Campus News for January 8, 2013

Latest Desert Bighorn Relocation To Brewster County Mountains- By Steve Lang, News and Publications

                One of Texas’ biggest wildlife restoration success stories continued with the relocation of 44 desert bighorn sheep to south Brewster County mountains.

                Helicopter capture of the bighorn was conducted Dec. 18-20 at Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The sheep were processed for data collection and to determine general health, then were radio-collared. After processing, the bighorn were transported to 9 Point Mesa, about 30 miles away.

                The collaborative effort included Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW), Sul Ross State University’s Borderlands Research Institute, the Texas Bighorn Society and private landowners. This marked the first time in recent years that surplus animals were relocated from public lands to a private setting.

                Froylan Hernandez, TPW desert bighorn sheep program leader and a Sul Ross graduate, said that the relocation to 9 Point Mesa will hopefully provide another area where desert bighorn will flourish.

                “This is a huge step in the restoration process,” said Hernandez. “We have had the fortunate dilemma of having (surplus) sheep in state properties. Now we have the opportunity to go to private land as another source of brood stock....(9 Point Mesa) could become another free-range nursery.”

                Hernandez added that the ongoing research, particularly in monitoring bighorn movements, was “critical in furthering our understanding.”

                The ultimate goal of the project is to restore the desert bighorn population to its historic peak of 3,000 animals in the West Texas mountain ranges. Since restoration efforts began about 50 years ago, the population now approaches 1,500. Restoration efforts started in Black Gap WMA, with desert bighorn brought in from other states. By 2000, surplus animals were located to other sites from in-state sources, including Black Gap WMA. In 2010 and 2011, desert bighorns were released on Big Bend Ranch State Park.

                David Wetzel, president of the Texas Bighorn Society, said that the collaborative efforts are integral to the success of the restoration.

                “I think the reason it works is because everybody is working together,” he said, noting that TBS has supported Sul Ross research.

                “We have developed a relationship with a lot of Sul Ross students over the years, and these (research) projects are what build that relationship.”

                He praised the overall conservation efforts in the region, saying “we’re trying to restore the country to what it was...and that will benefit everything....Bighorns provide a wonderful poster child for that effort.

                “You see the sheep in this country and they belong here,” said Wetzel. “If you make it right for them, you make it right for everything around them, too.

                Parker Johnson, who oversees operations of 9 Point Mesa Ranch for his mother- and father-in-law, Bobby and John Nau, said his family has worked to “bring the ranch back to its native heritage” since acquiring the property. Restoration has included spiking 8,000 acres of grasslands as well as removing interior fences, installing 70,000 feet of water line (more than 13 miles) and establishing 24 wildlife waterers on top of the mesa.

                Johnson said restoration efforts included a “laundry list” from TPW in order to make the mesa acceptable for bighorn relocation, which has been satisfactorily completed.

                “We are absolutely ecstatic that the state is bringing the bighorn sheep project onto private lands,” he said. “This is not only an opportunity for us, but for future generations as a restocking zone.”

                Dr. Louis Harveson, Sul Ross professor of Natural Resource Management and BRI director, is very optimistic about the relocation to 9 Point Mesa. He noted the success of bighorn repopulation at Elephant Mountain.                 Starting with about 20 sheep in the 1980s, the population has grown to more than 160 on at least three different occasions. This has provided capture/relocation opportunities of 45 bighorns to Black Gap Mesa in 2000; 46 to Big Bend Ranch State Park in 2010; and the recent relocation to 9 Point Mesa. Smaller capture/transplants have also occurred.

                “If we can find another area as productive, we’ll be successful with establishing a source population for future (relocation) efforts,” he said. “9 Point Mesa is a very promising area. Parker and his family are doing everything right and we’re very excited.”

                Sul Ross graduate student Joshua Cross, Alpine, will be monitoring the 9 Point Mesa herd, including tracking their movements via radio and satellite collars.

                “From a research standpoint, we learn so much from these sheep, including the distances they travel and habitat evaluation,” Harveson said.

                “The next two to three months are a critical time for the bighorn; handling the stress of capture, adapting to new territory and the threat of predators,” said Harveson. “We have already passed the ‘window of capture’ stress levels of the first few weeks, and it’s looking real good at this point.”

                He added that recent data on bighorn released in Big Bend Ranch State Park last year showed a survival rate that exceeded 80 percent. Of 78 radio-collared desert bighorn, 63 were alive. Seven of the 15 fatalities were due to predators, particularly mountain lions.

