It is time to go back to Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park (PAAL) again. But before I tell some of the great things that happened during the July trip I want to tell you a little about what happens in between the trips.

The journey between Lafayette, LA and Brownsville, TX takes approximately 9 to 10 hours each way. It is imperative that we make the money and time spent worth it. During the drive back, last time, William Finney, the network field biologist, and I spend a great amount of time talking about this project. You can’t imagine how much inspiration you can have when you are confine to a small space. The intention of this internship project is to implement, test, and evaluate the design of the radio tracking project which will continue beyond the summer.  I can’t express how happy I’m to have the opportunity of giving my inputs to a project that will help improve the decisions made to manage the natural resources of one of our beautiful National Parks.

Between trips there is a lot of work to do, however when you know that what you do DOES make a difference and can have REAL impact on the results of science discoveries it is all worth. After processing our field data, pictures, GPS points, writing the trip report, and having project meetings we decided to modify the project design, and tracking procedures. I’m confident that the project changes will greatly improve the quality of this project results. So there you go, now that you know a little more what happens behind the scenes let’s talk about of highlights of this trip.


  • Contrary to popular belief tortoises do not walk super slowly. Here you can see one of our tracked animals in turbo mode.

  • Tortoises and snakes have the same hiding spots. This can be very dangerous if you are not extremely careful during you field work.


  • Tiny tortoises are adorable.

  • Doesn’t matter if you have a transmitter on you, there will always be a male that is attracted to you.