Ten GMC students, along with Dr. Valorie Titus (Natural Resources Management) volunteered their spring break time in South Carolina at the Francis Marion National Forest, joining researchers from the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy (ARC, a division of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation). This dream team of wildlife rockstars included Golden Boardley, Olivia Broadrick, Bailey Fluet, Seth Heirs, Caele Gardella, Julia Gosslein, Christian Owens, Kyle Patterson, Izzy Schmidt, and Mariena Sciarra.
The GMC crew were responsible for assisting with wildlife surveys, particularly for reptiles and amphibians, in wetlands and post-burn longleaf pine habitat. While the weather was chilly, the crew were able to observe a number of species, including the tracking of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake, a large male that has been part of the research in the FMNF for over a year.
A little rain didn’t stop the fun, as they were able to observe a number of amphibian species that are difficult to find during dry times. The students also added a small monetary donation to ARC at the end of the trip to help with some of the many project expenses. This is the 3rd year that Dr. Titus has taken students to assist with this project, and keep getting invited back. Dr. Titus plans to return spring break next year.