Meet the Experts2020-09-10T15:39:25-05:00

Meet the Experts

Jessa Watters

Herp Team Leader

Jessa Watters

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!

Rickey Cothran

Aquatic Invertebrate Team Leader

Rickey Cothran

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.

Sheila Strawn

Lichen Team Leader

Sheila Strawn

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.”

Zach with Moths

Zach DuFran

Moth Team Leader

Zach DuFran

# 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

Abby Moore

Plant Team Leader

Abby Moore

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.

Angelina Stancampiano

BioBlitz! Co-coordinator

Angelina Stancampiano

Favorite BioBlitz!: Osage Hills

# of BioBlitzes: ALL OF THEM!

Book Suggestion: The Sixth Great Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

If I didn’t study vertebrates, I would study mycology.

Rusty Grimpe

Expert Educator

Rusty Grimpe

Leading our Nature Discovery Walks, Rusty knows so much about Oklahoma’s Natural History!

Priscilla Crawford

BioBlitz! Co-coordinator

Priscilla Crawford

# 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

Tony Stancampiano

Mammal Team Leader

Tony Stancampiano

Favorite BioBlitz!: Black Mesa – The Clark’s Nutcracker was such a surprise!

# of BioBlitzes: ALL OF THEM!

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.

Aaron Goodwin

BioBlitz! Committee

Aaron Goodwin

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

www.oksnakes.org

Nick Czalplewski

Paleobiologist & Expert Tracker

Nick Czalplewski

Favorite BioBlitz!: Black Mesa

# of BioBlitzes: 7

Favorite BioBlitz! Sightings: Bats at Sequoyah and Pronghorn tracks and sign at Black Mesa

Book Suggestion: any field guide

Randy Soto

Ornithologist

Randy Soto

Favorite BioBlitz!: Black Mesa

# 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

Vonceil Harmon

Naturalist

Vonceil Harmon

Favorite BioBlitz!: Black Mesa

# 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.

Amy Buthod

Plant Team Leader

Amy Buthod

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.

Brenda Smith

Conservation Zoologist

# 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!

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