LEAPS is an environmental consulting service committed to quality nature consulting and research. Leaps conducts research in parks and natural areas to provide information that will contribute to natural area interpretation and management.
Recent projects include:
· Avian inventories for Tennessee Army National Guard volunteer training sites - These inventories documented avian species year round at four volunteer training sites in Tennessee and Georgia. Special habitats on each site were identified and recommendations made for the long term management and improvement. All data was submitted both in report form and GIS format.
· Avian and herpetofaunal inventories for the North Carolina Army National Guard training site at Snow Camp, North Carolina - All data was submitted in both report form and GIS format.
· Avian and herpetofaunal inventories for the Army National Guard Training Site at Fort McClellan’s Pelham Range in Anniston, Alabama - All data was submitted in both report form and GIS format.
· Avian and herpetofaunal inventory for the Cherokee Tribal Lands, Cherokee, North Carolina - All data was submitted in both report form and GIS format.
· Avian and herpetofaunal inventory for the Catawba Tribal Lands, Rock Hill, South Carolina - All data was submitted in both report form and GIS format.
· Exotic Invasive Plant Inventory for Beaman Park in Davidson County – In 2003 and again in 2009, Leaps coordinated the exotic invasive plant inventories for this new metro park, created and maintained a large GIS database and compiled the reports for the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service. The GIS database tracks the treatment procedures and changes in the degree of exotic infestation over time in over 2700 transects.
· All Taxa Biodiversity Survey for the Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary – In 2016, Leaps concluded a year-long All Taxa Biodiversity Survey for the Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary in Brentwood, TN. In addition to gathering and compiling data from 2015/2016 on all species, Leaps compiled all data taken from 1988 to the present and assimilated it into a GIS data format, where it can be searched and queried. All data, including linked images and recordings are preserved in multiple formats, including cloud storage.
· Avian Bird Survey for the Fort McClelland Army National Guard Training Center in Anniston, Alabama. In 2016, Leaps is conducting a year-long survey of bird species for the Pelham Range at Ft. McClelland. All information will be compiled in a GIS format as well as a written report.
Other projects and Awards include:
· Leaps has photographed and recorded the 21 species of frogs and toads in Tennessee. This information is used by Leaps to conduct annual training workshops for the Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program (TAMP). Each year people across the state are taught to identify Tennessee's frogs and toads by sight and sound and to use this information to monitor anuran breeding populations in their areas. Robert English currently serves as State Coordinator for the TAMP program, which is jointly funded by Middle Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Many new county species records have resulted from the TAMP program. Most of these records, including a number by Leaps, have been published in the Herpetological Review Quarterly News-Journal.
· Breeding bird survey for the Horizon Center property in Oak Ridge, Tennessee for the Department of Energy.
· Aerial photography and GIS baseline projects for the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation and the Land Trust for Tennessee.
· Interpretation of the Springfield, Tennessee YMCA Wetland.
· Workshops: Leaps has conducted workshops on GIS techniques, recording natural sounds and identifying Tennessee’s frogs and toads by sight and sound.
· Leaps conducted a tree inventory and a herpetofaunal inventory for the Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary in Brentwood, Tennessee, and a mammal inventory for the Radnor Lake State Natural Area in Nashville, Tennessee.
· Leaps maintains an educational presence on its web site. A “Natural Calendar” page is published each month and a large portion of the site is devoted to the “Frog and Toad ID Pages,” where Tennessee frog and toad species can be identified online by sight and sound.
· In 2003, Leaps received the Tennessee Environmental Education Association's award for “Environmental Educators of the Year.”
· Since 2004, Robert English has been the State Coordinator for the Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program (TAMP), where volunteers conduct listening surveys on pre-selected routes across Tennessee. These surveys help us understand the distribution and relative abundance of our Tennessee frogs and toads. This program is jointly sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
· In 2015, Leaps received the Tennessee Environmental Education Association's Distinguished Service Award.
Robert English has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. His interests have included amateur astronomy for over 40 years and birding for 35 years. His passion for night birds has yielded sightings of all nineteen species of North American owls and nineteen species of owls from other countries around the world. Many of his bird photographs are on file in the VIREO collection at The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, and his photographs of Australian Owlet-Nightjars and Puerto Rican Screech Owls have been included in books and CD ROM’s. An example of his owl photography can be seen in the National Audubon Society books, The Bird Garden and The Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher. His astrophotography has appeared in Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines, and his image of dwarf planet Makemake passing in front of the spiral galaxy NGC 4725 was featured as NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) on August 12th, 2016. Eight of his frog and toad images are included in the recently published, The Frogs and Toads of North America, by Lang Elliott. He flew high performance sailplanes for ten years and received his diamond badge in 1983. He owned and flew a 1949 Piper Clipper, a vintage taildragger power plane, from 2001 to 2013.