Citizen Science

Citizen Science

There is something about strolling through nature away from the stresses of daily life and traffic.  It helps us to relax and reset the busy pace of life's routines. Or at least alter the way we deal with with them.  Once I cross over a ridge on our nature trails and the sound of traffic on Loop 335 fades away, I like to take a moment to stop.  Then, look... sniff the air.... and listen....  Some of our resident animals do that a lot too. Did you know that?

Many of our members and guests who come out to walk the Nature Trails for exercise and enjoyment of nature, have learned how to slow down their pace and even stop in order to observe more closely the natural drama nature plays out whether we are paying attention or not.  Like a flock of 50 Robins foraging on the ground, or a Ladder-backed Woodpecker feeding on the purple fruit of Prickly Pear cactus or Cottontail hares playing a game of tag in early morning.

We have made some materials available to help you and Wildcat Bluff gain a better understanding of all the natural dynamics which occur at our nature preserve throughout the year.  These materials can help you become a better nature observer.  When you record your observations you add to the quantity and quality of data and information we can share you and others.  Participation in these activities leads to a better understanding of our wild residents and you may even begin to learn their names!

The following are some of the current and planned citizen science and educational programs and activities we have to offer. NOTE: Nature Trail fee may apply to some of the activities.

Self Guided Tours

These tours are available as a hand out in the Visitor's Center.  The tours feature some of our native residents, their habitats or activities and other points of interest.  Each point of interest is associated with more detailed information about the featured item on this web site.  The tour brochure includes some simple observations almost anyone can make and check off to help us better understand seasonal changes in our ecosystem.

  • Headquarters Self Guided Tour - Explore featured plants and animals near headquarters.
  • Upper Bluff Self Guided Tour - Available soon.

 

Observation Reports

  • General Observation Report - General observations of plants, mammals, insects, reptiles, amphibians and birds.
  • Reptile & Amphibian Report - Available soon.
  • Bird Report - Birding checklist provided by the Texas Panhandle Audubon Society.

 

Biodiversity Surveys

  • Harvester Ant Survey - Locate and record active colonies in the LiBBs trail area.  This is a fun activity for the whole family!
  • Grassland Survey - Locate and record observations at specified grassland plats.
  • Riparian Survey - Available soon.  Record observations at specified plats.

Daubinmier Frame

Daubinmier Frame
We can learn more about the dynamics of climate and how nature responds by using standard methods of collecting data over an extended period of time. Anyone can learn to use this tool and we need your help to collect the data we need.

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Some of our activities are very basic for beginning citizen scientists (which can be of any age) while others may require some training and access to field guides and resource books.  You will be able to find most of the help you need to participate in more advanced activities at our Visitor's Center.

Nature Trail Fee

Our guests support our educational programs by paying an education day use fee (good all day) for access to our nature trails.  Our members support our educational programs by becoming members and are not required to pay for access to our nature trails.

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