Faculty: Peter Skylstad

Professor of Biology

Office: #CAOS-1010
Phone: 301-387-3332
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." ~ Chief Seattle
Current Courses

NRW 105/106 (Docs)
CSC 180 (Docs)
ENT 170 (Docs)
BIO 110 (Docs)
BIO 104 (Docs)
BIO 102 (Docs)
ENT 201 (Docs)
ES 121 (Docs)
ES 101 (Docs)
BIO 250 (Docs)
Education and Awards
Texas Tech University, B.S. - Physical Geography, Biology minor
Texas Tech University, M.S. - Biology, Geographic Information Systems minor

Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Award, 2006

Personal Background
I am a graduate of Texas Tech University (TTU). I earned a B.S. in Physical Geography with a minor in biology in 1992 and a M.S. in Biology with a minor in geographic information systems in 1997. My graduate research interests focused on the relationship between disturbance and productivity gradients and plant community structure in short-grass prairies and deserts of the western United States. I pursued further studies as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Breeding Biology Research and Monitoring Database program (BBIRD).  The BBIRD Project is a national cooperative program that uses standardized field methodologies for studies of nesting and breeding success and habitat requirements of interior forest songbirds. I was part of the research team that documented the effects of cowbird parasitism on several species of interior forest songbirds in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northeastern New Mexico.  I also worked with Site-Specific Technologies (SST) of Stillwater, OK in conjunction with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service as part of a cooperative effort to develop innovative applications for GPS and GIS technologies in precision agriculture.  Since arriving at Garrett College in 2000, I have earned an Army Corps of Engineers wetland delineator certification, worked closely with State and Federal agencies to preserve and restore critical wetlands in the upper reaches of the North Branch of the Potomac, and received grants totaling more than $500,000 for these projects. In addition, I have worked in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua with the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and La Suerte and Ometepe Biological Field Stations (LSOBFS) to develop undergraduate biological research programs in neotropical environments. I am currently working with the OBFS in Nicaragua to develop a plan to map, assess, and prioritize the conservation of biological corridors on Isla de Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua.  In Costa Rica, I am working with La Suerte Biological Field Station to develop a program for the reintroduction of native amphibian, reptile, and mammalian species whose populations have either declined significantly or have been extirpated from the Sarapiqui region of northeastern Costa Rica.  In 2012, I received a grant that funded exploratory travel to two regions in China with the purpose of developing undergraduate education and research opportunities. The first leg of the trip covered 1500 miles of the lower Yangtze River from Chongqing to Shanghai with stops in the Three Gorges area, the Three Gorges Dam, and Huangshan (Yellow Mountain region), a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The second leg of the trip was to Guangxi Autonomous Province near Guilin on the Lijiang (Li River). This area is famous for tower karst topography, numerous caves, unique flora and fauna, the Longsheng, Longji, and Dragon’s Backbone rice terraces, and is home to numerous ethnic minorities like the Zhuang and Red Yao people.

Professional Memberships
Maderas Rainforest Conservancy
Ecological Society of America
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