Topic: Floyd Scott
Clarksville, TN – In the mid-1960s, Austin Peay State University professor of biology Dr. David Snyder began work on a monumental task.
Commissioned by the Tennessee Valley Authority to conduct an inventory of the herpetofauna, or reptiles and amphibians, of the newly established Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Snyder and a small team of researchers and students set about cataloguing the various species contained within the 170,000-acre plot of land crossing the Tennessee and Kentucky border.
Retired Austin Peay professor Dr. Floyd Scott with the book “Amphibians and Reptiles of Land Between the Lakes.”
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Everything was quiet that January afternoon in rural Virginia. It was too cold for the screeching of insects, and the farm was far enough away from major roads for the sounds of traffic to bother the three researchers.
But as the men approached the tall, conically shaped feed storage bins, they heard a faint hissing. Something was alive inside. Christopher O’Bryan, an Austin Peay State University biology student, climbed a ladder to the top of the 27-foot high structure and peaked through a trapdoor. That’s where he saw the adult and three young barn owls roosting.
The sighting was the first regional record of winter nesting for that bird. Photos were taken to mark the occasion, and notes jotted down in tattered field guides. Five years later, O’Bryan’s findings were published as the lead article in the Virginia Society of Ornithology’s science publication, “The Raven.”
“I found it back in 2005, and it just now got published,” O’Bryan said. “I was very glad it finally came out while I was still an undergrad.” «Read the rest of this article»