                Desert bighorn numbered up to 3,000 in the mid-19th century and about 1,500 after the 1880s before undergoing a dramatic decline. Probable causes were the introduction of domestic sheep and goats to the region, along with related diseases, net-wire fencing and unregulated hunting. Prior to restoration efforts, the last recorded sighting was in the Sierra Diablo region in late 1958.

                “Over the last 50 years, the reintroduction of bighorn sheep is one of the biggest success stories in Texas wildlife,” said Harveson. “There are a lot of volunteers that make this happen.”

Desert bighorn capture and relocation

A desert bighorn ram is released to his new home on the 9 Point Mesa in south Brewster County. A total of 44 desert bighorn were captured at Elephant Mountain WMA Dec. 18-20 and relocated to the mesa. (Photo by Steve Lang)

A desert bighorn ram, now radio collared, bolts for the high spots on the 9 Point Mesa in south Brewster County. A total of 44 desert bighorn were captured at Elephant Mountain WMA Dec. 18-20 and relocated mesa. (Photo by Steve Lang)

Desert bighorn project

Desert bighorn

A pair of desert bighorn sheep are lowered by an AeroWest helicopter at Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area. A total of 44 desert bighorn were captured at Elephant Mountain WMA and relocated on the 9 Point Mesa in south Brewster County. (Photo by Steve Lang)

A captured desert bighorn ram is tested for general health prior to being radio-collared. A total of 44 desert bighorn sheep were captured at Elephant Mountain WMA Dec. 18-20 and relocated on the 9 Point Mesa in south Brewster County. (Photo by Steve Lang)



                Sul Ross State University Spring 2013 semester classes will begin Thursday, Jan. 17.

                Weekend Format classes begin Saturday, Jan. 12.

                Residence halls will open at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14. Also on Jan. 14, a faculty-staff meeting will be held at 9 a.m. in Marshall Auditorium, followed by college and departmental meetings at 10:30 a.m. Orientation will be conducted for new and transfer students.

                Lobo Days Orientation and Welcome Week will be held Monday-Wednesday, Jan. 14-16.

                Wednesday, Jan. 16 is the last day for regular registration and the last day for students to register in Education block courses. Orientation for new and transfer students will also be conducted.

                Classes, late registration and schedule changes begin Thursday, Jan. 17. The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday will be observed Monday, Jan. 21. Tuesday, Jan. 22 is the last day for late registration and schedule changes. Wednesday, Jan. 30 marks the last day for students enrolled in Education block courses to drop a course and receive a “W”.

                Monday, Feb. 4 is the 12th class day, and Wednesday, Feb. 6 is the last day to apply for graduation in August or December 2013. Friday, Feb. 8 is the deadline to apply to student teach during Fall Semester 2013.

                Friday, March 8 marks mid-semester. Residence halls will close at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 9 and spring vacation will be held Monday-Friday, March 11-15 with no classes scheduled. Residence halls will re-open at noon Sunday, March 17.

                A University as Community Meal on the Mall will be served Monday, March 25.

                Friday, April 5 is the last day to withdraw from the university or to drop courses with a “W”. Drops must be processed in the Registrar’s Office by 4 p.m.

                The annual Honors Convocation will be held Monday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. in Marshall Auditorium.

                Wednesday, May 1 is the last class day, with final examinations scheduled Monday-Thursday, May 6-9.

                Spring commencement will be held Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. in the Pete P. Gallego Center.          




                Carol Fairlie, Professor of Art at Sul Ross State University, had three of her paintings selected for the exhibition ”They practice what they teach, works by regional art faculty,” at the Ellen Noel Art Museum, Odessa.

                The exhibition, scheduled Jan. 25-March 10, includes art faculty from colleges and universities in Odessa, Midland, Big Spring, Snyder and Alpine. A Member’s preview reception is scheduled Thursday, Jan. 24 at 5:30 p.m.

                The exhibit features works by West Texas art faculty revealing a great diversity of media and artistic expression found in the region. Works include printmaking, painting, ceramics and new media. Each artist selected for the show demonstrates the artistic skills for which they have become known.

                For more information, contact the Ellen Noel Art Museum, 4909 E. University, Odessa, (432) 550-9696.




            A total of 215 students, 144 from the Alpine Campus and 71 from Rio Grande College, were candidates for degrees during fall commencement exercises at Sul Ross State University.

                Ceremonies were held Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Pete P. Gallego Center for Sul Ross-Alpine graduates and in the Uvalde High School Auditorium for RGC graduates.

