Favorite BioBlitz!: Black Mesa
# of BioBlitzes: 6
Favorite BioBlitz! find: Prairie Rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis)
Misconceptions about herps: Snakes are not slimy and most are NOT venomous!
Favorite BioBlitz!: Sutton Urban Wilderness
# of BioBlitzes: 5
Book Suggestion: Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
Misconceptions: Many people have no idea about the interesting invertebrates that live in Oklahoma’s water. The diversity of these animals is often eye opening.
Favorite BioBlitz!: Robbers Cave
# of BioBlitzes: ALL OF THEM!
Field Guide Suggestion: Lichen Study Guide and Lichen Field Guides for Oklahoma and Surrounding States
Misconceptions: They are SO much more than a “symbiotic relationship between a fungus and an alga.”
# of BioBlitzes: 2
Favorite BioBlitz! find: Bumelia Borer Beetle
Misconceptions about Moths: They are NOT ugly!
Field Guide Suggestion: Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Southeastern North America
Favorite BioBlitz!: They are all so good, but maybe Black Mesa
# of BioBlitzes: 4 – everyone since coming to OK!
Favorite Natural History Books: The Ghosts of Evolution by Connie Barlow and Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy
Misconceptions: That goldenrods cause hay fever; they are just colorful and flower at close to the same time as ragweeds, which actually cause hay fever.
Favorite BioBlitz!: Osage Hills
Book Suggestion: The Sixth Great Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
If I didn’t study vertebrates, I would study mycology.
Leading our Nature Discovery Walks, Rusty knows so much about Oklahoma’s Natural History!
# of BioBlitzes: 18
Favorite BioBlitz!: Sequoyah State Park – usually it is the one that we just finished!
Misconceptions: Oklahoma is boring – NOT! We have an amazing diversity of ecoregions and organisms across the state.
Book Suggestion: Pollinators of Native Plants by Heather Holm
Favorite BioBlitz!: Black Mesa – The Clark’s Nutcracker was such a surprise!
Favorite BioBlitz! Moment: Watching the younger kids follow the “glowing” mice each year
Misconception: All mammals are animals but not all animals are mammals
If I didn’t study mammals, I would study yeasts.
Favorite BioBlitz!: Osage Hills State Park in 2015. My daughter was 9 and it was our first BioBlitz together.
# of BioBlitzes: 7
Favorite BioBlitz! Memory: Observing tiger beetle larvae in burrows on the beach of Lake Texoma
Book Suggestion: Naturalist by E.O. Wilson and Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy
Favorite BioBlitz! Sightings: Bats at Sequoyah and Pronghorn tracks and sign at Black Mesa
Book Suggestion: any field guide
# of BioBlitzes:
Favorite thing about BioBlitz!: Seeing the teamwork at all of the BioBlitz’s from volunteers
Misconceptions: That Oklahoma grasslands are devoid of wildlife and are boring
# of BioBlitzes: 4
Favorite BioBlitz! Moment: Being greeted at the Black Mesa State Park entrance by pronking pronghorn and catching the antics of Chihuahuan raven fledglings at the nest.
Optimist Reading: Rewilding North America: A Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century
Misconception: All bees sting and all wasps are aggressive.
Favorite BioBlitz: Beaver’s Bend and Black Mesa (the extremes!)
# of BioBlitzes: 7 or so
Natural history(ish) book that influenced me growing up: The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Misconceptions: Bradford pears are terrible for many reasons, but you probably aren’t allergic to them. Instead, blame the grasses that are flowering at the same time. And yes, grasses DO flower.
# of BioBlitzes: majority since 2003, when I moved to OK
Natural history books you would suggest: Dennis Paulson’s Dragonflies and Damselflies: A Natural History and, of course, my own Dragonflies at a Biogeographical Crossroads
Misconceptions: That bugs are gross. (no way!)
Nickname: “The Dragon Lady of Oklahoma” – but not only do I study dragonflies and damselflies, I also work with tiger beetles, robber flies, and a wide variety of other animals!
Don’t see your favorite expert? Don’t worry – we will be adding more in the coming weeks!