Conference Schedule

Chihihuahuan Desert Conference Logos

Speaker Abstracts and Bios

Icebreaker, Keynote, Luncheon and Dinner Speakers

Poster Sessions

Session 1 – History and Mammals

Session 2 – Birds

Session 3 – Education and Conservation

Session 4 – Plants, Reptiles and Amphibians, Invertebrates

Wednesday, November 6

12 pm-5 pm Registration at the Zoo in the El Paso Water Discovery Education Center, hang posters in the Event Pavilion. (Need help when you arrive? Text 915-217-4233)

From 12 pm to 5 pm attendees can visit the Zoo and the new Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit, many animals start moving to night houses at 4pm. Guided Tours of the Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit meet on the Franklin Canal Bridge – 2pm, 3pm.   Animals are still moving into the exhibit at this time.

5:00 pm -7:30 pm Icebreaker event at the Zoo Event Pavilion.  Poster Session, refreshments, cash bar.   Poster presenters will be on hand to answer questions about their projects from 5:45 pm to 6:15 pm.

Poster Session in the Event Pavilion

The poster session will be held during the icebreaker from 5:45 to 6:15 pm in the Event Pavilion. During this time poster presenters will host their posters and answer questions.

Monitoring Large Mammals of Chihuahuan Desert Montane Chaparral in Far West Texas by Katheryn A. Vega

Assessing the impact of climate change on the habitat suitability of Antilocapra americana through Climpact Data by Grethel Capistrán

Population Distribution of Invasive Exotic Aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) and Their Potential Impacts to the Ecosystem and Archaeological Sites of Hueco Tanks by Wendy Diaz

Herbivore Enclosures Indicate Unrecognized Grass Restoration Potential in Mesquite Dunelands by Neeshia Macanowicz

Endoparasite and Serological Survey of Kit Foxes (Vulpes macrotis) from White Sands National Monument, New Mexico by Monica Cordova

Factors affecting Western Burrowing Owl nest site selection of artificial burrow systems in Arizona by Kimberly I Fonseca 

Bird Diversity in Modified Riparian Areas at El Paso, Texas by Nuria Andreu

A Survey of the El Paso Region for Wolbachia Infection within the Order Apoidea including Apis mellifera and Xylocopa sp. by Joshua Segoviano 

A large ant collection in the Chihuahuan Desert: insights from digitizing the entomology collections of UTEP by Muriel Norman

Identifying the Native Bee Community Present in a Restored Wetland in the Southwestern United States by Laura Valdez

Two new white species of moths from White Sands National Monument by Eric H. Metzler, Savannah B. Porter and Carolin Scott-Tracey.

Development of environmentally friendly methods to control harmful blooms of golden alga by Mary A Mousumi

Diet Analysis of Native and Non-native Leopard Frog Species in Southern New Mexico by Mariangel Varela

Learning from the Chihuahuan Desert in Beginning Architecture Design School by Josue J. Munoz-Miramon

No Wifi, No Worries: Data Management on the Rio Grande by Marie Landis

unnamed6:20 pm to 6:40 pm  – Special Entertainment in Zoo Event Pavilion – Champion Studio’s Folklorico “Cuauhtli”.

wVTr8ddA.jpeg

7 pm – The River and the Wall Documentary in the Wildlife Amphitheater followed by Q&A with the film’s producer, Hillary Pierce.

Conference Tip – Getting the most out of the conference: Skip the Question and Answer time at the end of any session if you want to change locations and be at a new location on time.   Most meeting locations in the Zoo are less than 5 minutes from each other.

Thursday, November 7

9:00 Opening session (Event Pavilion)

Welcome to the Conference – Rick LoBello, Conference Chair and Zoo Education Curator

Welcome to the El Paso Zoo – Joe Montisano, Zoo Director

Keynote – John Kiseda, Zoo Animal Curator

9:45 Break (Inside Event Pavilion)

Session 1: History and Mammals
Event Pavilion – Moderator: Diane Perez
10:15 Is anthropogenic influence on the environment of northern Chihuahuan Desert sustainable? By Tom Alex
10:45 Unraveling the Mysteries of Mountain Lions in Texas by Dr. Patricia Moody Harveson
11:15 El Paso Sierra Club efforts to return the Mexican wolf to the Texas wild by Rick LoBello
11:45 Pronghorn Translocations in the Trans-Pecos: A Summary of Success by Carlos Gonzales
Session 2: Birds
Kalahari Research Station – Moderator: Dr. Philip Lavretsky
10:15 Potential effects of climate change on the El Paso bird community by Dr. Kevin Floyd
10:45 Population Genomics Reveals Low levels of Hybridization between Mallards and Mexican Ducks by Joshua I. Brown
11:15 Urban Nesting Ecology, Site Selection, and Monitoring of Burrowing Owls in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert by Lois Balin
11:45 Landbird Monitoring in the Chihuahuan Desert by Jessica Colbaugh
Session 3: Education and Conservation
El Paso Water Discovery Education Center – Moderator: John Fahey
10:15 The Value of Teachers by Eric Proctor
10:45 Preservation of Land with a Conservation Easement by Janae Reneaud Field
11:15 Conservation through Youth Development by Olivia Siqueiros
11:45 Landscape Scale Restoration on the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park by David Larson
Session 4: Plants, Reptiles & Amphibians, Invertebrates
Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit Ranch House – Moderator: Everett Bartz 
10:15 Rare Plants, Rare Habitats: Musings on the Geobotany of the Big Bend Area by Betty Alex
10:45 Variation of seed banks among ecological states in the Chihuahuan Desert: implications for restoration by Kirsten B. Romig
11:15 The Amazing Variety of Cacti in the Chihuahuan Desert with a Focus on Texas by Dr. Gertrud Konings
11:45 Native Bee Floral Preference in the Desert Southwest by Nikki Donegan

