggestion to new residents looking for ways to get involved in their community: Participate in community activities and become a volunteer in an activity or area you enjoy.

What one thing would you like to see changed in Scottsdale? I would like to see more active investment in repairing and upgrading the City’s infrastructure.

My family: My wife Gloria is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Scottsdale. Our two adult children reside in Arizona as does our grandson.

What I do: After I retired from the practice of medicine as a pathologist, I became a steward with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. As a steward, I enjoy teaching school children about the Sonoran Desert through the Conservancy’s Nature Guide program. I am currently Vice-Chair of the Conservancy’s Board of Directors. Learn more at:

People who are an inspiration to me: I am inspired by people who improve the lives of others through their actions.

My advice to today’s youth: Obtain a good and well-rounded education.

To volunteer in the city of Scottsdale visit

The Scottsdale Independent publishes a free daily newsletter. A print edition is mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses each month. If you value our journalistic mission, please consider showing us your support.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable. Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment