November 2011 Page 6


News reached the east coast of Oklahoma’s prolonged drought and months of 100 degree temperatures, and I imagined dust bowl conditions at the Biological Station!  By October 14, temperatures had dropped into the 70’s and 80’s, but the waters of Lake Texoma had contracted and the blue-green had ballooned.  Abundant fish bones lined the contoured shores, and we sensed that the wildlife we saw were literally survivors.

Many factors probably contributed to a low turnout for our celebration, but those who attended were highly enthusiastic and opened their wallets in support of the Station and its students. Our speaker, Dr. Scott Edwards, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology and curator of ornithology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard  spoke of the genetic and behavioral divergence of certain Australian birds of the same lineage which were geographically isolated by the Carpentarian Barrier. Dr. Edwards expressed interest in the Station, the habitat, and the enthusiasm of the participants. 


Aerial photo 2011

Photo courtesy of Philip Morton

AUction items 2011

Photo courtesy of Claudio Topolcic

Books, prints, and ephemera donated by several people, including board members who could not attend, were scooped up by buyers.  Children’s books were particularly diverse in content and jewelry was a hot item.  The top bids for a full-sized signed Charlie Harper print of pileated woodpeckers and a first edition copy of Birds of Georgia was made by a very astute ornithologist. We auctioned an original porcelain marble illustrated with a miniature Monet painting by artist David Miller who attended the meeting and helped to set up the sale displays.  Several ornithological prints by John Mix Stanley illustrating birds identified in the1855 expedition of US Pacific Railroad expedition and survey will remain in Oklahoma, and authentic Hawaiian aloha shirts might be seen anywhere in the future. An “outback hat” donated once again by Sun Precautions found a willing head/face to protect from UVA and UVB.

We welcomed a new auctioneer in Dr. Barbara Neas, a contemporary of mine and a David Ross Boyd Professor in the OU College of Public Health in Oklahoma City.  She clearly came to the task with prior experience.  Mahalo (thanks) to the members of the auction and sale subcommittee, Barbara Shirley, Helen Kodesh, Claudio Topolcic, and Nancy Hauger, who made it all happen.  Claudio created a new computerized program so buyers received an itemized and tabulated list of purchases with the purchase prices and total at the end of the auction.  This facilitated the checkout process.

A magnificent raffle basket was assembled with food from Alaska, Colorado, Canada, Maine, and Hawaii.  Dr. Sherry Gage of the VA Medical Center, Oklahoma City, assembled the distinctive food, and oversaw the drawing.  The basket contained wild Pacific salmon, wild rice, lobster chowder, genuine maple syrup, macadamia nuts, and Kona coffee. Judging from the interest, we will keep raffling.

raffle basket 2011

Photo courtesy of Claudio Topolcic

Our next celebration and reunion will likely be in Norman in February 2013, and we will focus on introducing students to the opportunities at he Station.  We plan raffle baskets, select sale items, and healthy food.  Keep tuned for dates and times.  We invite you to attend and to bring friends and students with you.

If you are interested in supporting the Station, log in to the website ( and explore our new gifting program.  Click on the highlighted “help UOBS and receive a unique gift” and follow directions.  When you are on the contribution/gift page, you can click on the photos of the gifts for more information on provenance and size.  We will mail the items by US mail within the continental USA for no additional cost.  Please help us help the Station!

Julia Yoshida

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