CLASS OF 2018 UNDERWAY
The 2018 class of the Tierra Grande Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists has been chosen and will be having their first class soon.
The class this year will receive training at Fort Davis State Park, Balmorrhea State Park, The Nature Conservancy at Davis Mountains Preserve, Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area and Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Topics covered will include but not limited to interpretation, forest ecology, herpetology, ornithology, botany, hydrology, geology, soils, range management and archaeology. Instructors come from Sul Ross State University, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and from our own rank and file master naturalists.
The first class of the year was at the state park in Ft. Davis, The class was introduced to each other, given texts and took a short hike guided by Joey Benton and Faith Gay. Urban ecology and plants seen along the way were discussed. After class there was a chapter meeting that included a meet and greet session for the new members to meet some of the current membership.
The second training session was August 17-19 at the Nature Conservancy in the Davis Mountains. This was a busy weekend with forest ecology, interpretation, botany, herpetology, VMS and other topics discussed. Saturday was the infamous hike led by John Karges, Jeffrey Keeling, and Tara Poloskey. Petei Guth assisted with plant identification along the trail. Dr. Zech of Sul Ross presented lectures on taxonomy and botany Sunday.
September 7-8 the class met at the Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area where they studied wildlife managment, mammalogy, range management,soils and archaeology. A talk on dark skies and the dark sky work being done to benefit the McDonald Observatory was given by Bill Wren.
The next training session was at Balmorrhea State Park where waters, ichthyology, laws and regulations, ornithology, wetlands and weather and climate was studied.
The final training was held on Oct 12-14 at Big Bend Ranch State Park. Geology and archaeology talks were accompanied by field trips to the solitario and an aarchaeological site at the park. Lectures on ecological concepts and master naturalists of Texas were presented followed by an awards ceremony!