Climate change and its effects upon the Big Bend will be the subject of scientific presentations Saturday, January 18 at Sul Ross State University’s Espino Conference Center.

The presentations begin at 3:00 p.m. and wrap up at 6:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Big Bend Chapter of the Native Plant Society, Big Bend Conservation Alliance, the Big Bend Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District, the speakers will discuss expected climate-change effects on temperature and water cycles, vegetation communities and wildland fire and strategies to influence, manage and adapt to those changes.

“This is a great opportunity to examine expected climate change impacts on Big Bend forests, grasslands, and desert,” said Dallas Baxter, president of the Big Bend Chapter of the Native Plant Society. “These topics are important to area parks, ranches, farms, water planners, fire managers, conservationists, and natural resource professionals as well as state, county and city governments. No challenge in the coming years is more dire than climate change.”

Dr. John Nielson-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist and Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas A&M University, will present the latest climate models and their complications, with emphasis on Trans-Pecos water cycles.

Dr. Nick Smith, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University, will discuss response to climate change by Trans-Pecos plant communities and how land management decisions influence resilience to climate effects.

Dr. Dylan Schwilk, Professor of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech, will provide results of studies on how plant traits influence fire behavior, and effects of drought and fire on trees in Trans-Pecos mountain ranges.

The seminar will be in Room A, Espino Conference Center in the Morgan University Center at Sul Ross State University. Attendance is free; however, registration is requested. To register, e-mail