George Raymond Pisani
- Adjunct Herpetologist
Kansas Biological Survey
2101 Constant Ave.
Lawrence, KS 66047
CURRENT RESEARCH AND RELATED PROJECTS
- Population ecology and den fidelity of Timber Rattlesnakes
- Conservation biology models for Timber Rattlesnakes
- Ecology of a prairie grassland population of Virginia valeriae in Leavenworth County, Kansas.
- Distribution of Virginia valeriae and Storeria occipitomaculata in northeast Kansas.
- Herpetological data capture-- migration of 55 years of Henry Fitch snake data records to searchable electronic format, georeferenced.
- Utilization of Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) fruits as a food resource by White-tailed Deer and other Kansas mammals [with Robert M. Timm]
PUBLICATIONS (R = refereed publications)
1962. Report on the use of Dri-Die on a private collection. Bull. Phila. Herp. Soc. 10(1): 18-19. (R)
1965. A comparison of the coverages of predominant species on areas AP-3 and AP-7. Kalbfeisch Field Research Sta. Report. Report. 10 pp. Huntington, N. Y.
1967. Notes on the courtship and mating behavior of Thamnophis brachystoma (Cope). Herpetologica 23(2):112-115. (R)
1968. with Richard C. Bothner. The annual reproductive cycle of Thamnophis brachystoma . St. Bonaventure Univ. Sci. Stud. 26 :15-34. (R)
1969. junior author with 12 others. Annotated flora of the Kalbfleisch Field Research Station of the American Museum of Natural History, Suffolk Co., Long Island, New York. Published by Kalbfleisch Field Research Station, Dix Hills, NY.
1970. Notes on Ameiva exsul (Cope) from Culebra Is., Puerto Rico. Bull. Phila. Herp. Soc. 1968 - publ. 1970 16:4-6. (R)
1971. An unusually large litter of Virginia valeriae pulchra . J. of Herpetology 5(3-4):207-208. (R)
1971. The smooth earth snake, Virginia valeriae (Baird and Girard), in Kentucky. Trans. Ky. Acad. Sci. 32(1-2):16-25. with Joseph T. Collins. (R)
1972. Remarks on the holotype of Virginia valeriae elegans (Kennicott). Herpetologica. 28(4):348. (R)
1972. A re- evaluation of the subspecies of Crotalus horridus . Trans, Kans. Acad. Sci. 75(3):255-263 (1972, issued 1973). with Joseph T. Collins and Stephen R. Edwards. (R)
1973. A Guide to Preservation Techniques for Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 1, Soc. Stud. Amphib. Rept. 22 pages. (R)
1974. Guia de Tecnicas de Preservacion por Anfibios y Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 2. Soc. Stud. Amphibians and Reptiles. 28 pp. with Jaime Villa. (R)
1974. Herpetology in K. U.'s Division of Biological Sciences. Kans. Herp. Soc. Nwsltr. 4:3-4.
1975. Edward Harrison Taylor -- A Bibliography in E. H. Taylor Festschrift volume. Publ. by K. U. Mus. Natural History (summer 1975). (R)
1976 Comments on the mechanics of mating in Thamnophis . J. Herpetology 10(2):139-142. (R)
1976 (Editor, with S. R. Edwards). Endangered and Threatened Amphibians and Reptiles in the United States. Herpetological Circulars #5 (SSAR). 65 pp. (R)
1976. Eumeces obsoletus : Cover photo on July BioScience .
1978. Herpetological Review Cumulative Index: 1967-1976. Special Publication, Soc. Study Amphibians and Reptiles. 60 pp. with Barbara Paschke.
1978. Review of: Florida Frog Calls: a guide to commonly heard frogs and toads, by Richard A. Bradley. Herp. Rev. 9(4):137.
1979. Review of: Identification Manual to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Florida, by Ray E. Ashton, Jr. Herp. Rev. 10(3):97.
1979. Review of: Introduction to Herpetology, 3rd Edition, by C. J. Goin, O. B. Goin and G. R. Zug. Herp. Rev. 10(3):97.
1979. Review of: Dietary Adaptations in Animals, by J. L. Cloudsley-Thompson. Herp. Rev. 10(3):98.
1980. Review of: International Zoo Yearbook, vol. 19, by P. J. Olney. Herpetological Rev. 11(4):106.
1982. Review of: Taxonomy: How Living Organisms Differ. ASC Newsletter 10(3):35.
1982. Review of: Billions of Bats, by Miriam Schlein. ASC Newsletter 10(4):51.
1983. Review of: Rare Plant Conservation: Geographical Data Organization, ed. by L.E. Morse and M.S. Henifin. The Quarterly Review of Biology 58(1):94.
