Tom Austin

Joined: Sep 29, 2016 Last Active: May 26, 2023 iNaturalist

I'm a Lowcountry naturalist just looking to not forget what I already learned to ID.

I'm the Land Protection Specialist for the Edisto Island Open Land Trust and I received my undergraduate degree from Clemson in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. For species found in SC, I'm a jack of all trades and an expert, in some capacity, in three species: Terrapene carolina carolina, Hermeuptychia intricata, and Zagymnus clerinus.

My work on Zagymnus clerinus in SC:

My publication on the behavior, habitat, host plants and enhanced field identification techniques for Intricate Satyrs:
Video Lecture:

I currently have 2 ongoing projects:
I'm working to finish editing a brick of a coffee table book about the flora and fauna of Edisto Island. It's a chronologically and phenologically organized tome that showcases 104 species of plants, animals, and fungi that I feel are either integral to the ecoregional landscape, inescapable or ubiquitous to Edisto Island during a certain time of year, or are under appreciated or misunderstood. It's written, photographed, typeset, and designed already. I just need to give it one final proof-reading, come to grips with the fact that molecular phylogenics will never let me have all the latin up-to-date for more than a week, and then, you know, actually pay to have it published. If I don't go bankrupt on it I'll publish volume #2 and maybe even volume #3.

Lastly, I'm currently working to revive the integrity of the Sea Island Cotton cultivar. This heirloom cash crop was pivotal to the history of the SC Lowcountry and was thought extinct. Recently, several partially degraded genetic stocks have been found and secured by enthusiasts. I'm working collaboratively at the EIOLT to revive a Bleak Hall strain, which the USDA had in cryo-storage for 80 years and didn't even realize it.

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