The Nevada Naturalist Program

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Biologist Bruce Lund tells the #Nevada #Naturalist class about the natural history of the Moapa Valley.

Last summer, I started reading Moose Peterson‘s excellent “Captured“. While I have not yet finished the book, a couple of concepts from the early chapters spurred me to action.

First, Peterson gained access to some of his subjects by developing a rapport with the local wildlife biologists charged with monitoring and managing our native flora and fauna. Peterson did not simply chat up the wildlife managers and ask them to point him at suitable subjects. Rather, he volunteered for bird population surveys and other activities where they could use more hands. In short, Peterson gave his time first and, as a result, he earned their trust and access to his desired subjects.

Also crucial to Peterson’s approach is learning the environment and behavior of his subjects. By helping the scientist who study them, Peterson gained a great deal of knowledge about his subjects as well.

With these two concepts in mind, I started looking for ways to help and learn. My research lead me to the Nevada Naturalist program, which is sponsored and lead by the University Of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE). Denise Parsons, Program Coordinator, accepted my application and I’ve recently begun attending classes, which meet three times a week in the evening.

I am not a Nevada native, so I am learning a great deal about the local ecosystem as well as the flora and fauna of the region. Down the road, we are scheduled to meet the venomous reptiles of the region, which should be very cool. I have already been pointed at at least three great shooting locations and a couple of great knowledge resources .. in the forms of books and people … for each.

So far, so good.

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