Bellows, Thomsen Foundation honored with Lone Star Land Steward award

by NCTC Public Relations | May 23, 2013 <p> </p>

The Thomsen Foundation, located in Montague County, is a winner of the Texas Parks and Wildlife 2013 Lone Star Land Steward Award.

NCTC science professor Dr. Lisa Bellows is the director of the Thomsen Foundation.

Established in 1982 by Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Thomsen of Dallas and operated by Dr. Lisa Bellows, the foundation's mission is to provide research and education programs, with a focus on place-based environmental education for students as well as educators. North Central Texas College students use the 600-acre property as an outdoor laboratory for classes in botany, zoology, wildlife conservation, environmental science and agriculture.

As a managed land deer permits (MLDP) cooperator, the Thomsen Foundation uses the program to teach students about controlling deer numbers, conducting surveys, and collecting harvest data.

In addition, prescribed burning, selective mowing, and restoration seeding have resulted in high plant diversity on the property, with more than 400 plant species recorded.

Adults visit the Thomsen property for programs on sustainable agriculture, habitat management and plant identification, and even star parties, taking advantage of the dark night sky. With a passion for the education of children, Dr. Bellows holds workshops to introduce place-based teaching concepts to educators. The ranch hosts about 1,200 visitors yearly.

Here is a video from the Texas Parks and Wildlife highlighting the Thomsen Foundation.

Under the leadership of Dr. Bellows and Sara Flusche, the college received $275,600 from Texas Regional Collaborative for Excellence in Teaching to implement the TRC Math and TRC Science professional development program for area teachers. During the 2012-13 year, 199 teachers received over 5,190 hours of math training and 179 teachers received 6,635 hours of science training. In addition, area teachers received hands-on materials and supplies to use in their classrooms to teach these math and science concepts to their students. Through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Teacher Quality program, NCTC was also awarded $104,999 to assist area teacher in developing and utilizing science laboratory materials. Through this project, during the 2012-13 year, 15 teachers each received 100 hours of training.