FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 29, 2019
STEPHENVILLE, Texas —Tarleton State University’s Department of Wildlife, Sustainability and Ecosystem Science (WSES) hosts its first BioBlitz, an intense biological survey, on the Hunewell Ranch from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6.
The Tarleton community is invited to participate and explore the biodiversity. To register as a volunteer, sign up online or visit www.tarleton.edu/ecosciences.
Hunewell Ranch, located at 4999 County Road 182 off of FM 205 eight miles east of Stephenville, encompasses approximately 1,170 acres and hosts a variety of educational endeavors. The property is home to Tarleton’s Observatory, a facility used by the university’s Program for Astronomy and Research.
For directions to Hunewell Ranch, go to https://www.tarleton.edu/observatory/map_observatory.html.
A BioBlitz, also known as a biological census, focuses on discovering and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area during a short period of time. These inventories occur every year in locations around the globe and benefit the scientists involved, the caretakers of public lands and preserves, and particularly those who attend, giving all a much better understanding of biodiversity.
Groups of experts, students, faculty and community volunteers will participate in the survey, including representatives from Tarleton’s chapters of the Fisheries Society, Entomological Society and Wildlife Society.
Participants are encouraged to download the iNaturalist smartphone app to assist in documenting species. The app is available for free on Google Play for Android and at the Apple Store for iPhone.
Several sessions are scheduled, each led by Tarleton faculty and graduate students:
• Birding, 7-8:45 a.m.
• 1st iNaturalist Mini-Blitz, 9-11 a.m. – Small groups collect photographic documentation of species.
• Herpetology outing, 9-11 a.m. – Participants learn the basics of “herping” in a field setting.
• Plant walk, 11 a.m.-noon – Small groups learn the basics of plant identification.
• Lunch, noon-12:45 p.m. – Hosted by WSES, $5.
• Observatory tours, 12:45-2:30 p.m. – Participants see the inner workings of Tarleton’s 32-inch reflecting telescope in the observatory dome.
• 2nd iNaturalist Mini-Blitz, 12:45-2:30 p.m. – Small groups collect photographic documentation of species.
• Fish, aquatic insects, diatoms and algae, 2:30-4 p.m. – Participants learn the basics of species identification in a field setting.
• 3rd iNaturalist Mini-Blitz, 4-6 p.m. – Small groups collect photographic documentation of species.
• Closing and data entry, 6-7 p.m. – All observations are uploaded to iNaturalist.
Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.
Contact: Phil Riddle, News and Information Specialist