UNCG Campus Weekly

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NSF grant focuses on reptiles, amphibians

Thanks to a $2.7 million dollar National Science Foundation grant, rural communities across North Carolina will have a chance to get up-close and personal with their reptilian and amphibian neighbors. And add to the scientific record.

A multidisciplinary team from UNCG, Elon University and UNC Pembroke have combined their areas of expertise and shared passions for the natural world in the program, Herpetology Education in Rural Places and Spaces (HERPS).

Dr. Catherine Matthews (Education) says the project is essential for many reasons.

“North Carolina is in a state of transition; our human population is increasing and our natural areas are decreasing,” Matthews says. “Our local parks, state parks, vacant lots and our own backyards harbor animals we don’t even know are there. Many of these animals are bio-indicators: they keep us informed about the health of the places where we live. This grant will allow us to introduce our neighbors to these organisms that are harbingers of environmental truth and in doing so imbue North Carolinians with an appreciation and admiration for these little known and seldom seen frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes and lizards.”

More at UNCG News.