Exploring Florida's Natural History

Team Leaders: Wendy Tori, Bill Buskirk, and John Iverson

Latest trip... March 2010

4:00am in the morning and off to Florida... After a full day of travel from Richmond to just across the Florida border, we arrived at our first-night’s campsite. As soon as tents were pitched we spent the last minutes of twilight and the early evening pursuing birds, mammals and amphibians! After a cold, snowy late winter in Indiana, the mild-temperatures and exotic vegetation let us know we’d moved biogeographically. The presence of live oaks, “Spanish Moss”, citrus trees in the campground confirmed that, as did the presence of egrets, Boat-tailed Grackles, Fish Crows, Green Tree Frogs, etc. Our Florida Natural History trip has just began... (see report at the end of the page for detail account of the experience).


...Early the first morning in Florida we left the campground and headed for Rainbow Springs State Park where we met up with Peter Mehlen... who is conducting a long-term study of the turtles in the spring there. Our students joined those of Eckerd College, snorkeling up the river flowing out of the springs, collecting turtles as they went... The forest around was filled with wintering birds and early arrivals including warblers, vireos and rare Short-tailed Hawks and arriving Swallow-tailed Kites (arguably the most elegant of North American birds!).

EC Florida1
EC Florida2

...We headed to Archbold Research Station near Lake Placid where Dan Albrecht-Mallinger (EC ’09) was working on the long-term, world-famous study of Florida Scrub-Jay ecology and behavior. ... Dan has been a participant on Vicki Penziner-Matson Field Trips in the past and it was clear that those experiences have played a part in his dedication and future trajectories as a field biologist.


Again, the Spring Break natural history field trip was a great success. The travel and experience produced not only a great respite from the hard work on campus, it provided experiences and inspiration that will affect all of the participants in their future studies, teaching and enjoyment of nature.

(John Iverson, Wendy Tori, and Bill Buskirk)

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Date Team Leader(s) Report
March 2010 Wendy Tori, Bill Buskirk, and John Iverson PDF , Poster


Earlham College · 801 National Road West · Richmond, Indiana 47374-4095, U.S.
Department of Biology · Phone: (765) 983-1210 · Fax: (765) 983-1497