Tour Information

May 17, 2018
7:30 a.m. -12:00 noon               USDA/Forest Service Ashe Seed Extractory (limit 25 participants)
7:45 a.m. - 12:00 noon              "Agents of Discovery" at Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR (limit 25 participants)
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.               Birding on the Beach (No limit; walking tour)
Attire: Casual, wear shoes for walking
Difficulty: Light – walking 
Materials: Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, camera, binoculars
Water will be provided
Option 1 - USDA Forest Service Ashe Seed Extractory
Ashe Seed Extractory meets reforestation and restoration needs by providing high quality seed that is genetically appropriate, locally-adapted and genetically diverse. Located on the DeSoto National Forest in Mississippi, Ashe processes seed and cones for all of Region 8. The extractory is staffed by a manager, one forestry technician, and one wage grade employee. These positions also manage and operate the Erambert and Black Creek seed orchards, and one small state-owned seed orchard. 
Discussion may include:
  • DeSoto National Forest programs/CFLR Longleaf Restoration
  • Importance of the seed extractory
  • Partner opportunities with your local National Forests
Tour Guides:
Mike McGregor, Orchard/Extractory Manager
Keith Coursey, Forester, DeSoto Ranger District
Option 2 - “Agents of Discovery” at the USFWS Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)
Shuttle departs hotel  bus lobby at 7:45 a.m. and returns by noon. 
You won't want to miss this fun, interactive presentation focused on the latest ways of generating engagement through augmented reality tech! Join our engaging tour guides who will guide you through the beauty and wonder of the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge with the mobile game, Agents of Discovery. Be sure to download the free app on Google Play or the App Store, then download the Sandhill Crane Mission (available early May). Once downloaded, you don't require data or wifi to play!
Discussion may include:
  • AR tool applications and opportunities
  • Getting young people out into wild spaces
  • Importance and attributes of Mississippi Sandhill Crane Refuge NWR
Tour Guides:
Melissa Perez, Park Ranger, Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge
Mary Clark, CEO, Agents of Discovery
Amtchat Edwards, Conservation Education Specialist, USDA Forest Service
Option 3 – Birding on the Beach
Take a stroll along the Mississippi Sound and experience the feathered beach visitors. In May, there should be a variety of shorebirds, raptors, and possibly other neotropical migratory species. Bring your camera and binoculars for this abbreviated tour for those of you who can’t make the longer tours.
Tour Guides:
Erin Parker, Programs Manager, Pascagoula Audubon Center
Volunteers, Pascagoula Audubon Center