Lance Jessee

Joined: May 03, 2016 Last Active: Sep 21, 2021 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 herpetofaunas. 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 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, some birds, biogeography, morphology, and general observational natural history. I have an inordinate fondness for reptiles, especially snakes, but over the past few years I have spent a lot of 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.

Current projects: I am currently gathering all occurrence data on the butterflies of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia for the creation of a butterfly atlas for the region with occurrence and abundance status as well as seasonal flight patterns. iNaturalist is just one source of data I am using and I have created a project on here called Butterflies of Northeast TN and Southwest VA to help gather that data ( If you are interested, feel free to join the project. Counties included in the project are Sullivan, Washington, Unicoi, Carter, and Johnson counties in TN and Washington, Scott, Russell, and Smyth counties in VA as well as the city of Bristol, VA.

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