“We were blown away by the response from this year’s event,” Mary Pearl Meuth, assistant state coordinator for the Texas Master Naturalist Program, said. “We knew that hosting the annual meeting virtually was going to be a big shift for our regular attendees. Because of the transition, we were only expecting about 200-300 registrants. We hosted a few virtual coffee chats before the event to give potential attendees practice using the online platform and it was an overwhelming success.”
A study published in Environment and Behavior suggests that people feel attached to wilderness landscapes due to nature’s ability to fulfill the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
The study, “Psychological Needs Satisfaction and Attachment to Natural Landscapes”, was authored by Adam C. Landon, Kyle M. Woosnam, Gerard T. Kyle, and Samuel J. Keith.
Their research was featured by PsyPost on October 12, 2020.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in District 6, serving the counties of West Texas, will address managing the damage done by wildlife in its next free “On the Line with AgriLife” webinar at 9 a.m. on Oct. 20.
The topic of the webinar is “Integrated Wildlife Damage Management.” John Tomecek, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist, Thrall, will be the featured speaker.
Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension agricultural law specialist, Amarillo, will be the presenter.
“Texas fence law is an area of much importance and inaccurate information,” Lashmet said. “This webinar will offer an overview of Texas fence law and highlights how the law applies to common issues such as livestock versus auto collisions on the roadway, estray livestock, neighbor fencing disputes and more.”
Online event to cover variety of rangeland topics
Cost to attend is $10 and must be paid by Sept. 25. Checks should be made out to Sutton Ag Program Fund and mailed to the AgriLife Extension office of Sutton County, 1700 N. Crockett St., Sonora, Texas 76950.
AgriLife Extension webinars to cover predators, feral hogs, deer management
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present a free four-part webinar series that will cover a variety of range and wildlife topics starting Sept. 30. The series will run on Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-noon through Oct. 21.
Registration is now open for the Texas Master Naturalist Program’s annual meeting, to be held virtually this year from Oct. 14-17.
What to expect
The four-day event, packed with contests, special programming and a variety of expert speakers and presenters, is open to anyone looking to learn more about the natural world around them in Texas.
Mary Pearl Meuth, Texas Master Naturalist Program assistant state coordinator, Bryan-College Station, says this annual meeting will have something for just about everyone interested in nature, natural resource management and conservation.
AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist shares readiness tips
Opening day for deer season kicks off for bow hunters in 252 Texas counties on Oct. 3 and runs through Nov. 6. Rifle season follows and spans from Nov. 7 through Jan. 3 in the North Zone and Jan. 17 in the South, with a special South Zone late season lasting through Jan. 31.
John Tomecek, Ph.D., is no stranger to this process. As a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist and an avid hunter and gamesmen himself, Tomecek knows that when hunting, preparation is key.
Ensuring that preparations are complete and everything is ready to go is half the battle, and half the fun, for many hunters looking to head out on opening day.
“Good planning makes all the difference,” Tomecek said. “Planning should occur at the individual, party and property level. Individuals should know their goals and limitations and make a plan for achieving their goals during the season.”
Graduate students monitor thermoregulation habits, climate impact on moose and bison
Big game are usually adaptive mammals, but temperature increases in Alaska and the Great Plains pose a threat to moose and bison.
This comes as no surprise to Jeff Martin, Ph.D., and Dan Thompson, Ph.D., both recent graduates from the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who dedicated their doctoral research to examining the effects of warming temperatures on big game.
One component of Martin’s research measured heat flux in bison, while Thompson aimed to understand body temperature regulation in moose.
Understanding how large game respond to rising temperatures provides key insights into the future sustainability of moose and bison populations on landscapes where increased warming has become a concern.
Perry Barboza, Ph.D., a Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor in the Departments of Ecology and Conservation Biology and Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, served as Martin and Thompson’s primary mentor for the duration of their program.
“Critical areas of bison habitat and moose habitat are getting hotter and that is affecting the productivity of moose and bison,” Barboza said. “These animals are keystones to their ecology, culturally important and vital to the livelihood of many.”
Virtual certification in natural resource and conservation management available
Those interested in joining Texas Master Naturalists across the state can find a volunteer training session in their community and register. Registration dates and fees vary.
Educators and specialists from universities, natural resource agencies, nature centers and museums will provide volunteers with a minimum of 40 hours of basic training. Among those will be faculty from Texas A&M University, Concordia University and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
Training topics include interpretation and management of natural resources, ecological concepts, eco-regions in Texas and natural systems management.
The Texas Master Naturalist program, consisting of 48 chapters located across the state, aims to develop a corps of well-informed citizen volunteers. Through education, outreach and service, Texas Master Naturalists play a key role in advocating for the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities throughout Texas.