1983. Review of: Museums, Humanities and Educated Eyes. ASC Newsletter 11(3):38.
1983. Review of: Dinosaurs, Asteroids and Superstars: Why the Dinosaurs Disappeared. Herpetological Review 14(4):111.
1983. Review of: CBE Style Manual, Fifth Edition. ASC Newsletter 11(6):72.
1983. Review of: International Museological Bibliography:1980. ASC Newsletter 11(6):72.
1984. Review of: Collectible Shells of Southeastern US, Bahamas, and Caribbean. ASC Newsletter 12(5):47.
1986. Review of: A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. ASC Newsletter 14(5):56.
1987. Guidelines for Use of Amphibians and Reptiles in Field Research. 14 pp. National Guidelines for Use of Wild Vertebrates in Field Research (Sponsored by National Science Foundation, Biological Research Resources Program). with S. D. Busack and H. C. Dessauer. (R)
1988. Herpetology Guidelines. pp 8, 10-15. in: Field Research Guidelines: Impact on Animal Care and Use Committees, F. B. Orlans, Ed. Sci. Cntr. Animal Welfare (Bethesda, Maryland). 23pp.
1991. Laboratory Topics in General Biology. 246 pp. Kendall-Hunt. Publ. Co. (R) with K. B. Armitage.
1991. Food habits of Oklahoma Crotalus atrox in Fall and early Spring. Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci. 94(3-4):137-141. with B. Stephenson. (R)
1991. Notes on early Spring parasites and pathologies of Oklahoma Crotalus atrox. Herp. Review. 22(3):88-90. with B. Stephenson. (R)
1991. Learning Experiences: Misplaced Trust. Flight Training 3(12):49 (December 1991).
1992. Herpetological Review Cumulative Index: 1967-1986. Special Publication, Soc. Study Amphibians and Reptiles. 78 pp. with R. Zantzinger and B. Paschke.
1993. A survey of Oklahoma's rattlesnake roundups. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter No. 92:7-15. with H. S. Fitch. (R)
1993. Life History Traits of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox ) Studied From Roundup Samples in Oklahoma. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. Occ. Pap. No. 156:1-24. with H. S. Fitch. (R)
1994. Contributor (Chapter 7 [pp143-182] -- Supplemental Approaches to Studying Amphibian Biodiversity): Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity -- Standard Methods for Amphibians. W. Ronald Heyer, et al., eds. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C. xii + 786pp.(R)
1994. Anonymous Reviews: A response to Wilson and McCranie. Herp. Rev. 25(3):102-103.
1999. Directory of Herpetologists. 84pp. Special Joint Publication, ASIH, HL, SSAR.with Harold A. Dundee.
2002. Longtime recapture of a Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) in Kansas. [second author, with Henry S. Fitch] J. Kansas Herpetology. No. 3:15-16. (R)
2003. Elaphe obsoleta: Unusual escape behavior. Herpetological Review 34(1):66.(R)
2003. Lampropeltis c. calligaster: (Prairie Kingsnake) Pigmentation. Herpetological Review 34(2):150.(R)
2003. Contributor (Capítulo 7 [pp137-153] -- Enfoques Suplementarios para el Estudio de la Biodiversidad de Anfibios): Medición y Monitoreo de la Diversidad Biológica. -- Métodos estandarizados para Anfibios. W. Ronald Heyer, et al., editado. Universitaria de la Patagonia y Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C. xii + 786pp.(R)
2004. Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) MATING BEHAVIOR. Journal of Kansas Herpetology No. 11:15, Sept., 2004
2004. A field study of the Timber Rattlesnake in Leavenworth County, Kansas. [2nd author, with H.S. Fitch, et al.]. Journal of Kansas Herpetology No. 11:18-24, Sept., 2004.(R)
2005. Disappearance Of Radio-Monitored Timber Rattlesnakes. Journal of Kansas Herpetology Number 14:14-15 (June 2005). [second author, with Henry S. Fitch](R)
2005. A new Kansas locality for Virginia valeriae. Journal of Kansas Herpetology Number 16:25 (December 2005).(R)
2005. Timber Rattlesnake Conservation Action Plan--Kansas. [contract manuscript prepared for USFWS, December 2005]. 11pp, map. with Henry Fitch, 2nd author.
2006. The Timber Rattlesnake in Northeastern Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology Number 19:11-15 (September 2006). [second author, with Henry S. Fitch](R)
2006. Rapid Early Growth of Timber Rattlesnakes in Northeastern Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology Number 20:19-20. (December 2006). [first author, with Henry S. Fitch](R)
2007. New Kansas Maximum Sizes for Virginia valeriae and Carphophis vermis. Journal of Kansas Herpetology Number 22:11. (June 2007)(R)
2007. Welda Spring [KHS] Field Trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology Number 22:12. (June 2007) [with William H. Busby]
2008. Observation of aberrant growth in a Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Trans. Kans. Acad. Sci. 111(1/2):156-158. [with Mindy Walker, Jennifer Dorr](R)
2009. Use of an active ant nest as a hibernaculum by small snake species. Transactions Kansas Acad. Sciences 112(1/2):113-118.
2009. Early activity of Storeria dekayi in Jefferson County, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology. 29:10-11. (with Galen Pittman, 2nd author)
2009. Virginia valeriae and Storeria dekayi in a Northeast Kansas Grassland Community—Ecology and Conservation Implications. Journal of Kansas Herpetology 32:20-36. December 2009.