                Alpine campus graduates, their degrees and hometowns are listed below. Degree codes are as follows: AA-Associate of Applied Science; BA - Bachelor of Arts; BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration; BFA - Bachelor of Fine Arts; BS - Bachelor of Science; Cert. - Certificate; MA - Master of Arts; MAg. - Master of Agriculture;

MBA - Master of Business Administration; MEd - Master of Education; MS - Master of Science; VN - Vocational Nursing Certificate; cum laude, 3.5-3.69 grade point average; magna cum laude, 3.7-3.89; summa cum laude, 3.9-4.0.


CHIHUAHUA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO: Edith Parra Garcia, MBA, Business Administration

IBUDAN, NIGERIA: Akinwande P. Akinja, MBA, Business Administration

LAGOS, NIGERIA: Olorunishola K. Oluwasina, MBA, Business Administration

OWERRI IMO STATE, NIGERIA: Charles C. Chukwu, MBA, Business Administration


TUCSON, ARIZ.: Maria T. Williams, MS, Range and Wildlife Management

HAYWARD, CAL.: Rose M. Enos, MS, Animal Science

RIALTO, CAL.: Lovell D. Johnson, BA, General Studies

SANTA ANA, CAL.: Kristen Malabayabas, MA, Public Administration

GARDNERVILLE, NEV.: Urban D.W. Strachan, BS, Natural Resource Management

NEWARK, N.J.: Gabrielle Brown, BS, Criminal Justice

ROSWELL, N.M.: Justin W. Lassiter, BS, Geology

DRYDEN, N.Y.: Ryan W. Stevens, BA, General Studies

PORTAGE, WIS.: Katie Friend Berry, BS, Animal Science


ABILENE: Sandra D. Dunbar, MEd, Counseling; Sharla Winkles Raughton, MEd, Counseling; Dina L. Riggins, MEd, Counseling; Lindsay Smith, MEd, Counseling

ALBANY: Susan Beard, MEd, Counseling

ALPINE: Gloria Brownell, MA, Public Administration; MEd, Criminal Justice; Di Andra N. Garcia, Cert., Vocational Nursing; Christopher E. Kreger, BS, Mathematics; Thomas N. Leyva, BS, Criminal Justice; Samuel W. Merton, MBA, Business Administration; Kimberly A. Morrow, BA, Communication; Taylour Murphy, BS, Natural Resource Management; Jan A. Pascual, Cert., Vocational Nursing; Lesley J. Vrudny, Cert., Vocational Nursing; KaitlinA. Ybarra, BA, Psychology, cum laude

AMARILLO: Jory T. Brookreson, BS, Biology

AUSTIN: Claudialina Duque, BS, BiologyTerrence S. Hedgepeth, MBA, Business Administration; Zachary Schuch, MAg, Range and Wildlife Management

BALMORHEA: James R. Garlick, Jr., BS, Animal Science

BIG LAKE: Bailen Goodloe, BS, Biology

BOWIE: Jameson S. Crumpler, BS, Natural Resource Management

BRACKETTVILLE: Kevin W. Newsom, MEd, School Administration

BRADY: Claude Dudley, MS, Criminal Justice

CANYON: Rachel Fix, BS, Animal Science

CARBON: Lacy L. Majors, MEd, Counseling

CASTROVILLE: Joshua J. Perales, BBA, Business Administration

CHILDRESS: Kalin D. Bentley, BA, Administrative Systems and Business Technology

CHRISTOVAL: Kellen R. Gierke, BS, Natural Resource Management

CLINT: Megan I. Franco, BA, Psychology

COLORADO CITY: Jennifer J. Ritchey, MA, Public Administration

CONVERSE: Cristen Smith, BA, Communication

COOLIDGE: Stephanie D. Bohanna, BA, Communication

CORPUS CHRISTI: Karen K. Hancock, MEd, Counseling; Samantha Hardin, BS, Natural Resource Management

COVINGTON: Allyce A. Olivarez, BA, Communication

DALLAS: Ryan C. Farmer, BS, Natural Resource Management

DEL RIO: Bonita R. Gonzalez, MA, English; Robert R. Lopez, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science; Isaac J. Molina, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science; Carlos F. Ramirez, BS, Criminal Justice

