Volume XXIV No. 39 Sept.
items to Campus Currents -
The Campus Currents is distributed every
Friday. If you would like to include an item in
the newsletter send it to Campus Currents, Unit
9512 or by e-mail to Campus
Currents. Deadline is Thursday at 8 a.m.
BHSU professor and students spend
second summer in the Caribbean studying endangered snakes
school in the Caribbean may be a great recruiting promotion,
but for Dr. Brian Smith, biologist, and two Black Hills State
students it was a tedious research project involving long
hours, extremely hot temperatures, and days away from the
comforts of home.
Smith and his student
assistants spent two months this summer surveying the lizard
populations on remote Caribbean islands near Antigua. Their
research involved counting and surveying lizards, the primary
food source of an endangered snake known as the Antiguan Racer
(Alsophis antiguae). There are approximately 80 of the
harmless snakes in existence at this time, 70 on Great Bird
Island and 10 others reintroduced last fall to a smaller
The recovery project is
supported by the six-member Antiguan Racer Conservation
Project (ARCP), a consortium which includes BHSU, and
organizations from Britain, Antigua, and Washington, D.C.
The BHSU research group began
its work last summer and will continue the research for at
least three more years. They will be estimating the carrying
capacity of the islands for the reintroduction of the Antiguan
Racer to its former range. Smith will be conducting an annual
census of the lizard and snake populations.
Before the snake can be
reintroduced to an island, the island must have its rat and
mongoose populations eradicated. These non-native mammals have
decimated the snake population.
Smith said their lizard
surveys produced no startling results this summer. They
conducted 936 surveys. Most were done on four islands, but
some initial survey work was done on two others.
"On Great Bird Island,
there was a significant drop in lizard numbers at one habitat
and on the other islands there were no changes except at one
control site," said Smith. "Where the snakes were
introduced, there were no changes in the lizard populations.
The snakes showed no problems adjusting to the new
Smith speculated that a drop
in the lizard population at a couple of the sites might have
been the result of very dry weather this summer.
"One significant aspect
we added to the project was a Global Positioning System (GPS)
mapping unit into the field," said the BH herpetologist.
"We can map the size of the island and the size of
habitat. This helps to calculate the numbers of lizards on the
snakes preying on lizards as their primary food, Smith was
surprised to see a racer eating a baby bird (a nestling). He
spotted the snake drop from about a meter above the ground
with the bird. The island is forested with lots of vines so
the snakes are able to work their way up the tree for a short
"This activity had never
been reported before," he said. "I immediately
called the main island using my cell phone to report the
Smith said there was a large
population of pigeons and doves nesting close to the ground on
that particular island and the opportunity for a different
food source was readily available. A colleague of his who has
spent the past five years observing the snake had never
witnessed them feeding on nestlings. The BH herpetologist
spotted the unusual eating phenomenon on two separate
With the potential for an
increased workload involving 1,400 to 1,500 surveys a summer
during the next few years, Smith was pleased to be able to
involve two BH students and one Caribbean student in this
summer’s survey work. The Caribbean student is working on a
master’s degree supported by a scholarship from the United
Kingdom. Smith plans to involve one or two additional BH
students and a second Caribbean student in the project next
summer. The Caribbeans will eventually oversee the
A stable population of snakes
is estimated to be 500. It will be some time before that
number is reached. The first hatch from the ten recently
reintroduced snakes is expected in late August or early
September. Some of the small islands can only handle about 80
snakes, therefore more islands must be surveyed and prepared
In the future, Smith hopes to
find additional dollars to support more students in the
research. He said they are considering snake reintroduction on
a large privately owned island that could potentially handle a
snake population of 300 to 400. That would be a big step
toward reaching the minimum goal of 500 snakes necessary to
stabilize the Antiguan Racer population and save it from
In the near future Smith and
his student assistants will be analyzing the survey data and
preparing for a return trip to the islands. Grants from the
Columbus and Cleveland zoos have helped fund his research.
Celebrate homecoming hippie
The annual Black Hills State University homecoming Oct.
10-14 will be celebrated "hippie style" with "Swarmin’
in the 70s" as the theme for the week’s festivities.
Activities begin Tuesday, Oct. 10 and continue through the
week culminating in a full day of activities Swarm Day Saturday,
Oct. 14 including the parade, tailgate socials and the football
game vs Mayville. So find your tie die t-shirts, peace signs and
smiley faces and help celebrate Swarm Day 2000.
