This spring break, natural resources management prof. Valorie Titus and eight GMC students including Julia Allen ’19, Anya Beale ’18, Torie Cowell ’16, Tynazha Jones ’17, Sarah Lucas ’17, Megan Muller ’16, Jacob Phillips ’16, and Kaitlin Phillips ’16 travelled to South Carolina’s Francis Marion National Forest for a second year of volunteering. Working with biologists from the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy, USFS, and South Carolina DNR, students in the Southeastern Ecology Field Trip class participated in a week-long search for herpetological fauna and conducted small mammal trapping. The class uncovered some interesting data on the habitat preferences of some small mammals, including the Hispid Cotton Rat, and documented a slew of important (and rare) reptile and amphibian species. The students even added an important snake to the study, an Eastern Pine Snake, now fitted with a radio transmitter and lovingly named “Theodore.” This snake will be monitored for the next few years and will provide much needed ecological data for the proper management of the fragile Longleaf Pine systems of South Carolina. We look forward to heading back to help again next year, so if you’re interested in going, stay tuned!
Prof. Valorie Titus (Natural Resources Management) spent a week at the Max McGraw Wildlife Management Institute in July training to become an instructor for the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow program. Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow (CLfT) is a professional development program designed for student and professional leaders within the natural resource sciences. CLfT focuses on hunting awareness and conservation education among academic programs and government agencies. She will help with instructing courses at the Kehoe Conservation Camp in Bomoseen, Vt. Valorie also attended the Society for the Study of Reptile and Amphibians Conference July 30-August 3 where she presented a portion her research titled: “An Assessment of Reptiles and Amphibians in the Bronx River: Urban Herpetology from a Historic Perspective.”