12:15           Lunch and presentation by Dr. Louis Harveson (Event Pavilion)

Session 1: History and Mammals
Event Pavilion – Moderator: Diane Perez

1:45 Evaluation of a Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Restoration via Translocation in the Trans-Pecos Ecoregion of Texas by Barbara Sugarman
2:15 Monitoring Mexican long-nosed bats at Emory Cave using pit tags and thermal image technology by Loren Ammerman
2:45 Mule Deer of Chihuahua; densities and habitat use by Dr. Cuauhcihuatl Vital García

Session 2: Birds
Kalahari Research Station – Moderator: Dr. Philip Lavretsky

1:45 Birds of Juniper and Oak Scrubland in Trans-Pecos With Notes on the Elf Owl and Oslar’s Oakworm Moth by Kayla R. Garza
2:15 The El Paso Zoo’s Raptor Rehabilitation Program by Dr. Misty Garcia
2:45 Bendire’s Thrasher Nest Survival in Relations to Vegetation Characteristics in the Southwest United States by Allison Salas

Session 3: Education and Conservation
El Paso Water Discovery Education Center – Moderator: John Fahey

1:45 Rio Bosque Wetlands Park:  A Partnership with Nature by John Sproul
2:15 Making a Line in the Borderlands: The United States Mexican Joint Boundary Commission by William V. Scott
2:45 Connecting Students with the Chihuahuan Desert through Zoo Adventure Programs by Sarah Murphy

Session 4: Plants, Reptiles & Amphibians, Invertebrates
Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit Ranch House – Moderator: Everett Bartz 

1:45 Lizard microhabitat preferences in the Organ Mountains and adjacent Chihuahuan Desert by Nina Dropcho
2:15 Occupancy of Native Leopard Frogs in Response to Biotic and Abiotic Variables by Lauren A. Samaniego
2:45 Movement, Habitat Preference and Growth Rate of the Rough-footed Mud Turtle, Kinosternon hirtipes murrayi by Jennifer Smith

3:15 pm      Break (Inside Event Pavilion)

Session 1: History and Mammals
Event Pavilion – Moderator: Diane Perez

3:45 Borderland Jaguars: Why There Are Jaguars in Mexico but Only a Few in the U. S. by Diana Hadley
4:15 Voices of the Chihuahuan Desert:  History, Culture, and our Relationship with our Home by Gus Sanchez
4:45 Agave Flower Visitation by Pallid Bats in the Big Bend Region of Texas by Virginia Jaquish

Session 2: Birds
Kalahari Research Station – Moderator: Dr. Philip Lavretsky

3:45 Educating about the Chihuahuan Desert using birds of prey by Heather Rivera
4:15 Prey composition of Western Burrowing Owls during the nesting season at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso, Texas by Walter G. Flocke
4:45 Effects of translocation on burrowing owl survival and reproduction in Arizona by Dejeanne Doublet
5:15 Standardizing hybrid identification: Developing a genetically-vetted field key to distinguish between Mexican ducks, mallards, and their hybrids by Flor Hernández

Session 3: Education and Conservation
El Paso Water Discovery Education Center – Moderator: John Fahey

3:45 Mapping Conservation Activities in the Rio Grande/ Rio Bravo Del Norte Basin by Victoria G. Stengel
4:15 From Bacteria to Fish – What Spins the Aquatic Food Web in Desert Sinkholes?  by Wiebke J. Boeing
4:45 Digitization of the UTEP Biodiversity Collections: New resources for researchers of the Chihuahuan Desert by Dr. Vicky Zhuang
5:15 Lessons learned from a novel approach to enhancing undergraduate education: wildlife research and management mentorship program by Thomas S. Janke

Session 4: Plants, Reptiles & Amphibians, Invertebrates
Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit Ranch House – Moderator: Everett Bartz 

3:45 Citizen Science CSI: Better understanding the distribution of a newly described turtle shell disease condition through citizen observations by Travis J. LaDuc
4:15 Effects of Pan Trap Color on Bee Monitoring Efforts at the University of Texas at El Paso by Bryanna Neria
4:45 The Remarkable Endemism of Moths in White Sands National Monument, Otero County, New Mexico by Eric Metzler
5:15 Aracnofauna (Arachnida: Aranea) of the Natural Protected Area: Medanos de Samalayuca, Chihuahua by David Lara

6:00 pm      Dinner and presentation by Dan William Reicher (Event Pavilion)