Mary Schug Belk      Fairy Shrimp and Tadpole Shrimp Identification Classes
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About Me


    My name is Mary Belk and I am the widow of Denton Belk PhD.  Denton was the world's most prominent fairy shrimp researcher when he passed away in 2001.  He set these classes up in 1992 prior to several species of fairy shrimp being put on the endangered species list in 1994.  I was his teaching assistant at the time of his death and am now teaching the classes.
    I have been teaching the Anostracan, Notostracan Identification Classes since 2001. These classes teach students how to identify all 25 fairy shrimp known from California and 2 species which probably will be found in California in the Colorado Desert. Much of the class is presented in PowerPoint presentations. Students spend two full days working on identifications under dissecting scopes and one on lecture. The Seminar is a three day class and the test given on the third day meets the requirements of the Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the 10A 1A permit for surveying and collecting fairy shrimp in the state of California.    

     I have taken a Masters in Biology and a Masters in Adult Education and Training. I have conducted research with Denton and published with him.  I have also collected with him the entire time he worked on his PhD and since.  I have collected in California on my own and with students to repenish my supply of fairy shrimp for the classes.

    I became the volunteer Treasurer for The Crustacean Society in 2002.  A few years later they offered me a small stipend.  In January 2011, I was given the job of Executive Director and a new Treasurer was elected from the Society membership. In Jan 2012, I took over the business office of TCS along with the other duties of Executive Director.

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