Herpetofauna Project: About

Press Coverage:

NBC News Article “Social Media Could Help Save Species on the Verge of Extinction”

Press Democrat News Article “Montgomery High Students Join Climate Change Research Project”

Awards:

  • Sonoma State University Science Symposium 2014: “Most Innovative Poster” Award
  • Santa Rosa City School District, MHS 2012: “Most Engaging Curriculum” Award

About the Research:

This research seeks to determine the impacts of microgeographic features and changing seasonal climate variables on the phenology of local herpetological species in the North Bay Area Critical Linkage which is an area deemed critical to protect for conservation purposes.

This research also creates and implements a long-term herpetofauna survey protocol while supporting the development of methods to apply citizen science monitoring efforts. These two project sites provide substantial opportunity to establish a baseline herpetofaunal phenology dataset while simultaneously incorporating existing and developing programs to support longer-term monitoring efforts.

Powered by coffee, apple crumb and blueberry muffins, the Sonoma State University crew gets ready for a good workout in the name of science (December 2013).

Distributing 108 – 2’X4′ coverboards at four different sites within Fairfield Osborn Preserve is not a job for wimps.

Realizing the wheel chart is useless on the steep and narrow trails, the coverboards are hauled up on our back, on our head, or however possible.

Dropping off the final coverboards at frozen Kelly Pond. Pfew!

An undergraduate researcher participating in this project finds an Ensatina near the Fairfield Osborn Preserve Education Center.

Redwood Canyon, Pepperwood Preserve coverboard prepping.

Coverboard prepping for the Redwood Canyon area in Pepperwood Preserve.

Freshly stenciled coverboards at Pepperwood Preserve with Mt. St. Helena in the background.

Coverboards getting ready to be set into transects. Mt. St. Helena in the background.

Herpetofauna Project coverboard labels inform the public about the research project while minimizing coverboard disturbance.

Herpetofauna Project coverboard labels inform the public about the research project while minimizing coverboard disturbance.

A mouse runs from underneath a pile of coverboards at Pepperwood' Preserve's Turtle Pond parking area.

A rodent runs from underneath a pile of coverboards stored at Pepperwood Preserve’s Turtle Pond parking area.

Jared and Aaron setting up a transect at Turtle Pond.

High school student researchers setting up a transect at Pepperwood Preserve. January 5, 2014.

Mary and Sam setting up a transect at Turtle Pond.

More high school student researchers setting up a transect at Pepperwood Preserve. January 5, 2014.

Some transects are very steep such as this one at Turtle Pond, Pepperwood Preserve.

Redwood Pond transects.

Naturalist “Curious George” and the amazing IB high school group. Newly set Redwood Pond transects are in the background.

Just a friendly Jerusalem Cricket under an ancient coverboard at Double Ponds, Pepperwood Preserve. Not only are they not true crickets, they are not native to Jerusalem. These nocturnal insects feed primarily on dead organic matter but can also eat other insects.

Just a friendly Jerusalem Cricket under an ancient coverboard at Double Ponds, Pepperwood Preserve. Not only are they not true crickets, they are not native to Jerusalem. These nocturnal insects feed primarily on dead organic matter but can also eat other insects.

Finally some cold rain and wind to break up this terrible drought. Not everyone was lucky enough to remember their snow goggles. Feb. 2, 2014.

Finally some cold rain and wind to break up this terrible drought. Not everyone was lucky enough to remember their snow goggles.
Feb. 2, 2014.

Red-bellied Newt at Pepperwood Preserve.

Migrating Red-bellied Newts at Pepperwood Preserve. Feb. 27, 2014.

Migrating Red-bellied Newts at Pepperwood Preserve. Feb. 27, 2014.

Mating California Newts.

Mating California Newts.

Do Not Distrub sign

Arboreal Salamander found underneath a rock.

Snake Photo Bomb

Snake Photo Bomb!

Sonoma State University has a Naturalist Internship Program where undergraduate students learn to lead public hikes and share knowledge about the the university-owed Fairfield Osborn Preserve (FOP). During the Spring of 2014, twenty-two students participated in the Citizen Science Training at the FOP Environmental Education Center.

Sonoma State University has a Naturalist Internship Program where undergraduate students learn to lead public hikes and share knowledge about the the university-owed Fairfield Osborn Preserve (FOP). During the Spring of 2014, twenty-two students participated in the Citizen Science Training at the FOP Environmental Education Center.

Dicamptodon ensatus is a climate-change indicator species normally not found under coverboards. This one may have taken advantage of a recent nest of a nursing deer mouse and her young recently found under the same coverboard.

Dicamptodon ensatus is a climate-change indicator species normally not found under coverboards. This one may have taken advantage of a recent nest of a nursing deer mouse and her young recently found under the same coverboard.

 

Julianne, a research intern with Sonoma State University visits coverboards during the first rain of fall 2015.

Julianne, a research intern with Sonoma State University visits coverboards during the first rain of fall 2015.

 

 

 

HerpetofaunaProjectOrientation2015

Participants get friendly with a fast-moving Arboreal Salamander and curled-up California Slender Salamander that Pepperwood Preserve Technician Celeste Dodge finds near the Education Center. Herpetofauna Project Orientation, December 2015.

 

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IMG_9274

Janet, an SSU undergraduate student documents two separate amphibian observations using her iNaturalist Android smart phone application.

 

IMG_9253

Molly and Julianne get photogenic at the top of FOP.

IMG_0628

Speckled Black Salamander – First one ever observed within Pepperwood Preserve. February 2016.

iNaturalist Black Salamander Screen Shot

SSU undergraduate Eric Hardy uses citizen science smart phone technology to document this amazing observation of Black Salamander. Julianne Bradbury, SSU undergraduate Research Assistant Intern partnered with Eric for this cover board survey.

2 responses to “Herpetofauna Project: About

  1. It is so cool to see your progress here!

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