Experience Biology at TLU
|Irvin G. Patterson Aquatic Biology Laboratory at Lake McQueeney|
The Irvin G. Patterson Biology Station at Lake McQueeney is a biological laboratory operated by the Department of Biology at Texas Lutheran University. The station is named for our friend Pat, associate professor emeritus of biology at TLU.
The station includes water access on a reservoir on the middle Guadalupe River in South Central Texas. It is located approximately 10 miles northwest of Seguin. Station facilities include a boat launch, boats, laboratory, and a 24-seat classroom. A wide range of field equipment is available, incuding water quality meters, dredge samplers, water samplers, plankton nets, dip nets, aquariums, drying ovens, a Spec 20, and dissecting and compound microscopes. The station is also home to an insect collection and small herbarium.
The purpose of the station is to support undergraduate research and teaching in biology and environmental science. The station provides access to a variety of lake and river habitats (approximately five miles of the Guadalupe River).
Biology Seminars provide students and faculty an opportunity to learn about the latest research in biology, as well as an opportunity to present their own research and ideas. All biology seniors present a 15-minute seminar in their last year at TLU.
Seminars are usually held at 1:00 pm on Fridays in Moody Science 101.
Signs will be posted on the doors of the Moody and Krost Science buildings announcing seminars. Also check the TLU calendar.
|Environmental Studies in Tropical America|
Students interested in tropical biology and environmental studies can participate in our trips to the beautiful countries of Central and South America. Over the past decade, we have been to Ecuador, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico. Our next trip will probably be in 2012. Most trips last about two weeks in May.
These short study abroad opportunities are ideal for students who have not been out of the US before, or those who may not have time or money for longer semester programs. Many of our students have described their travels to Central and South America as a highlight of their college experience. We usually travel with two TLU faculty members and about 10-12 students.
In May 2013, nine TLU students and two TLU faculty traveled to Belize to study tropical ecology and environmental science. The first part of our adventure was spent on the remote island of Calabash Caye in the center of the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the Americas. Calabash Caye is located in the Turneffe Atoll, which recently was designated as a marine reserve by the government of Belize. The reef is known for its diversity of marine life and for a high density of American crocodiles, which we observed at night. We snorkeled in a variety of reefs and mangrove habitats and saw dozens of species of fish and invertebrates. The second part of our trip was spent on the mainland, and included visits to a community-sponsored sanctuary for howler monkeys and horseback riding in the jungle. We stayed at a lodge at the foothills of the scenic Maya mountains. The lodge is located adjacent to a 3000 acre reserve of primary rainforest. We observed toucans, parrots, boa constrictors, leaf-cutter ants, and many more species of rainforest animals. We also learned about the ancient Maya, and visited one of their sacred caves and the largest Maya city in Belize.View the photo gallery of the Belize trip.
In May, 2010, we traveled to Ecuador, one of the countries with the highest biodiversity on Earth. In one day, one can travel from glaciated mountaintops to lowland rainforest. After a day of exploring the beautiful colonial city of Quito, we drove up to Cotopaxi to observe high-elevation habitats of the Andes. Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world, and we could certainly feel the lack of oxygen as we hiked at 15,000 feet above sea level. We then moved down into the mountain cloud forests on the east side of the Andes where we stayed at an awesome hacienda near Banos for a few days. Next, we descended into the Amazon basin to explore lowland tropical rainforest along the Napo River. On our way back to Quito we stayed at the thermal springs in Papallacta. During our trip, we played soccer with local kids, visited a gold-plated cathedral, ate local foods, planted some trees, visited an animal refuge, and continually soaked in the fascinating culture of Ecuador.
|• Yucatan peninsula of Mexico|
In May of 2008 we traveled to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. We visited several Mayan cities (Chichen Itza, Coba, Tulum, Uxmal). We stayed with college students in Valladolid, explored the city of Merida, hiked through the dry forest to see howler and spider monkeys, and swam in the canals of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve and the cenotes.
|• Costa Rica|
We visited Costa Rica in May of 2007. We hiked in rainforests and cloud forests, white-water rafted down a rainforest river, observed an active volcano, swam in the Pacific Ocean, and were raided by monkeys on a boat trip through the mangrove swamps.
TLU biology students measuring aquatic biodiversity in a local river.