SWOSU Parks and Rec Students Utilize Regional Property for Research

Parks and Recreation Management students at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford recently publicly presented research findings from their fall 2021 field projects in Range Management taught by SWOSU Associate Professor Dr. Zach Jones.

Student-directed research in the Parks and Recreation Management Department allows students to work on project topics of their interest while practicing the basic tenets of Natural Resources Science to consider, inform and address common real-world contemporary issues affecting habitat, wildlife and humans.

Oral poster presentations by class members included these topics: the effects of native and non-native grasslands on mammalian communities, influences of automated feeders on deer population movements and behaviors, quantification and distribution of aquatic vertebrates utilizing agricultural ponds, age structure and dispersal patterns of invading cedar trees in grasslands, hunting behavior and strategy differences of predatory birds, land-use changes that affect riparian tree species and forest age structure along the Washita River, and bedding site-selection preferences of white-tailed deer in western Oklahoma.

All projects utilized and depended upon access and help from regional property owners. Jones issued a thanks to Jack Albright, GeoReta and Terry Jones, Kirk Meacham, Yvonne and Jack Carpenter, SWOSU and many other landowners that graciously grant SWOSU students permission to sample on their properties each year.

SWOSU student Greyson Weedon of Apache recently presented research on Washita Riparian forests on the Weatherford campus. With him are (left) SWOSU President Dr. Diana Lovell and (right) Dr. Zach Jones, associate professor in the Allied Health Sciences Department.