Tana Beasley is the Facility Manager of Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake, an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission education center located in east Arkansas near the small community of Casscoe. Beasley held this role for 20 years after retiring from a 30-year career of teaching High School Biology, Applied Biology, and Chemistry.
Naturally, Beasley’s love for the outdoors and teaching others led her to a career in the outdoor education field shortly after retiring from public schools. Living just 30 minutes from Potlatch Conservation Education Center, this center was a great fit for Beasley. This conservation center sits in the middle of 160,000 acres of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge. The location of thiscenter sits up perfectly for birders and conservationists from across the world to visit. It is also in the major flyway of many bird species including the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird which Tana bands every summer on their journey through Arkansas.
Beasley and her late supervisor began banding Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds in 2007. The goal of their research was to determine if these birds take the same path on their journey north and south, if they return to the same areas every year, and to learn the lifespan of these tiny travelers. During this time, Beasley has banded over 3,500 Ruby-Throats and continues learning more about these wonders every day.