Friday, February 26, 2010

The Cockroach Project

A few years back I was approached by Ruth Fertig, a film student at UT. She was doing a documentary on cockroaches and asked if she could speak with me; I jumped at the chance (we all know I'm a bit crazy for cockroaches). Her documentary, The Cockroach Project, was the end result. She sent a copy to me last year and as I was getting together information for my CV, it popped up on the radar. Apparently, it recently showed on the Documentary Channel (Dish Network). Here is a clip of the video:

Ruth has since graduated and moved to New York City where she continues to make documentaries.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Williamson County Master Naturalists- Good Water Chapter

There is a new chapter of Texas Master Naturalists forming in Williamson County called the Good Water Chapter. Several Master Naturalists that live in Williamson County have been meeting together for some time to put together the new chapter and a new training program.

• Do the native plants and animals of this area fascinate you?
• Would you like learn more about the natural world?
• Would you like to meet people with similar interests?
• Are you interested in sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for nature with others?

Then consider becoming a Texas Master Naturalist. When you have completed the 40 hour
curriculum, you will have a greater appreciation of our natural world, the interaction and identification of plants and animals, and the ecosystem in which we all exist.

Requirements: To become a Texas Master Naturalist you must complete 40 hours of training covering a wide range of topics. Classes for the Good Water Chapter are typically held in the spring. There are eleven (or more) four hour sessions, many of which are held in the field. The 2010 classes will begin in February and are normally from 1 to 5pm. Our instructors are all recognized experts. You will also receive a Texas Master Naturalist Curricula notebook with over 800 pages of material specifically for the Master Naturalist Program.

The class is limited to 30 people. A fee of $150.00/person covers cost of the notebook, reimbursement of instructor's travel costs, admissions to parks or facilities we visit, and refreshments during classes.

Here is what we expect from those who sign up for the class:
1) The intent to become a Certified Texas Master Naturalist: This requires you to do 40 hours of
volunteer work and 8 hours of approved advanced training within a year of completing your training class.
2) 100% attendance at the training classes: This requires a commitment of one day a week for eleven weeks on your part. Each of these classes is unique and requires considerable effort to conduct; in return we expect your full participation.
3) To become an active member of our chapter: We have meetings once a month, normally held at the County Extension Office. We feature nature presentations by outside speakers and we also discuss volunteer and advanced training opportunities. To maintain active membership you are also required to do at least 40 hours volunteer work and 8 hours advanced training annually.

The first training class of the Good Water Chapter starts on February 16 which is a short two weeks away.

For more information or to get an application go to

and click on Master Naturalist Application on the home page.