February 22, 2015


fieldOn February 19-21, BRI staff and students attended the 51st annual Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society meeting in Corpus Christi. This annual gathering provides opportunities for us to share the most recent findings from BRI research projects, meet with other researchers, and learn about projects going on across the state and beyond. This year BRI and Sul Ross were very well represented as students participated in workshops and competitions, and presented papers and posters on research findings.

A total of 39 people from Sul Ross attended the conference, including 13 undergraduate students, 21 graduate students, and 5 faculty and staff members.

The plant ID team, coached by graduate student J.C. Kiddo Campbell, consisted of undergraduate students: Jill Morgan, Cameron Goebel, Jorge Bustamante and Raleigh Darnell. The team competed in the plant ID competition where they tested their knowledge of plants from across the state. A team from Sul Ross also competed in the annual Quiz Bowl competition which tests student’s knowledge on a variety of Natural Resource Management related topics. This year’s quiz bowl team was coached by graduate student Taylor Garrison, consisted of undergraduate students: Bowie Adams, Jill Morgan, Cameron Goebel, Katey Watson, and Michael McKay. Sul Ross graduate students Justin French and John Stone were responsible for putting together the questions that were used for this year’s quiz bowl competition, and did a great job running the competition along with the help of graduate students Thomas Janke, and Skyler Stevens. Additionally, several students participated in the photo contests, including Skyler Stevens who won 1st place in the “landscape” category and 3rd place in the “wildlife” category, and Bobby Allcorn who won 1st place in the “work” category.

Professional presentations were made by 7 of our graduate students and research scientists. Graduate student Justin French presented his research, (“Estimating capacity of available forage to sustain pronghorn in the Trans-Pecos”) in the Clarence Cottam award competition. Additional graduate student presentations were made by: Thomas Janke (“Utilization distributions and movements of translocated desert bighorn sheep in the Bofecillos Mountains, Texas”); Bobby Allcorn (“Small mammal response to wildfire on the Marfa Grasslands, Texas”); Ernesto Garcia Ortega (“Habitat utilization and weather effects on scaled quail before and during the nesting season in the Trans-Pecos, Texas”); John Stone (“Utilizing hunter harvest for disease surveillance”); and Taylor Garrison, who make two presentations, (“Movements of translocated pronghorn in Trans-Pecos Texas”), and (“Survival of translocated pronghorn in Trans-Pecos, Texas”). BRI research scientist Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy also presented on his research (“Prediction of pronghorn stress during translocation”).

Several students also participated in the poster presentations. Undergraduate student and McNair scholar Cameron Goebel presented her poster (“Black bear den emergence in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park”), and undergraduate student Michael McKay presented his poster (“Pronghorn fawn survival in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas”). Posters were also presented by graduate students Skyler Stevens (“Activity patterns of black bears and other mammals in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park, Texas”), Ryan Anthony (“Invertebrate and seed bank potential of moist soil management units in west Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley”), and Grant Lawrence (“Development and evaluation of prototype feral pig toxicants”).

On Friday night, BRI hosted the second annual Sul Ross Alumni mixer, sponsored by Big Bend Brewing Company. The mixer was attended by over 60 people including: Sul Ross students and staff; alumni; and friends. A great time was had by all.

Other representatives of Sul Ross not mentioned by name above include faculty and staff: Dr. Louis Harveson, Dr. Ryan Luna, Katie Dennison and Bill Broyles; graduate students: Carlos Gonzalez, Josh Cross, Ron Jankowiak, Daniel Tidwell, Liz Oaster, James Eddy, Karlee Cork, Brenda Gallegos, Jim Wyche, Jose Etchart and Eduardo Tijerina; and undergraduate students: Carolina Medina, Chris Wood, Lexie Romine, Destinee Love, Bailey Walker, and Alec Ritzell.