2018 Grant Awardee - AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT PENDING
2017 Grant Awardee - NO AWARD DUE TO FUNDING
2016 Grant Awardee - Melanie Hinzman
Curriculum Topics: Wood Frog Ecology and Amphibian Anatomy
This Alaska Herpetological Society Grant in the amount of $250 was presented to Melanie Hinzman at Joy Elementary School in Fairbanks. Her students are in grades 3-6th and she teaches the extended learning program. Students did a springtime walk to Creamer's Field to listen for Wood Frog mating calls and for observations. The Creamer's Field Sketches and info of Wood Frogs, by Mark D. Ross, was a helpful resource for this outdoor adventure.
Students' pre-lab included an introduction, external anatomy, and a web link to label the frog's internal organs with location and function. Also in the prelab, we studied the frog's animal phylum, differences between amphibians and reptiles, three adaptions that frogs have which makes them amphibians, and general questions for students to ponder and answer.
Dr. Don Larson, UAF Biology Dept., was our expert "frog person" and taught the proper protocol for a frog dissection. Dr. Larson led the students through the discovery of the frog internal anatomy. The grant allowed the purchase of 4D Vision Frog Anatomy Models and 4"-5" frogs for dissection.
Joy Elementary is very appreciative of the Alaska Herpetological Society for this support. Our students were genuinely enthused to join these lessons and the foster the love for biology and science.
AHS is excited to announce its selection of its very first awardee for the AHS Research Grants Program in 2015 - Mark Spangler. Spangler is an active member of AHS and is currently serving as its Education and Outreach Committee chair. Reviewers were very impressed with his application and he was awarded $500 to support his herpetological research in Alaska.
2015 Grant Awardee - Mark Spangler
Research Topics: Wood Frog Distribution in Alaska; eDNA Sampling
AWARDEE BIO: I'm very excited to be participating in and contributing to the Alaska Herpetological Society through the research grants program! Although I'm still in my first year as an Alaskan, 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 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 genetic material suspended in water to non-invasively test for the presence of this species in any wetland habitat. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more about my research and look for my update later this year!