2009. Successful relocation of a threatened suburban population of Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) — combining snake ecology, politics, and education. Reptiles & Amphibians, Conservation and Natural History 16(4):2-13, December 2009. (with Mindy L. Walker, Jennifer A. Dorr and Rebecca J. Benjamin)
2009. Henry Fitch: The Twilight of an Incredible Career. Herpetological Review, 2009, 40(4):399–400. [Reprinted in Reptiles & Amphibians: Conservation and Natural History. Vol 17(1), March 2010].
2010. Cover color photo, Osage Copperhead. Reptiles and Amphibians: Conservation and Natural History. Vol 17(1), March 2010
2010. Conservation of Venomous Snakes is a Delicate Balance of Science, Sociology, and Politics: review of
Timber Rattlesnakes in Vermont and New York: Biology, History, and the
Fate of an Endangered Species, by Jon Furman. IRCF Reptiles and Amphibians: Conservation and Natural History. Vol 17(2):123, June 2010.
2010. In Memoriam Ray E. Ashton, Jr. Journal of Kansas Herpetology. 34:7, June 2010 (with Joseph T. Collins, 1st author).
2010. Further Notes on Growth of Juvenile Timber Rattlesnakes in Northeastern Kansas. Reptiles and Amphibians: Conservation and Natural History 17(4):210-215, December 2010. (With H.S. Fitch).
2011. Ecology of the Smooth Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae) and Redbelly Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) in Northeastern Kansas. Open-file Report No. 172 August 30, 2011 Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. (with W.S. Busby).
2011. Associative Behavior and Affinity for Anthropogenic Habitats in Two Relocated Timber Rattlesnakes.. Reptiles and Amphibians: Conservation and Natural History. 18(4):234-237. December 2011 (with Mindy L. Walker, Eric Kadlec, Ryan Miloshewski).
2012. Joseph T. Collins (Obituary) Copeia 2012(2):351-354. (with Robert Powell).
2012. STORERIA OCCIPITOMACULATA (Red-bellied Snake). BEHAVIOR [lip curling]. Collinsorum 1(2/3, April 2012):6. Kansas Herpetological Society. (with William Busby).
Manuscripts In Preparation
- Comparative Ecology of Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) in northeastern and southeastern Kansas.
- Character Variation in the Colubrid Snake Genus Virginia, And Implications for Taxonomy of the Group.
- Anachronistic plants: Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) an example?
[2nd author, with Robert M. Timm].
2011-2015. Ecology of the Smooth Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae) and Redbelly Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) in northeastern Kansas. (State Wildlife Grant, KS Dept Wildlife and Parks and USFWS)
2009-2011. Ecology and Distribution of the Smooth Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae) and Redbelly Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) in northeastern Kansas. (State Wildlife Grant, KS Dept Wildlife and Parks and USFWS)
2007-2008. Distribution and ecology of Virginia valeriae in northeast Kansas. (KS Dept Wildlife and Parks, USFWS)
2007-2008. Herpetological inventory of Ft. Leavenworth, KS. (contract- US Dept of Defense).
2007-2009. Timber rattlesnake relocation- experimental translocation of an urban population. (KS Dept Wildlife/Parks Chickadee Checkoff Program, Humane Soc USA, other sources).
2003-present. Ecological studies of Kansas snakes (KS Dept Wildlife and Parks)
2000. OWLS supplemental funding of $2,000, which went to the Kansas Ecological Reserves budget.
1994. Development of Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site -- Robinson Tract. Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks.
1988. Macintosh teaching computers in Undergraduate Biology. Apple Computer/Univ. Kansas.
1988-89. A Telemetric Study of Ecology of Kansas Rattlesnakes. Kansas Fish and Game Dept.
1987-88. Ecological, Economic and Sociological Aspects of Oklahoma's Rattlesnake Roundups. Oklahoma Fish and Game Dept.
- 2010. Kansas Herpetological Society "The Suzanne L. & Joseph T. Collins Award for Excellence in Kansas Herpetology." Earth Snake paper (Journal of Kansas Herpetology 32: 20-36) selected as the best published paper on native Kansas herpetofauna during 2009-2010.
Established in 1998 with an initial contribution from Westar Energy, Topeka, "The Collins Award" is the largest biological award given annually in the state of Kansas, and the largest annual financial presentation made nationally to further research on or photography of amphibians, reptiles, and turtles.
- Kansas Herpetological Society Distinguished Life Member Award for research, 2007.
- Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles 50th Anniversary Special Recognition -- presented at 2007 Annual Meeting.
- Kansas Herpetological Society Kamb Award for Kansas Snake Research 2005 and 2006
Other sponsored travel
2007. Timber Rattlesnake Conservation-Action Plan First Annual Conference, NY. Travel sponsored by Kansas Biological Survey and KS Dept Wildlife/Parks.