Cast announced for BHSU theatre
The cast has been announced for the "The
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" the
first production of the season for the BHSU theatre department.
"The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon
Marigolds" by Paul Zindel will be presented Oct. 19, 20 and
21 at the 8 p.m. in Woodburn Auditorium.
The play is a story of a frowzy, acid-tongued mother
supporting herself and her two daughters by taking in a decrepit
old boarder. One daughter, Ruth, is a pretty but
high-strung girl subject to convulsions, while
the younger daughter, Matilda, plain and almost pathologically
shy, has an intuitive gift for science. Encouraged by her
teacher, Tillie undertakes a gamma-ray experiment with marigolds
which wins a prize at her high school – and also brings on the
shattering climax of the play. And yet, as Tillie’s experience
proves something beautiful and full of promise can emerge from
even the most barren afflicted soil.
Members of the cast and crew
Student teacher meetings set at Black Hills State -
Black Hills State University students who are planning to
student teach during the spring semester 2001 must attend one of
the following registration/orientation meetings:
- Monday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. in Jonas 301
- Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in Jonas 301
- Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 a.m. in Jonas 301
Potential student teachers should check their BHSU catalog to
make sure they meet all requirements. For additional information
Printing center offers training -
Training session will be offered for faculty and staff
interested in learning how to submit printing jobs on-line to
the university printing center.
There will be training sessions on the following days:
- Tuesday, Oct. 10th at 3 p.m. in the library room 009
- Wednesday, Oct. 11th at 2 p.m. in the library room 009
- Thursday, Oct. 12th at 10 a.m. in the library room 009
For additional information or to sign up contact Stacie
Roddis at 6285.
Spearfish HarvestFest is this
The Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce will host HarvestFest
this weekend in Spearfish. Featured events include the craft
fair on Main Street, sidewalk merchandise from local merchants,
the harvest wagon filled with pumpkins, gourds, fall fruits and
vegetables and lots of entertainment.
Headlining this year’s festival entertainment lineup will
be the well-known Black Hills hoop dancer, Dallas Chief Eagle of
Allen, S.D. The entire entertainment program will offer a
variety of music, dancers and singers. Another popular HarvestFest event is the
quilt show. The show features a large collection of privately owned quilts from
Other activities taking place include the apple pie contest
and Tour de Fish Bicycle Race. This three-stage bicycle
competition is a U.S. Cycling Federation sanctioned race. Top
racers from a five to seven state area will view for prize
For a complete schedule of the HarvestFest events, contact
the chamber of commerce at 642-2626.
Faculty research funds available -
The faculty-research committee has funds available for the
current fiscal year. Write a short (about three-page) proposal.
Proposal forms are available at the grants office or can be
printed out from their web page.
It is anticipated that successful applicants will request
support for faculty release time, research equipment, travel to
research sites or research support for the production of
creative work. Preference is given to new applicants
particularly in the areas of education, business, social
sciences and humanities. A three-hour release time is available
for fall of 2001. You can apply now.
The applicants are encouraged to contact the committee members
for advice prior to completing their proposals. The members are
John Alsup, Steve Anderson, Lyle Cook, Tom Cox, Daniel
Farrington, Abdollah Farrokhi, chair; Jim Hess, Kathleen Parrow,
Shane Sarver and Rob Schurrer.
The research committee will not provide salary. The committee
may approve payment to student or non-student research
assistants. Deliver the original plus ten copies of your
proposal to the grants office in Woodburn 218 or Dr. Farrokhi’s
office in Woodburn 314 by Oct. 20.
This week at BHSU
Submit items to Media
Relations or send to Unit 9512, BHSU.
|Astronomy Club Star Party, 7:30
p.m., Cox’s lake, 7:30 p.m.
Green and Gold, Salem Park, noon-1:15 p.m.
Burger King, north end of Lyle Hare Field,
Football game vs. Dakota State, 1:30
p.m., Lyle Hare Stadium
|Prospective student teachers
meeting, Student Union, 7 p.m
Alumni art show begins, Ruddell Gallery, (ends Oct. 18)
|Prospective student teachers
meeting, Student Union, 3 p.m
Fall Film Festival "Big Night," Jonas 305, 7
Volleyball vs. National American University, 7 p.m.
Presentation "Coping with a Loss," Student
Union, 7 p.m.
|Prospective student teachers
meeting, Student Union, 7 p.m.
Octoberfling, disc golf course, 9 a.m.