The East Texas Natural History Collection
The East Texas Natural History Collection

Environmental Services

 

A.      Credibility: ETNHC staff members are scholars in an academic institution, not an environmental services company. Our results and conclusions are held to the highest standard. We are accountable over the long-term for accuracy and veracity. Translated: our partnership with you conveys a seal of approval to reviewers, permitters and regulators.

 

B.       Confidentiality: ETNHC staff are aware that environmental studies are often part of a business plan. As such they may be time sensitive and require assurance that they remain confidential. The ETNHC is a private institution. We are not held to the same reporting requirements as a state college or agency (FOI). Staff  members are able to sign confidentiality agreements. We will only publish results of private studies with written permission of partners.

 

C.       Contracts: Any services performed for compensation will be backed-up with a contractual agreement that outlines mutual expectations .

 

D.      Commitment: Funds are used to support the ETNHC mission of education and regional biodiversity research.

 

 

APPENDIX 2 ETNHC Services

 

 

Summary of services:
 

1). Guiding and hosting classes, field trips, conferences, specialist researchers and collectors

2). Identifications…plants, insects.

3). Mitigation banking services

4). Threatened and endangered species surveys

5). Science consulting for regional film productions

6). Real estate consulting

7). Editing and review of technical documents

8). Presentations to civic groups, conferences or schools

9). Biodiversity studies for private enterprise or regulatory agencies

10). Consulting and expert witness testimony

 

1). Guiding and Hosting

The ETNHC belongs to the Organization of Field Schools (OBFS) http://www.obfs.org/ 

 

East Texas  is a difficult region for the visiting scientist. At first glance it appears to be a uniform blanket of piney-woods. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Habitat diversity is high, but it takes too much of your time to locate sites. Add to this the scarcity of public lands and the time-consuming process of getting state or federal permits. We can help get scientists and collectors access to privately owned examples of many habitats where collecting permits are done with a hand-shake and a smile.
 

We are able to provide your group with field-trip packages. Most of these sites are on private lands and are accessible by us only through the gracious accommodation of the owners. Many times we have led these field trips for scientific meetings such as the Big Thicket Science Conference and the Lone Star Regional Native Plant Conference.


These include:

1). Sand Caves of East Texas
2). Salt Domes, Saline Prairies and natural saline springs of East Texas
3). Prairie Remnants of East Texas

4). Other single localities: 

A. Southendijk Prairie and Yellow Pitcherplant bog
B. Bottomland Hardwoods of the Sabine/Lake Fork Creek basin including the National Champion blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica)
C. Weches Formation outcrops

2). Identifications

ETNHC staff are capable of identifying most insects and plants in East Texas. Quick identifications for individuals are typically done for free. Those requiring more time or those of critical importance (with legal or financial bearing) are done for our hourly rate of $60 per hour.


3). Mitigation Banking Services

We can add value to your proposed mitigation or help you avoid serious planning mistakes.

Staff members have done the scientific work for entrepreneurial wetland mitigation banks and have consulted on endangered species mitigation proposals. We can provide wetland delineations, stream analysis for stream credits, mapping of tracts, rapid reconnaissance of potential tracts and rapid assessment of endangered species habitat.


We have edited mitigation banking instruments. We have written mitigation prospectus documents and have edited/responded to public/agency comment.

Field scientists from the ETNHC can see things on your potential mitigation bank that you might miss. In many cases we have added value to mitigation proposals by identifying unrecognized potential for habitats or species of special concern. We are also experienced in locating structures for removal, such as dams, ditches or levees that were not noticed by mitigators, thus adding value to projects.

In other cases we have identified problems with mitigation proposals or development projects and avoided serious problems for clients. We have helped re-direct endangered species mitigation proposals to areas where the species naturally exists. We have identified wastewater problems that would have negatively impacted proposed development projects. 

American Burying Beetle Study

4). Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys

Staff members have experience conducting species specific surveys for several Endangered and threatened species. Projects have been completed for the US Army National Guard, USDA Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy. Currently we are partnering with the US Forest Service on surveys for the Endangered Louisiana Pine Snake and with Texas Parks and Wildlife on endangered plants of saline prairies

5). Science consulting for regional film productions

 

Does an actor strive for acceptance and believability?

Do sets, props and costumes call for authenticity? 