1990: Invited speaker/panelist - Mid America Regional Herpetological Conference, Oklahoma City. Travel sponsored by Oklahoma Herpetological Society.
1988: Invited speaker/panelist - Mid America Regional Herpetological Conference, Oklahoma City. Travel sponsored by Oklahoma Herpetological Society.
1987: Invited speaker/panelist: Field Research Standards for Live Animal Use (New York City). Travel sponsored by National Science Foundation.
1987: Invited member, Drafting Committee for Field Research Standards for Wild Birds. San Francisco. (Travel sponsored by National Science Foundation.).
1986: Scientists Center for Animal Welfare. Regional Meeting, Houston, TX (conference on Current Issues in Lab Animal Welfare). Travel sponsored by KU.
1982: Soc. for Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Silver Anniv. Meeting, Raleigh, NC. Chaired Snake Ecology Paper Session B. Travel sponsored by Assoc. of Systematics Collections.
Papers (Pa) and Posters (Po) Presented
1978. Breeding Endangered Reptiles. SSAR symposium: Captive Maintenance of Endangered Reptiles, 6-7 June 1978. (Pa)
1986. Photographing Amphibians and Reptiles, Biological Photographer's Association meeting, Univ. Kansas. (Pa)
1988. Impact of Oklahoma's Rattlesnake Roundups on populations of Crotalus atrox. Mid America Regional Herpetological Conference (Oklahoma City). (Pa)
1989. Oklahoma's Rattlesnake Roundups: Do They Affect Snake Populations and What Can We Learn From Them? (with H. Fitch) First World Congress of Herpetology (Univ. of Kent, Canterbury, UK) (Pa)
1990a. Late Fall and Early Spring Parasite Loads of Crotalus atrox. in Oklahoma. (with B. Stephenson). SSAR/HL Joint Annual Meeting. (Po)
1990b. Pre and post hibernation diet of Oklahoma Crotalus atrox. (with B. Stephenson). SSAR/HL Joint Annual Meeting. (Po)
1990c. Rattlesnake Roundups and the Ecology of Crotalus atrox. in Oklahoma. (with H. Fitch). SSAR/HL Joint Annual Meeting. (Po)
1990d. Regional Herpetological Societies and the Crisis in Declining Amphibian Diversity. SSAR International Symposium on the Crisis in Declining Amphibian Diversity -- New Orleans. (Pa)
1990e. Rattlesnake roundups redux. Mid America Regional Herpetological Conference (Oklahoma City). (Pa)
1990f. Rattlesnake Roundups and the Ecology of Crotalus atrox. in Oklahoma. Kansas Herp. Soc. Annual Meeting. (Pa)
1999: Invited speaker, Univ. of Kansas Dept of Mathematics, closing talk (30 April) for "Math Month" -- use of statistics in modelling populations of Crotalus atrox in Oklahoma. (Pa)
1999. Invited speaker, Univ. of Kansas Dept of Mathematics, (15 June) for statistics instructor workshop hosted by Chairman Fred VanVleck -- same talk as above but scaled for instructors rather than a general audience.
2002: Snake Eyes: Visual acuity in some kansas snake species with implications for foraging strategy. (Pa) Kansas Herpetological Soc. Annual Meeting, Lawrence, KS.
2007. Use of grassland habitat by Virginia valeriae in northeast Kansas. KS Herpetological Soc. Annual Meeting. (Pa)
2008. Use of grassland habitat by Virginia valeriae in northeast Kansas. Kansas Biological Survey seminar.
2008. Use of an active ant nest as a hibernaculum by Virginia valeriae. KS Herpetological Soc. Annual Meeting. (Pa)
2009. Field observations of relocated Timber Rattlesnakes in eastern Kansas. KS Herpetological Soc. Annual Meeting. (Pa) [with Mindy Walker]
2011. Character variation in the colubrid snake genus Virginia and implications for the taxonomy of the group. KS Herpetological Soc. Annual Meeting. (Pa) [with Chris Dexter and Mindy Walker]
2012. Redbelly Snakes in Kansas: Finding Needles in Haystacks Without a Metal Detector. KS Herpetological Soc. Annual Meeting. (Pa) [with Bill Busby]
Reviewer for: Herpetologica, Herpetological Review, Journal of Herpetology, Herpetological Conservation Biology, Journal of Kansas Herpetology , Association of Systematics Collections (various publications).
Committees, Editorial Activities, and Elected Positions
President, Hunter College Biology Club (1964-1965); ca . 80 members
Vice-President (and one of founding members), Kansas Herpetological Society (1974); ca . 100 members when founded in 1974.
President, Kansas Herpetological Society (1975)
Editor, Herpetological Circulars , Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) (1974-1981); 2500 member international society.
