Here in central Oklahoma, we have had less than 0.1 inch of rain in 6 weeks. We have also had baking heat of 100º for a couple weeks. We would like to think this flash drought and heat wave are unusual, but climate trends are showing us otherwise. Therefore, I am watering my front yard … More You water your native meadow?!?
Teaching a three credit field course in two weeks is an exhausting challenge, but I am so glad we were together again at the OU Biological Station again! After two years of trying to teach a field class over Zoom, it was refreshing to see students faces, chat with them over meals, and get our … More In-person again!
After a year of having no in-person contact with students, I am happy to say that I now have two enthusiastic women assisting in the lab. Abby and Ritu joined me a few weeks ago to help grow pollinator habitat plants, revitalize the milkweed research beds (that had mostly been abandoned during our COVID shutdown), … More Welcome New Assistants!
A few years ago, I decided that I was just going to jump in and start improving the biodiversity of the boring mowed spaces in our human habitats. I regularly limit myself by claiming that “I am not an expert” or “I don’t know enough” to tackle a project. However, as I get older (maybe … More Pollinator Meadows!
A couple weeks ago, I started seeing these bees curling up their abdomens and showing off the pollen collected on their fuzzy undersides. The picture doesn’t show it well, but the curling up of the abdomen is really conspicuous. Along with this curling up, I also observed, what appeared to be, aggressive behavior to others … More Bottoms Up!
Since I am working at home this spring and summer and not doing regular field work, I am taking the opportunity to learn a little more about my urban biodiversity. I am best at butterflies and birds right now, so keeping those lists are easy. Here are the species of butterflies that I have seen … More 13 Butterflies
Happy World Bee Day! Until a few years ago, I was unenlightened about bees, especially native bees. Like most people, I thought most bees were like European honey bees (Apis mellifera) – lived in hives, made tasty honey, died when they stung you, do a waggle dance to tell their friends where the good flowers … More Learning the bees
Paper wasps are an significant pollinator of our Oklahoma flowers and important biological control agent. The adults feed on nectar, but you may see them chewing holes in plants or gathering fibers from wood. They are gathering the material to build their “paper” nests. Paper wasps are social insects and the nest can hold a … More Paper Wasps – genus Polistes
In honor of Endangered Species Day, I ask you to consider reducing or removing your lawn. The single biggest factor to cause a species to become “endangered” is loss of habitat. Where does that habitat go? To parking lots and grocery stores and hotels and farms and suburban neighborhoods. Will removing your lawn provide habitat … More Endangered Species Day
The Field Studies in Conservation Biology class added to the pollinator meadow by filling in some gaps in our Phase 1 area by planting our greenhouse grown native species. We planted these in the early evening of May 30th and watered them regularly for the next 10 days. Photos by Josh Kouri, teaching assistant