During the summer of 2010, I have been teaching a course in the Elon Academy called Herpetology in the Piedmont. We have participated in several projects. Blank data sheets are provided for my students below:
I am active in several state-wide herpetology initiatives.
North Carolina Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NCPARC)
I am an active member of the North Carolina Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. The mission of this group is to promote the conservation of amphibians and reptiles as well as their habitats as integral parts of North Carolina's ecosystems through proactive and coordinated public/private partnerships. I am a member of the Education and Outreach Working Group. The intent and goals of this working group are to: 1) facilitate communication of other working group initiatives to the general public, 2) expand educational efforts of NCPARC, and 3) promote initiatives of the National PARC organization.
Slip Slid'n Away (SSA)
Slip Slidin' Away is a 3-year Burroughs Wellcome funded project. I work in partnership with Catherine E. Matthews (UNCG Science Educator) and Ann Somers (UNCG Biology). SSA is designed for high school students interested in hands-on ecological fieldwork. Participants collect, process and analyze scientific data. Through partnerships with other high school students, field biologists and herpetologists, they learn about careers in science and related scientific enterprises. Selected high school students participated in a week-long residential summer camp experience as well as six follow-up field days during the academic school year. A new cohort of high school students will soon be selected for the 2009-2010 academic year and 2009 summer camp experience. The camp is held at Camp Chestnut Ridge and Retreat Center in Efland, North Carolina.
The main educational goal of the project is to nurture students' knowledge of herpetology and competence in collecting, processing, and analyzing scientific data. Students meet and work with field biologists and herpetologists and are exposed to careers in related scientific enterprises. A description of this experience can be found in the research article linked on my scholarship page.
My role in this project has been to develop the curriculum for the summer camp and for many of the follow-up days and to teach students during all aspects of the project. I also organize trips off-site during the follow-up experiences. During the 2008-2009 academic school year, I additionally mentored six high school students engaged in the scientific study of aquatic turtles. This group of students wrote two research papers and made a presentation of their research at the Southeast Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Meeting in Montreat, North Carolina in February 2009. Additionally, they entered their paper in the North Carolina Student Academy of Science competition and made presentations at both a regional event in Charlotte, North Carolina and a state event in Durham, North Carolina.