Co-editor, Herpetological Review, SSAR (1976-1979)
Editor, Herpetological Review (1980-1983)
Managing Editor, Herpetological Review (1983-1984)
Univ. Kansas Division Biol. Sci. Computation Committee (1975)
Univ. Kansas Division Biol. Sci. Inventory Committee (1974- 1975)
Univ. Kansas Division Biol. Sci. Teaching Assistant Selection Comm. (1974-1981 [last year Comm. was used for this])
Univ. Kansas Division Biol. Sci. Public Relations Comm. (1977-1983)
Univ. Kansas Speaker Bureau (1975-1989).
Univ. Kansas nominee, Unclassified Employee of the Year (1980, 1981, 1982)
Univ. Kansas Animal Care Committee (1982-1986; 1994- present; Chair 1984-1986)
Managing Editor, ASC Newsletter, Association of Systematics Collections (1980-1983)
Editor, ASC Newsletter (1983-1985)
Faculty Advisor, Univ. Kansas Trapshooting Club (1982-1985)
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Special Award of Appreciation -- presented at 1983 Annual Meeting.
President-Elect, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (1984)
President, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (1985)
Editor, Recent Herptological Literature (1983-1984)
Chair, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Resolutions Comm. 1987-2000
Chair, Herpetological Committee, for drafting and writing Guidelines for Use of Amphibians and Reptiles in Field Research (National Science Foundation, Biological Research Resources Program). (1987)
Member, Ornithological Committee, for drafting and writing Guidelines for Use of Wild Birds in Field Research (National Science Foundation, Biological Research Resources Program). (1987, concurrent with above)
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Long-Range Planning Comm. 1987-2000
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Seibert Student Award Comm. 1993
Editor, Biology '84: Current Titles in the Biological Sciences (Allen Press, Inc.) (1984)
Univ. of Kansas Unclassified Professional Staff Association (Bylaws Committee 1988; Secretary 1989)
Managing Editor, Herpetological Review (1989)
Univ. of Kansas Personnel Grievance and Appeals Board (1991-1996).
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Assistant Secretary. 1986-1987; 1994-2001
Chair, Univ. of Kansas Div. Biol. Sciences Teaching Awards Committee (1993-1997) (responsible for administering the Division's Awards Program).
Univ. of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Technology Committee (1997-2002).
Journal of Kansas Herpetology Editorial Board (2009-present).
Consultant (lower vertebrate envenomations), Mid-America Poison Center, Kansas City, KS (1983- present).
Consultant (lower vertebrate envenomations), Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence, KS (1980- present).
On call for reptile related things, Lawrence (KS) Police Dept. and Univ. Kans. Police Dept. (1975-present).
Historic Aircraft/Armament Restorer, Combat Air Museum, Topeka, KS (1987-1992).
Chairman, Board of Directors, Combat Air Museum, Topeka, KS (1989-90).
Secretary, Board of Directors, Combat Air Museum, Topeka, KS (1991).
Chair, Organizing Comm. Kansas Aviation History Museum, Lawrence, KS (1991).
Grants Writer, Combat Air Museum, Topeka, KS (1988-1990).
Numerous talks about reptiles to area school groups (details on request).
Division of Biological Sciences resource person -- responses to citizen calls/letters/email requesting information on various biological subjects.
Kansas State Rifle Assoc. Legislative Committee (1993-1998; Chair 1995-1996); Board of Directors 1995-1998.
Resource person -- Kansas City Children's Museum; also for KU Mus. Nat. Hist. (Public Education Dept.)
Member, Board of Directors, Eureka Rod and Gun Club, Mount Vernon, N. Y. double term (1964-66); 400 members.
Last Salaried Position (retired 31 July 2002)
Following a rewarding career of 25 years as Director of Laboratories -- University of Kansas Division of Biological Sciences., I moved in 1997 within the organization to become Network Administrator and Webmaster for the Division. I also was responsible for our "Help Desk," which handles software and hardware support for the hundreds of teaching and research computers used by students, faculty and staff.
I am well versed in the research and presentation use of microcomputers (Windows, Macintosh) and associated applications for statistics, graphics, data base management, and professional publishing. In 1995, I established the web site for the Society for Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, the largest international professional herpetological society. The site connects with those of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the Herpetologists' League, and many others. I am one of the advisors to these societies on computer facilities to serve our memberships and Boards. From April 1997 through February 2001, I and two colleagues were featured regularly on Discovery Channel's Web site (Discovery Online) as the site's snake authorities, corresponding with their TV subject material. The SSAR site also has been a primary reference for National Geographic Society's TV shows [as well as others] involving reptiles.
I was site administrator of the Division of Biological Sciences website, which presents and markets to prospective students the Division's course programs, facilities, and also the tremendous research depth and diversity of its faculty.
I also was Webmaster of the following University sites. Current commercial sites available on request:
- KU Animal Care Unit (continuing)
- KU Association of Women in Science
- Mammals of Kansas (continuing)
- Research Experiences for Undergraduates
- KU Department of Molecular Biosciences
- Division of Biological Sciences Alumni site
- KU Electron Microscopy and Imaging Lab
- Univ. of Kansas Biology Teaching Technology Center (BTTC)
- Univ. of Kansas Biology Teaching Resource Center (BTRC)
- BRIDGE Program (Haskell Indian Nations Univ/KU exchange program)
- KU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- KU Graduate Program in Genetics
I provided regular support for computer users in the BTRC, Graphics Center, EM-Imaging Lab, and Division faculty. I also advise (and continue to do so) related Units (Environmental Studies Program, KU Field Facilities, Wildcare, Kansas Herpetological Soc., etc.) on the content and delivery of their web sites. I participate in operating and developing sites beyond KU when this will enhance the Division's presence, and have my own consulting business.
