March 5-6 were exciting days for fourth-graders at Comanche Elementary School.

A day of wonder as they got safely up close and personal with the flora and fauna of Tarleton’s sprawling Timberlake Biological Field Station.

A day of enchantment as they studied trees and aquatic, quail and whitetail deer populations.

The field station, in Mills County near Goldthwaite (70 miles south of Stephenville), welcomed the students for an adventure of hands-on science in a natural setting, plus a picnic at the pavilion with parent volunteers.

Fourth-grade science teacher Dixie Mayer organized the event with help from Principal Curtis Stahnke, other Comanche ISD teachers and faculty from Tarleton.

Dr. Allan Nelson, head of the Tarleton Biological Sciences Department, and Assistant Professor Victoria Chraibi led some of the activities. Graduate students Austin Kaulfus and Leah Woolam, who conduct research at the station, assisted.

The field station is on property Dr. Lamar Johanson and his wife, Marilyn, donated in 2013. Dr. Chris Higgins, a biological sciences associate professor, directs the operation. The property is used not only for research but for field trips and classes of college and public school students.

Higgins has worked to make the ranch a certified Texas Aquatic Science site.

Located on the banks of the Colorado River south of Goldthwaite, the field station stunningly represents the ecological transition between the Cross Timbers and Edwards Plateau regions of Central Texas. This “east meets west” area supports a unique mixture of species for study in research and classroom-related endeavors. 

TBFS also is known for outdoor recreation such as bird watching, camping, fishing, hiking and kayaking.

The field station was created to promote education and research while emphasizing the ecological character of the Colorado River Basin and the diversity of the Cross Timbers and Edwards Plateau ecoregions. Tarleton’s vision is that respected professionals conducting scientific investigations will help restore the hydrogeology and ecological integrity of the river to its past splendor.

To learn more about the Timberlake Biological Field Station visit