Meet the Authors

Jos Arturo Garca Domnguez

Jos Arturo Garca Domnguez

José Arturo García Domínguez was born in Mexico City, México. His interest in birds began when he was a young boy and saw a pair of shrikes nesting in a tree behind his family’s apartment. He spent hours watching the pair through his uncle’s binoculars. While attending Autonomous University in Baja California, México, he worked on a research project examining the winter ecology of Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans). In 2002, he moved to Xalapa, Veracruz, México where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Veracruz, México.

While attending the university, he completed an undergraduate project entitled “Conservation of marine and aquatic birds of Tamiahua Lagoon”. He also has worked on avian projects in Montana, Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, Veracruz, México, Isabel Island National Park, Nayarit, México, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which is located in southern México. Currently, Arturo is working on his PhD at the Institute of Biotechnology and Applied Ecology of the University of Veracruz. He is studying the potential distribution and genetic variability of the Perote ground squirrel (Xerospermophilus perotensis). The results of this project will be used to update the conservation status of this species and develop conservation measures to protect it.

Jos Ral Vzquez Prez

Jos Ral Vzquez Prez

José Raúl Vázquez Pérez was born in Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, México. His interest in birds began when he volunteered for a project in 2001 to study birds in El Ocote Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas, México. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Arts and Sciences of Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México. While attending the university, he completed an undergraduate project entitled “Diversity of diurnal raptors in El Ocote Biosphere Reserve”.

In 2010, he received a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management and Rural Development from College of the Southern Border (ECOSUR) in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México. His thesis was entitled “Density and Habitat Use of owls in El Ocote Biosphere Reserve”. He also has worked on avian projects in Huitepec and Moxviquil Nature Preserves in Chiapas, México. Currently, Raúl is working on a research project to further conservation efforts for threatened and endangered bird species that occur in cloud forest habitat located in Chiapas, México.

Meet the Educators

Pat Merkord

Pat Merkord is Founder & Owner of Bluestem Environmental Consultants

Pat received her Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and her Master’s degree in Biology with a specialty in wildlife management from Texas State University. She was a high school biology and chemistry teacher for twenty-nine years and received Intel’s “Excellence in Science Teaching” award in 2001. Pat is the founder and current owner of “Bluestem Environmental Consultants” which specializes in wildlife management, habitat restoration, compliance, endangered species, educational services, native plant landscaping, pond management, wetlands, water sheds, and water quality. In addition to her consulting business, Pat is an active member of the Maddin Prairie Committee and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Native Prairies Association of Texas. She also served as the secretary for the Board of Directors of the Native Prairies Association of Texas for two years. Active birders for many years, she and her husband Glenn like to spend time restoring their “urban acre” in Conroe, Texas with native plants. Pat is especially interested in prairie conservation and restoration in Texas.

Mary Kay Sexton

Mary Kay Sexton is a Science Educator

Mary Kay received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Texas State University, where she specialized in aquatic biology. She has taught sixth grade science at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas for fifteen years. While at St. Andrew’s she created a week-long summer nature camp and also teaches a self-created elective called “EcoAdventures,” which established and maintains the school butterfly garden. Prior to teaching at St. Andrew’s, Mary Kay worked for The Nature Conservancy, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, and Environmental Survey Consulting, a native plant restoration company in Austin. Mary Kay’s love of nature began when she was a young girl riding bikes with her mother and neighborhood children to Salado Creek in San Antonio, Texas where they collected ladybugs for the garden. Her father’s Air Force career took her to Colorado where many a day was spent in the woods and creek behind their quarters. His love of travel meant many summer vacations in national parks. She is especially grateful to her husband Chuck Sexton, retired wildlife biologist at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, who has been a constant source of answers to many questions related to the Golden-cheeked Warbler.