2012 Exploring Texas Natural History, Vicki-Penziner Matson Field Trips | Earlham College
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Exploring Texas Natural History

Trip Synopsis:

This year’s spring break trip participants (23 students and leaders) departed shortly after 04:00 hours on Saturday, 10 March, heading for Texas -- open to letting weather and our discoveries dictate our wanderings.  As is the goal of the Penziner-Matson trips we had a diverse group of participants .

Day 04 (32)Daylight found us in Illinois, traveling west across the flat, till landscapes left by the Pleistocene glaciers.  At Effingham we turned south and soon were approaching the unglaciated, wooded hills of southern Illinois. New birds and plants were everywhere:  White-tailed Kite, Roseate Spoonbill, White Ibis, Boat-tailed Grackles, etc.  We spent several hours at Sea Rim State Park that allowed us to study coastal birds including:  Brown Pelican, Royal, Forster’s, Common, Sandwich and Caspian Terns, Laughing. Ring-billed, Herring and Bonaparte’s Gulls, American Avocet, etc. While much of the coast back from the beachfront was flooded, and plants were inundated, Blanketflowers and several other species, familiar to gardeners were blooming wild and natural. 

- ( Bill Buskirk, EC ’66, emeritus professor of Biology )

A more detailed account of the experience can be found here.

Participants' Testimonials 

Whatever “lens” we put on, I felt we often came pretty close to certain truths throughout the trip. Perhaps the biggest truth I discovered on this trip is that Earlham students and faculty and students are people I will remember and treasure for the rest of my life. The compassion they displayed for others in the group and all those who crossed our paths was an example of some of the best in group dynamics. Together with everyone’s curiosity, knowledge, and enthusiasm for learning about our world I left the trip feeling so incredibly lucky I chose to call Earlham... home." - (Robert Lugg, Sr English Lit.)


Texas Sidecolumn"Over the past week a diverse segment of the Earlham community had gotten to know each other as friends and fellow travelers/ learners.  For those of us who were leaders, there is something elemental about Earlham in this venture.  These trips are rewarding and sustaining; they engage core principles about what an Earlham education is capable of realizing. Our thanks to the Penziner and Matson families for making these trips possible and to the integrity of the College in observing the donors’ wishes." - ( Bill Buskirk, EC '66 , Emeritus Professor of Biology.)

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