I assisted unrelated Units (KU's Office of Instructional Data Services/Center for Teaching Excellence, etc.) when assistance was requested to teach faculty workshops on presentation software, distance learning strategies, and effective Web presentations.
I served on the University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Technology Committee, which reports directly to the Dean, and on similar departmental committees.
I am familiar with a wide variety of applications on Macintosh OS (which I have used for years) and Intel-based computers, including: Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat [the app, as opposed to the Reader], Canvas, GraphicConverter, Macromedia FreeHand, Ofoto, PageMaker, sundry browsers on various platforms, other word processors and multi-purpose software (ClarisWorks, MS Works, Word Perfect), data bases (FileMaker Pro, MS File MS-Access, MS-Excel), utilities (StuffIt, Adobe Acrobat, BinHex, APS Disk Tools, Apple Diagnostic Tools, Norton Utilities, SoundMachine, others), statistics/graphing (StatView, MapMaker, Data Desk, Cricket Graph-III), communications (Telnet, Fetch, MicroPhone, MacTCP, Mac PPP, AppleTalk, NetscapeMail, Eudora), presentation and Web authoring (Macromedia Dreamweaver, NetObjects Fusion, Netscape Communicator, MS FrontPage, PowerPoint, Astound, Avid-Video), and a variety of biology teaching and simulation applications. I also am familiar with UNIX machines (especially Web-related UNIX routines/apps, etc.).
Director of Laboratories -- University of Kansas Division of Biological Sciences.
I had primary administrative responsibility for all Introductory Biology laboratories. In Fall of 1997, these labs amounted to 110 sections holding to 1400+ students. This was a typical single-semester load. Summer load was lighter (typically 10 sections and about 100 students). Secondarily, I had responsibility for using our available resources in assisting other Division lab courses. In a typical semester, we provided support to greater or lesser extent, as asked, to: Cell Biol. Lab, Comparative Anatomy Lab, Diversity of Organisms Lab, Biol. 409 Lab, and Honors Biology Lab. I directly supervised the activities of up to 50 graduate teaching assistants, 3 student lab technicians, two civil service lab technicians and assorted student help each semester. I scheduled TA teaching assignments, lab technician work, Biology 100 and B150 evening lecture exams and the rooms in which they are held, proctors for these exams, and rooms for TA-conducted evening review sessions. There were literally dozens of day-to-day activities associated with this, which ranged from meeting weekly with new TAs to help them establish direction in teaching, meeting with students who experience lab problems, performing annual reviews of classified staff, through more mundane things such as ordering materials, reviewing bid files, and repairing equipment.
The position was challenging, as prior to 1992, the introductory course was chronically under-funded. Total annual operating budget was generally about $4,200, exclusive of salaries, to handle an annual enrollment of over 2,000 students. Since that time, a new chairperson measurably improved our teaching environment, though funding still hovered distressingly around 50-cents per student per lab exercise.
The focus of the job was to provide a strong link between the team (the GTAs) and the course, while simultaneously making sure (to the extent funds allow): 1) that the team had what it needed to do its job; and 2) providing for the well-being of students. The job also entailed providing day-to-day direction, though of course overall responsibility for direction and establishment of content rested with the Division.
Facilities under my charge included 11 lab rooms, a preparation room, 2 student project rooms, an invertebrate culture room, an environmental chamber room, and an animal room. I was responsible for activities on the Robinson ecology teaching site, an outdoor classroom along 1.25 miles of trail on 110 acres of University property. The site was developed with donated materials and funds (which I solicited from agencies and corporations), and with a grant (which I obtained) from the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks.
I was directly responsible for hiring all lab prep help.
I co-authored (with Prof. Kenneth Armitage -- Emeritus, Baumgartner Dist. Prof.; Summerfield Dist. Professor) the lab manual (220pp) used for the Introductory Biology course from 1984-1999, and prepared a supplementary Lab Prep Guide and Instructors' Packet. In Summer and Fall 1991, I prepared a database of over 600 questions relevant to the lab program (available to TAs electronically to use as a question pool for lab quiz and exam questions, and to students in written form only).
I also supervised enrollment activities for the Division of Biological Sciences prior to computerized enrollment at KU (1983).
In Fall 1991, I designed, piloted, administered, and scored a student questionnaire dealing with the course and the lab manual (what is the basic demography of our enrollees, how did they use the book, was it a satisfactory resource for them, etc.). Results were positive and most instructive, and were useful in preparing funding requests. Repeated in 1994, results were similar.
