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Administration Home News/Information Contact Us DNR Home   

Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : December 1, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Kathy Leo , Wildlife Resources Section (304) 637-0254

DNR Invites Schools to Participate in Amphibian Studies

  Students and science teachers from around West Virginia can participate in an actual scientific study while they learn about the state's amphibians next spring as part of a Division of Natural Resources' cooperative study program, according to Curtis I. Taylor, Chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section. The school amphibian studies project, which is offered by the Wildlife Resources Section's Wildlife Diversity Program, was developed by West Virginia's foremost herpetologist (amphibian and reptile expert), Dr. Thomas Pauley of Marshall University. Dr. Pauley started this program to acquire a better understanding of the status and distribution of frogs, toads and salamanders in West Virginia while allowing students to learn more about these elusive creatures by conducting scientific investigations.


  "This program offers an excellent opportunity for students to go outside and do actual science as well as contribute to our understanding of amphibians in West Virginia ," said Taylor. "I hope to see many schools take advantage of this opportunity this spring."


  The school amphibians program works like this: the Wildlife Resources Section provides lesson plans and equipment to teachers and students from grades 1-12 to study salamanders, frogs and toads around their schools. Students then observe amphibians in their natural habitats in early spring, conduct surveys and make collections all while learning how to identify the animals and master scientific techniques. Projects will be conducted in March, April and May. Teachers will be provided with equipment and a lesson plan that includes background information, step-by-step procedures, questions to pose to students, a checklist of amphibians, a key to identify the animals, and field worksheets. Equipment will include a thermometer, pH paper, sling psychrometer and a compass for the salamander study. For the frog and toad study, teachers will receive a dip net, pH paper and a thermometer. Schools only need to supply small plastic bags.


  This is the fifteenth year this program is being offered and teachers may choose to focus on either common terrestrial and creek salamanders, or common toads and frogs. Interested teachers should contact the WV Wildlife Diversity Program, P.O. Box 67 , Elkins , WV 26241 , (304) 637-0245 for details. The deadline for applying for this exciting educational opportunity is February 28th. The amphibians project is just one of the many programs for schools and the general public sponsored by the Wildlife Diversity Program. Other programs offered include the OWLS—Outdoor Wildlife Learning Sites program (for schools), Research and Cooperative Projects and the Wild Yards Program (for the general public). Contact the DNR in Elkins or visit our Web site: for more information.


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