DILLEY: Tina Rodriguez, BS, Criminal Justice

EL PASO: Alicia D. Adams, MEd, School Administration; Christina Alvarez, MEd, Counseling; Christina M. Amato, MEd, School Administration; Sara A. Ameen, BA, Social Sciences; Michael Apodaca, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science;Jeffrey D. Baldwin, MEd, School Administration;Amanda Blake, MEd, Counseling; Justin D. Boatright, BS, Natural Resource Management; Robbie Medina Carrizales, MEd, Counseling; David Castro, MEd, Counseling; Cody J. Christian, BS, Criminal Justice; Angie A. Crook, BS, Natural Resource Management; Margarita De Leon, MEd, Counseling; Brenda J. Delgado, BS, Mathematics; Josette Delgado, BS, Natural Resource Management; Walter R. Devine, Jr., MBA, Business Administration; Frank Durant IV, MA, Public Administration; Cynthia E. Esparza, MEd, Counseling; Rogelio Hernandez, MEd, School Administration; Brittany K. Jaso, MBA, Business Administration; Lizet Lopez-Longoria, MEd, Counseling; Gabriel R. Lucero, MS, Criminal Justice; Jimmy Martinez, Jr., BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science; Gina Medina, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science, cum laude; Beatriz Quinonez, BS, Criminal Justice;Rosa I. Rodriguez, MEd, Counseling; Angelica Serrano, MEd, Counseling; Christina L. Solis, BA, General Studies; Yuri A. Soto, MEd, School Administration; Elizabeth M. Steele, MA, English; Martha P. Valles, MEd, School Administration; James G. Villanueva, MBA, Business Administration

FABENS: April Arellano, BA, General Studies; Roberto Garcia, BFA, Art

FORT DAVIS: Austi D. Sullivan, BA, General Studies; Jacquelynn B. Tippit, BA, Political Science

FORT HANCOCK: Marco A. Gomez, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science

FORT STOCKTON: Kristin C. Acosta, Cert., Vocational Nursing; Daniel De Leon, BBA, Business Administration; Patricia C. Pena, BA, Administrative Systems and Business Technology

GONZALES: Grant G. Griffin, MA, Liberal Arts

HAMLIN: Cindy B. Hastings, MEd. Counseling; Andrea L. Ponder, MEd, Counseling

HEBBRONVILLE: Lucas G. Garza, BS, Interdisciplinary Studies

HURST: Kahla L. Browne, Cert., Vocational Nursing

KILLEEN: Brenton Silva, MBA, Business Administration

LAMESA: David B. Bell, MEd, School Administration; Tanya Bell, MEd, School Administration

LEANDER: Madalyn M. Miller, BS, Natural Resource Management

LUFKIN: Jerron Goss, MS, Criminal Justice

MARFA: Desire J. Williams, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science, magna cum laude

MIDLAND: Joaquin Porras, BA, General Studies

MILES: Lori A. Villarreal, BA, Interdisciplinary Studies

ODESSA: Samantha R. Baker, BS, Mathematics; Krista Zeigler, MEd, Counseling

OLTON: Rachel Carson Byers, MEd, Counseling

PECOS: Angelica M. Prieto, BBA, Business Administration

PORT LAVACA: Joseph A. Vaughn, BS, Biology, cum laude

PORTLAND: Chance A. Campbell, MAg,.Animal Science

PRESIDIO: Iralee G. Acosta, MEd, Reading Specialist; Aida I. Luevanos Armendariz, BBA, Business Administration; Donna McKenzie, Cert., Vocational Nursing; Monique Ortiz, BA, Psychology; BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science;Maria V. Terrazas, MA, Public Administration; MS, Criminal Justice; Jesus H. Villa, Jr., BA, Social Sciences,cum laude

SAN ANGELO: Kyla M. Miller, BS, Agricultural Business

SAN ANTONIO: Megan R. Boatright, BS, Natural Resource Management; Johnathon P. Cruz, BA, Political Science; Tommy G. Cude II, BA, General Studies; Brenda Y. Guzman, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science; Pedro A. Saenz, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science

SAN SABA: TommieTinney, BS, Natural Resource Management

SANDERSON: Victoria Busch, Cert., Vocational Nursing; Fernanda Busch Vega, Cert., Vocational Nursing

SANTA FE: Travis J. Waldrep, BS, Natural Resource Management

SCHERTZ: Tara J. Foley, Cert., Vocational Nursing

SHERMAN: Melissa McAllister-Kerr, MBA, Business Administration

SPRINGTOWN: Brittany N. Chavez, MEd, General Education

TARPLEY: Senisa Stacy, BA, Administrative Systems and Business Technology

TAYLOR: Katharine Burkhart, MEd, Counseling

TERLINGUA: Cedar Boone McEntire, MA, Political Science

TOMBALL: Michael R. Lynch, BA, Social Sciences

TUSCOLA: Stephanie Bevills, MEd, Counseling

UVALDE: Laci L. Bostic, BS, Natural Resource Management; Zachary Moerbe, MS, Criminal Justice

WACO: Calvin B. Landrum, II, BBA, Business Administration