Keene, Texas » Southwestern Adventist University’s Ecology students visited Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma as part of their lab assignment. The weekend trip put the students into the unique environment of a specific eco-system where they could see first-hand what they were learning in class.
Dr. Jared Wood, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Conservation,, usually takes the students to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas, but wasn’t able to this year due to Hurricane Harvey.
When the students visit Port Aransas they sample the ocean and coastal eco-system. This time they got to see prairie eco-systems and wildlife. Spending time in nature and experiencing hands-on wildlife was enjoyable for them.
“It was so fun!” says Lindsey Johnson, a sophomore biology pre-med student. “The southern Great Plains had so much life. We saw a baby longhorn with its mom; bison; two huge, gorgeous elks; and a whole prairie dog town! It was so cool getting to experience everything in its natural habitat.”
The group camped, hiked, and visited the Holy Mountain in Cache, Oklahoma, and the Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Science Center.
“Everyone likes being hands-on,” says Johnson. “There’s nothing more hands-on than getting to stand in the middle of a 30-foot canyon next to a waterfall or hiking up to reach a 2,464-foot summit, looking over the Great Plains and seeing a herd of bison. This trip was a constant adventure!”
By Julena Allen, junior journalism major