Marfa Dialogues

Hyperobjects – Animal

August 5, 2018

Hyperobjects — Animal
A field workshop and discussion on grassland birds with ornithologists from the Borderlands Research Institute
Sunday, August 5, 2018, 7:30am-10:30am
Mimms Ranch, Marfa, TX

Enrollment is limited so please email or call 432.729.3600 to register.

Ballroom Marfa is pleased to host Sul Ross State University’s Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) for a field workshop and discussion on grassland birds, Sunday, August 5. The workshop includes a hands-on catching and banding demonstration on Dixon Water Foundation’s Mimms Unit, followed by a conversation with regional ornithologists from BRI, Denis Perez and Mieke Titulaer. Through research and monitoring, the group works to understand environmental factors contributing to the decline of migratory bird populations of the Chihuahuan Desert and the Big Bend Region.

Participants in the workshop will learn about BRI’s research on the winter survival and habitat use of Baird’s and Grasshopper Sparrows in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands, the symbiosis between the health of the grasslands and the population of birds, and the monitoring technology used by ornithologists to track their rapid decline.

Denis Josefina Perez was born and raised in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico and earned her bachelor’s degree in Ecology from the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua. She has worked as a wildlife technician on several projects related to birds within Mexico and the US including nest monitoring of Burrowing owls, monitoring Thick-billed parrot, survival of Baird’s and Grasshopper sparrows, wintering and breeding grassland bird surveys, and surveys of migratory birds. She is currently a graduate assistant for Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University doing research on wintering survival and habitat use of Baird’s and Grasshopper sparrows.

Mieke Titulaer is a research scientist with the Borderlands Research Institute. Her main research focus is on conservation of grassland songbirds that overwinter in the Chihuahuan Desert. In 2015 Mieke received her Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management from Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua in Mexico. For her dissertation, she studied the winter diet of grassland sparrows in the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico. She investigated seed selection in the field, and looked at possible effects of invasive exotic grasses on wintering grassland sparrows in captive bird experiments.

    The field workshop with Borderlands Research Institute is made possible by the generous support of The Brown Foundation, Inc.; City of Marfa; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; and Ballroom Marfa members.

    In-kind support provided by Dixon Water Foundation.

    Special thanks to Louis Harveson, Denis Perez, Robert Potts, Mieke Titulaer, and Casey Wade.