Thicket of Diversity
PO Box 113
Saratoga, TX 77585
September 16, 2015
Press Release: Summer 2015- Big Thicket National Preserve Field Research Station
Summer 2015 activities at the Big Thicket National Preserve Field Research Station began with a flurry of activities and ended with a General Membership Meeting of the East Texas Black Bear Task Force.
On May 26-28 Alison Pollard of the Houston Zoo brought ExxonMobil sponsored 2015 Collegiate Conservation Program interns to the Big Thicket to learn about the piney woods habitat and to practice conservation field techniques.
In June researchers from near and far convened at the station to participate in a Mini Bioblitz and to conduct species inventories through the Thicket of Diversity All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory. The Field Research Station provides a classroom, small lab, dormitory space, laundry equipment and a kitchen. Individual or small groups may be housed at the site if their work is Big Thicket education related.
Dr. Thomas Powers, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, gave a Big Thicket Nematode Workshop and continued roundworm inventory with his team of researchers. Edward Realzola, a Sam Houston State University gyrinidae researcher, assisted. David Lewis, President of the Gulf States Mycological Society, hosted a Bi-annual fungi collecting trip in the Lance Rosier Unit and a Fungi Blitz and workshop, and Lijin Zeng of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory worked on Breeding Bird Monitoring surveys.
In July Shawn Benedict of The Nature Conservancy and his fire crew utilized the facility to house a crew for prescribed burning, a practice necessary for healthy ecosystem management. Evelyn Anemaet of the National Wetlands Research Center conducted fieldwork at bald cypress swamps in the Beaumont, Big Sandy Creek and Lance Rosier Units.
In August, Edward Realzola returned to continue his gyrinidae research and to survey sites for bryophytes.
Ashley Lovell of Texas Land Conservancy delivered an educational presentation at the East Texas Black Bear Task Force summer meeting. Black bears are slowly and naturally returning to the forests of East Texas.
The Field Research Station was also used for meetings of the Big Thicket Association, the Thicket of Diversity and Big Thicket National Preserve staff for planning and management purposes.
The Big Thicket National Preserve Field Research Station is hidden in the small town of Saratoga. The facility serves as a hub of activity for exciting science and environmental research, projects all worthy of expansion and support.
Mary Catherine Johnston
Credit for Photos: NPS/Herbert Young
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