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Christmas Mountains Research Symposium

Christmas Mountains

Christmas Mountains Research Symposium
May 22-24, 2017 
Terlingua Ranch Headquarters, Brewster County, Texas

The objective of the Christmas Mountains Research Symposium is to increase public and scientific understanding of the ecology, geology, culture and history of the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem in the Big Bend region of Texas and Mexico.

Our fifth annual symposium will highlight research by students and faculty from campuses in the Texas State University System, but welcomes contributions from researchers at other universities, federal and state agency personnel, and residents of the area who have investigated aspects of the region’s ecology, geology, culture and history. Presenters should plan to give a 15-minute talk followed by five minutes of questions and discussion. PowerPoint presentations will be supported, but are not required.

The symposium will begin with an evening social on Monday, May 22nd. Each of the two following days will have field trips scheduled in the morning and presentations scheduled for the afternoon. The symposium will close with dinner on Wednesday evening, May 24th. Participants may wish to depart on Thursday, May 25th, but are welcome to stay and spend more time exploring the area on their own. This year there are three registration options: Three-day registration ($50), which includes the social, field trips, attendance at paper sessions, and dinner Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings; two-day registration ($40), which includes the social, field trips, attendance at paper sessions, and dinner Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and a limited registration ($10), which which includes the social, field trips, and attendance at the paper sessions.

Those wishing to make a presentation should submit an abstract by May 05, 2017. Each abstract submission should indicate the general topic area (ecology, geology, culture, history, etc.) and include the title of the talk, authors’ names (with the speaker listed first) and a description of the main points of the talk not to exceed 350 words. Please plan your presentation for a general audience consisting of scientists from a variety of disciplines, as well as interested individuals from the community. Click here to access the abstract submission form.

Registration for the symposium is limited to 80 participants due to space constraints. Click here to access the online registration and payment site. Registrations must be submitted by May 05, 2017 and payment may be made by most major credit cards.

Accommodations at Terlingua Ranch include 32 motel-style cabin rooms (two double beds), RV hookups, and campsites. Visit for more information on facilities and rates and contact the Terlingua Ranch Office ( or 432-371-3146) for reservations. A block of rooms has been reserved for symposium registrants until April 21, 2017 and the Ranch is offering a 25 percent discount from their usual rates if you mention that you will be participating in the Christmas Mts. Symposium at the time you make your reservation. There are also other motel options, bed-and-breakfast accommodations and house and cabin rentals in the general area. The Bad Rabbit Café, a full-service restaurant, is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Christmas Mountains Research Symposium is hosted by the Department of Biology, Texas State University.

For more information, contact the symposium organizers, David Lemke ( or Michael Huston (

Programs from the previous symposia can be downloaded here:

2013 Symposium

2014 Symposium

2015 Symposium

2016 Symposium

2017 Symposium