Lance Jessee

Joined: May 03, 2016 Last Active: Mar 30, 2023 iNaturalist

I am a park naturalist at Steele Creek Park in northeast Tennessee with a degree in geology and geographic information systems (GIS) from East Tennessee State University. I am currently pursuing a master's degree in vertebrate paleontology at ETSU studying osteology of snakes and paleobiogeography of Late Cenozoic vertebrate faunas. Understanding how species reacted to past climatic changes begins with the proper identification of fossils. With that understanding, we can begin to understand how species today might react to changes in climate in the future. My research mainly involves comparative morphological studies of extant snake vertebrae using morphometrics and statistics, with viperids as my current taxon of interest. I am interested in all aspects of natural sciences, but I tend to focus mainly on Quaternary paleontology (the last 2.5 million years), herps, insects (beetles and butterflies mostly), birds, biogeography, and morphology. I have an inordinate fondness for reptiles, but over the past few years I have spent more time observing insects and birds as well.

For anyone visiting Steele Creek Park, check it out in the "places" tab and search for it under the same name. There you will find all observations recorded at the park. Click on checklist to see a searchable list of all organisms that have been recorded from Steele Creek Park on iNaturalist plus all other organisms not posted on iNaturalist. Currently, everything is up to date except for the fungi, wildflowers, moths, and non-insect invertebrates. I am currently working on adding all of those to the list. I have also created a park project called Steele Creek Park Biodiversity.

Current and on-going research projects:
Herpetofauna of Steele Creek Park and southern Appalachians
Breeding birds of Steele Creek Park

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