While research activities were not formally part of my duties, on my own time and an "as time permits" basis I pursued my research on various aspects of the biology of snakes, and served as a resource for graduate and undergraduate students whose research interests coincide with my own. I have served as editor of professional publications and series in my field, receive articles for peer review from journal editors, was elected President of the largest US professional society in my field (and have chaired/still chair various major committees for that society), and have presented professional papers at meetings and been an invited speaker in one international symposium. Some of my research has been grant-sponsored.
- Graduate Degree: M.S. June, 1968, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y. 14778.
- Full graduate scholarship -- New York State Board of Regents 1965-1967.
In the Spring of 1966, the Department of Biology I declined a half-time teaching assistantship due to demands of field work.
Research: The annual reproductive cycle of the short-headed garter snake, Thamnophis brachystoma , a species endemic to the Allegheny Plateau region of New York and Pennsylvania.
- Undergraduate Degree: B.A. June, 1965, Hunter (Lehman) College, Bronx, N.Y.
- Full scholarship -- New York State Board of Regents (grant No. RC 7998) 1961-1965
National Science Foundation grant for Summer research, 1965, administered through the American Museum of Natural History.
- University of Kansas (KU), Lawrence, Kansas 66045 (1970-1972).
- Graduate courses included herpetology, animal distribution, biotelemetry, biometry, tropical ecology, fisheries biology and resources, North American plant communities and evolutionary mechanisms. GPA 3.2.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (Summer 1967):
- USDA Plant Quarantine Inspector training program. Training involved recognition of economically important fungi and insects (including larvae) as well as aspects of the biology of these.
I am a guest lecturer (snakebite and snake venoms) for Pharmacology and Toxicology 623/626 (1987-present). This involves a presentation on venom composition and action, mechanisms of envenomation, and acceptable treatment protocols. I prepare questions on this topic for the course exams. (Chief instructors -- Profs. George Traiger and Morris Faiman). Student reviews have been excellent.
I am a certified firearms instructor (rifle, pistol, shotgun, personal protection in the home, home firearm safety, reloading) and was selected one of the Kansas State instructors for applicants for Concealed Carry Handgun licenses (2006). In Spring 1998, I was invited to teach and develop a new course in Basic Firearms Safety for KU's Dept. of Health, Sport and Exercise Science. The course filled for Fall 1998 on the first day of enrollment, and continued to be one of the most popular courses in the HSES108 series until my discontinuance of it after Spring 2006 due to time constraints. I also have offered "Basic Target Pistol" in the Fall semester only, in response to student requests.
Until funds to support it were no longer available from the Division, I taught Biology 128 (Kansas Amphibians and Reptiles), a Spring course I designed to fill part of the gap left by Henry Fitch's retirement and the cessation of his Animal Natural History course. I secured approval of the course via College channels, and enrollment filled the three semesters I offered it. Each semester, I have offered a section of Biol. 424 (Undergraduate Research). Enrollment has of course varied; the next-to-last student to take it (Barbara Stephenson -- 1991 academic year) performed research that resulted in her collaboration on two refereed publications on western diamondback rattlesnakes (see below).
In Summer 1991, I prepared a series of lab-technique videos for our TAs in Introductory Biology and began (with Rena Rouse) planning ones for Mammalian Physiology. Additionally, in 1990 I commissioned, prepared a script for, and supervised production of a video guide for student use of the Anschutz Science Library. Filming and editing work were performed at-cost through the KU-RTVF Program. This video was very well received by students, TAs, and library staff (who used it and the work footage from it to produce a more extensive version). I have written and updated a 12-page student tour of the Science Library.
In 1970, I left secondary teaching to continue my education. I have held teaching assistantships in both geology (1 year) and biology (1.5 years) at the University of Kansas. From 1967-1970, I taught Biology & General Science in Westchester Co., NY high schools.
Hunter College: Assistant for the (graduate level) General Ecology course (1964).
While an undergraduate senior, I was permitted and encouraged to take over lectures in General Zoology and Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy when herpetological material was being covered. Such lectures included ecological, anatomical, paleontological, and general content.
Museum Administration and Public Education
Combat Air Museum, Topeka, Kansas (1987-1993)
Chair, Board of Directors 1990-1992
Involvement with CAM was as a volunteer from late 1987 through 1993. The Museum [a 501(c)(3) charitable organization] had a very good collection of aircraft and artifacts, but was staffed solely by volunteers like my son and I, and lacked effective central organization and planning. Initially, involvement was as aircraft restorer, an activity shared with my then-teenage son. Upon inquiring why various professional museum practices in common use were not followed at CAM, it became apparent that though well-intentioned and rich in aircraft knowledge, the volunteers knew little of formal museum practice. In a short time, I was invited to be a Board member, and later was asked to chair the Board. I did so for 2 years, and thereafter indicated a successor to continue what had been initiated.
