The Alaska Herpetological Society

THE HOTTEST SOCIETY IN THE NORTH

Officer Bios

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PAST OFFICERS _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Donald Larson

President

Don is a PhD student in the Biology and Wildlife Department at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  He grew up on the Muddy Mississippi in Wisconsin and spent much of his childhood wading through ponds and streams trying to catch frogs and dragonfly nymphs.  He moved to Fairbanks in 2006 to complete his undergraduate degree.  After graduating with a B.S. in biology, he became a graduate student at UAF.  Don is interested in parasites, frogs, and how the two interact during winter.   Wood frogs harsh Fairbanks winters by freezing solid for over 7 months every year by packing their cells with so much sugar that they taste nearly as sweet as a sip of Coke, not that you should ever lick a frog.  Aside from his research Don can often be found hiking nearby trails, skiing, and canoeing the Tanana River.

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Seth Perry

Vice President

My name is Seth Perry. I was born in California and I was moved to Alaska when I was less than 6 months old. Growing up on Lumber Street in Petersburg, AK we caught frogs within feet of our trailers since before I can remember. When I was young frogs were everywhere in massive numbers.  Toads covered huge areas south of town…. fast forward 30 years or so and I am a Commercial Fisherman living in Petersburg with my wife and 3 kids. The Stikine River is our playground and river trips are a big part of my family's recreation. As my kids grew I wanted to be able to teach them more about the amphibians on the river, so I started to look online for information. There was not much.  For years I wondered why there were less amphibians around Mitkof Island….. no answers. So, when approximately three years ago we showed up at the Twin Lakes cabin and saw the first logbooks that Joshua Ream put out for his Stikine research, we were all very excited. I contacted Josh via e-mail then Facebook and 2 years ago we meet for the first time and went herping up the river for 10 days...this year we are planning our 3rd river expedition in one of the most amazing places in Alaska…

I look forward to this position with AHS and I plan to bring more awareness to amphibians in Alaska.

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Mark Spangler

Secretary

Although I am only three years an Alaska resident, I can proudly claim life-long status as a herp-nerd. I have fond memories of growing up with reptile pets, including 18 years with a green iguana. It wasn't until 2008 (Year of the Frog), however, that I became aware of the global amphibian crisis. This is where my focus and passion has been ever since. Some of my prior experiences include volunteering for the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program in Tennessee, co-coordinating the FrogWatch program in Nebraska, mapping species distribution and diversity in Nicaragua, and monitoring for the chytrid fungus in Costa Rica.

Currently I am enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I am
studying the northern range distribution of the wood frog in Alaska, which may be shifting in
response to a warming climate. As part of my research I am developing a method that will utilize environmental DNA as a method of wood frog detection. Environmental DNA is any genetic material which has originated from a living organism and becomes suspended in the surrounding water. These types of surveys are efficient and minimally intrusive, as well as cost, labor, and time efficient. I am also passionate about community education and outreach. As secretary and education & outreach coordinator, my goals for AHS are to increase our organization's presence and membership base in the Interior.

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Joshua T. Ream

Treasurer

(CLICK HERE FOR JOSH'S CV)

 

Joshua recently completed a doctoral program at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks in the field of ethnobiology. His passion for this discipline has been evident through various academic research initiatives. Joshua has a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University (minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Science) and a M.S. in Biology from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. His masters thesis research involved the reintroduction of the Alligator Snapping Turtle in coordination with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Joshua's recent research interests have involved an analysis of the nature and extent of local herpetological knowledge in rural Alaska. Joshua has been studying Alaskan herpetofauna for several years, he has worked on amphibian related projects with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and he has served as an intern for the Northwest Section of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC). He is currently employed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a Subsistence Resource Specialist. Joshua is excited to serve as the Treasurer of the Alaska Herpetological Society and he foresees a bright future for the organization!

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