NVC Students Complete 2023 Ecolab Research

August 30, 2023

NVC Faculty Scott Walker

Students - Ecolab

Three Northwest Vista College students completed a semester of undergraduate research at NVC’s Ecolab in Bandera in May.

by NVC Faculty Scott Walker

Students were supported by a Community Development grant from Microsoft. With additional trail cameras for wildlife counting and binoculars for migratory bird censuses, Grace Doss, Sheina McManus, and Amanda Martin were able to identify mammals and birds on the 30-acre property.

“This year we identified six more neotropical bird species than we did in 2022,” said Scott Walker, who coordinates the undergraduate research work at the Ecolab. “Neotropical birds breed in the US and Canada during the summer and migrate south of the Tropic of Cancer during the winter, some flying over 3,000 miles.”

The research is part of the landowner’s wildlife management plan outlined for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

In addition to conducting research, students put out bluebird houses, an owl shelter, and a bat box that had been assembled at NVC by Microsoft volunteers in 2022. Providing supplemental shelter is another aspect of the property’s wildlife management plan.

This spring students had the opportunity to work with Samantha Morrison, Assistant Recreation Programs Supervisor for the City of New Braunfels. Samantha, who has a master’s degree in environmental education, discussed outdoor career opportunities with NVC’s students during lunch breaks at the Ecolab.



The NVC Ecolab is available for any NVC faculty member to use for educational purposes.

Contact Scott Walker, swalker6@alamo.edu for information.

About Northwest Vista College:  

Northwest Vista College (NVC), part of the Alamo Colleges District, is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. The college opened in 1995 with 12 students and has grown to one of the largest institutions of higher education in San Antonio and the region with current enrollment exceeding 19,000 students. Located in Westover Hills, NVC’s expanding agreements with business and higher education partnerships provide a wealth of opportunities for students and the community.