Borderlands Research Institute | Dixon Water Foundation
Ballroom collaborated with Sul Ross State University’s Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) to host a day of citizen science with a field workshop and discussion on threatened grassland birds at the Dixon Water Foundation’s Mimms Unit.
The workshop included a hands-on catching and banding demonstration, 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.
Denis Josefina Perez
Denis 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 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.
Borderlands Research Institute
As part of Sul Ross State University, the Borderlands Research Institute for Natural Resource Management helps conserve the natural resources of the Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands through research, education, and outreach.
The Borderlands Research Institute provides land managers with the most current scientific information on the management of natural resources of the area.
The Institute plans and conducts research investigations on various aspects of the natural world and provides the results to the land managers so that they may more effectively manage the resources with which they are entrusted.
Dixon Water Foundation
Founded in 1994 by the late Roger Dixon, the Dixon Water Foundation promotes healthy watersheds and sequestration of carbon through regenerative land management, to ensure that present and future generations of Texans have the water resources they need.
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.