Then shouldn’t your presentation of science, natural history, species or  habitats be believable? Texas has 13+ regional film commissions but not one museum-based science consulting service. Some make an effort like the East Texas Film Commission in Palestine, Texas. But read their preposterous, grasping attempt at marketing the “sublime meadows” and “vast expanses of pineywoods” and realize that these folks don’t know a thing about the land of their home. “”Pristine lakes”…come on.


You need help from our team of curators, collectors, botanists and wildlife specialists to get your artistic vision presented plausibly.  We have spent lifetimes learning the subtle differences in natural habitats.  Our cumulative experience in East Texas extends into hundreds of years. We can help you get the right background, the right species or habitat so that your vision comes through clearly.


“From lush picturesque wooded forest to sublime meadows with meandering rivers intertwining pristine lakes, the vast expanses of Pineywoods lends an unique experience to an artistic array of filming prospects”. East Texas Film Commission 2012


We won’t provide any lists of sites or photos of different habitats. We realize your requirements and questions are too broad to anticipate. Contact the museum with any of your questions and requests and we will let you know quickly if we have the ability to assist “in-house”. If we don’t then we will do our best to recommend someone who does.

 

6). Real Estate Consulting

Every piece of land has some special quality about it. Rural land value trends in NE Texas for 2011-2012 show an increase in the demand for moderate size recreational tracts of land (20-250 acres) with most demand coming from Dallas metroplex buyers (ASFMRA 2012) In these transactions the production value of the land for crops, livestock or timber is not the primary concern. In such cases other qualities of land become desirable. The purchaser of recreational land is more likely to ascribe value to natural features that make the tract unique.  

We can quickly evaluate tracts of land for:

 

forest quality/diversity

rare plants and animals

rare habitats

wetland potential

geological interest

historical interest

champion trees

 

We can also help identify problem features. Does your tract have:

 

Abandoned oil and gas wells

Fault lines

Pipeline easements

Wetlands precluding development

Endangered species

 

Is your tract in the line for a pipeline? Transmission line?  Reservoir?

 

Knowing about the special natural features of your land might be of use to you someday. Certain species and natural features do carry weight with the planners who route such developments.

 

See ASFMRA report 2012 here: http://recenter.tamu.edu/speeches/pdf/A041912S1356.pdf

 

7). Editing and Review of Technical Documents

One glaring mistake can sink a virtuous proposal or mar an important report. Entrepreneurs dealing with mitigation projects are business executives, not biologists. Yet they are submitting paperwork to regulatory staff with degrees in the natural sciences. Mistakes and misstatements are common in environmental documents. We can fix them with a quick turn-around. We understand regulatory review and the associated hurdles. We can also edit your response to public comment questions and help you address regulatory agency queries that come out of left field.

 

British Petroleum (BP) learned the lesson of  accuracy the hard way when their Oil Spill Response Plans were spotlighted due to the disastrous BP Maconado oil spill of 2010. Their plans listed contingencies for seals, walruses and polar bears in the Gulf of Mexico. It was obvious that the contractor who provided the 600 page plan, copied large parts from other similar documents for the arctic circle. Ripping-off large sections of text is a cheap trick for freshmen. Let us help you avoid it.

 

See:

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/05/25-0

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/15/AR2010061501700_2.html?sid=ST2010061505674


http://info.publicintelligence.net/BPGoMspillresponseplan.pdf

 

8). Presentations

Our specialists are able to give powerpoint lectures on diverse subjects or lead workshops and demonstrations. We have presented to school groups, scientific meetings, clubs and government agencies.


Contact us at least 30 days in advance for availabilability.


1). General Lecture on Insect Diversity

                A college level presentation on the Order and Family level classification of the Insects

                1-2 hours. Suitable for school grades 9-12 or college classes.


2). General Lecture on Mammal Diversity

                A college level introduction to the Mammalia

                1-2 hours. Suitable for school grades 9-12 or college classes. 

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© 2013 The East Texas Natural History Collection

Breaking News:

ETNHC and International Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies Announce Partnership

 

The East Texas Natural History Collection is proud to be the first North American Host and partner with the International Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies. The Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies  is a peer reviewed international Open Access Journal which is abstracted in various reputed databases. The Journal provides a platform with the aim of motivating students and personnel in all fields of Zoology.

The Journal publishes review and research articles in all fields of Zoology.

See Further details here:       In Print

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