The public is invited to attend one of two free training workshops for prospective volunteer monitors of local frog populations. Staff from Shirley Heinze Land Trust, The Field Museum, and Indiana University Northwest will present the workshops on Saturday, February 9th, in Michigan City, and on Wednesday, February 13th, in Valparaiso. The two sessions are identical in content.
The abundance and distribution of frogs over time is an important indicator of the health of aquatic ecosystems, as frogs are very sensitive to changes in their environment. By monitoring frog populations, citizen scientists provide large amounts of data to help land managers and herpetologists recognize early warning signs of a declining habitat.
Workshop participants will learn about the characteristics of each species, their preferred habitat, and how to identify the calls of thirteen local frog and toad species. Newcomers to the program will be assigned a preserve or natural area close to their home, or they may attend the session just to learn about the issue. New participants who would like to become a monitor will be assigned a preserve or natural area close to their home. Persons wishing only to learn about the program are also welcome. Experienced monitors are encouraged to attend in order to learn any protocol changes, obtain data sheets, review frog calls, and share lessons learned from last year.
Spencer Cortwright, Biology Professor at Indiana University Northwest, will lead the workshop on Saturday, February 9th, from 10am-Noon at Barker House, located at 444 Barker Rd in Michigan City, 46360.
Alan Resetar, Amphibian and Reptile Collections Manager at The Field Museum, will lead the workshop on Wednesday, February 13th, from 7-9 pm at Meadowbrook Conservation Center, located at 109 W 700 N, in Valparaiso, 46385.