Priorities were determined to be: accreditation, completion of an inventory, diversification of the Board to include non-Museum members who were both influential in the community and interested in developing the Museum, financial security, professional interaction with other museums, and exhibits development. These goals were at times compromised by the considerable factionalism that had developed within the Museum's membership, which essentially was functioning anarchistically, to the detriment of budget and morale. It has been rewarding to note that many of the policies and directions established during my terms on the Board have borne fruit in the past 3-5 years following the move of my son and I to other interests.
Activities at CAM were many and varied; some of these were:
- Accreditation: CAM lacked AAM accreditation, and indeed the Board was unaware of the benefits of this. I initiated the process by successfully applying for a MAP (Museum Accreditation Program) review grant from AAM. A reviewer was selected from the list provided by AAM/MAP, and the resultant assessment became a valuable planning document for further action. Accreditation still is being pursued by CAM; many goals have been met, but much remains to be done.
- Administration: The volunteer network was strengthened, and a recognition program for outstanding volunteers was implemented. I successfully pursued new contacts to donate needed parts and materials for aircraft restoration, and successfully pursued new donations of noteworthy aircraft from various sources, including the USAF-Museum in Dayton, OH. I also successfully pursued liaisons with Santa Fe RR and local trucking firms to handle the large task of moving huge artifacts at no cost to the Museum. These efforts built upon resources within the volunteer pool, and were aided by the group's morale-boost at seeing what COULD be done with available resources and some imagination. Additionally, the Board was strengthened and diversified through the addition of interested businesspersons and community leaders. As an aside, the Board has (1998) been roughly tripled in size and is composed almost ENTIRELY of such persons volunteering their time.
- Exhibits: The somewhat haphazard grouping of aircraft and artifacts was discussed and new layouts planned that gave more focus to the Museum. The MAP assessment had urged this, which gave impetus to my expressed interest in the restructuring. Of course, space limitations constrained certain goals, but overall the situation improved. An oral history program also was initiated with the help of an outside expert recruited through the Kansas History Museum; this effort began to capture the many memories of CAM members who had served through 3 major conflicts (WW-2, Korea, Vietnam). Liaison was established with the Kansas chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Assoc., and this proved instrumental in securing, moving and restoring a F-4 Phantom with a distinguished history in that conflict. Crew members who flew the aircraft were at the dedication, and the resultant press coverage served the Museum well. One volunteer who was an area school teacher was recruited to prepare a series of teacher/student worksheets and activity suggestions, with the goal of providing a structured learning environment for visiting school groups. These were distributed through the local Board of Education and were valuable in reducing the incidence of teachers bringing classes to the Museum and essentially turning children loose to run about. The resources were designed to be incorporated easily into lesson plans.
- Donations: The Museum lacked any formal solicitation program. Using models from other institutions, I developed a Planned Giving brochure. In 1997, I prepared a similar brochure for SSAR at the request of their Board. It is difficult to assess the effectiveness of this strategy long-term. However, both organizations received interested inquiries via the brochures.
While still a graduate student at the KU Museum of Natural History, I became closely associated with their newly developing Education Division. As Museum Assistant from March 1972 to July 1973, I gave educational talks covering general vertebrate biology and general herpetology to age groups ranging from pre-school to adult. I also spoke to multiply-handicapped youngsters (physically disabled and mentally retarded in varying degrees); programs for these youngsters were developed to provide a spectrum of tactile and auditory experiences involving all classes of vertebrates. I also have taught Museum education programs (in conjunction with the [pre-Spencer] KU Art Museum) covering animals in art. I assisted in development of various live exhibits presented by the Natural History Museum.
Sponsored Museum Collecting
1966: Altamaha River drainage (Georgia)--St. Bonaventure University
1971: Kentucky -- K. U. Museum of Natural History
My personal preserved collection of reptiles and amphibians represented a diverse number of species and localities, and was donated to the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pa.
I have used 35mm photography in my research as well as for lectures, and have gained experience in a wide variety of nature photography techniques dealing with photomicrography, macro- photography, distance work, etc. I frequently was consulted on photographic technique by St. Bonaventure University's Biology Department, and illustrated the theses of several doctoral students. I also prepared a series of Kodachromes of rare art to be use in one of the courses given by the University. In addition, slides from my film library were used by faculty and graduate students at seminars and outside addresses. I served as audio-visual coordinator at Preston Junior High School during the 1968-1969 academic year. My work continues to be used in theses at the University of Kansas, and has been included in the revised Museum of Natural History handbook Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas.
Contract photography has been done for the Association of Systematics Collections, K. U. Division of Biological Sciences, and K. U. Environmental Studies Program. My photos have been selected for inclusion in Living Snakes of the World, by K. L. Williams, Snakes of the Genus Agkistrodon by R. Conant and H. K. Gloyd, Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas by J. T. Collins, Boys Life , BioScience and, Field Museum (Chicago) Newsletter, among others.
Member: Herpetologists' League, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, National Honor Society, Kansas Herpetological Society, Society of Sigma Xi (National Biological Honors Society), Kansas State Rifle Assoc., Ad Aspera Chapter - Assoc. of Women in Science