Lumberjacks give back
Students in SFA’s Department of Anthropology, Geography and Sociology may have varied research interests and career goals – but one thing they have in common is their desire to give back and make their communities better places to live.
Giving back to the community
Members of the Sociology and Gerontology Club participate in several activities throughout the year, including volunteering at the local animal shelter, organizing food drives to benefit the local homeless population and holding holiday toy drives.
Anthropology, geography and sociology students regularly participate in campus and community activities and initiatives, including Caddo Culture Days, and the cleanup and preservation projects at historic cemeteries, such as the Zion Hill Baptist Church cemetery, St. Paul’s cemetery and the New Salem cemetery.
Volunteering at the Ellen Trout Zoo
Students in the Department of Anthropology, Geography and Sociology have opportunities to work with the veterinarians, keepers and educators at the Ellen Trout Zoo, located in Lufkin, Texas. Activities include assisting with media, providing enrichment activities for animals, helping with conservation, research and education efforts, and caring for animals and exhibits.
Conducting research at Catahoula Preserve
An SFA biogeography class recently collected data on conditions related to decades-long exclusion of fire from longleaf pine forests within the 100-acre Catahoula Preserve, which abuts the Upland Island Wilderness of the Angelina National Forest, southeast of Zavalla, Texas.
Originally established to protect a ridgetop longleaf pine stand from logging, the exclusion of historically frequent low-intensity wildfire has led to encroachment of dense thickets of Yaupon holly and deep layers of pine needles, both of which present risk of higher-intensity fire that would also damage the ecosystem.
SFA students collected data before and after a prescribed burn and produced research posters that were presented at statewide meetings of the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration.
Pitching in at Banita Creek Preserve
Located just blocks from campus, the 15-acre Banita Creek Preserve is home to a 1.9-mile walking trail, a scenic creek with waterfalls and a wide variety of local plants, animals and insects. The SFA Sustainability Club partners with other SFA classes and organizations to complete a variety of projects at Banita Creek throughout the year.
Recent activities include:
- Removing nonnative Chinese privet saplings
- Building and maintaining a new butterfly garden
Members of the Sustainability Club have also produced reports and a research poster, which was presented at a Texas Society for Ecological Restoration conference in San Antonio.