Freshman Scholars Program 2012

Habitat Use and Activity Patterns of Reptiles and Amphibians in Relation to Temperature and Humidity

Instructor:  Todd Fredericksen, Ph.D.


Project Description:

Up to two students interested in environmental science, wildlife, or conservation biology.

During this summer, I will be working on two projects involving reptile and amphibian ecology.  One project involves the timing of dispersal of juvenile amphibians (frogs, toads, and salamanders) from ponds on the campus of Ferrum College. Pitfall traps will be set up around Chapman Pond as well as around a cattle-watering pond near the water treatment plant.  Students will need to check traps daily as well as collect temperature, humidity, and rainfall data.  The second project involves daily tracking of box turtles using radiotelemetry and recording data on habitat use. Students will also download and help analyze data from temperature sensors on the turtles to relate these data to turtle activity patterns and habitat selection.

Students are also welcome to help with other projects that I will be working on – a Ledford scholar research student working on response of mycorrhizal fungi to prescribed burning treatments, response of white pine regeneration to prescribed burning, and tree regeneration responses to timber stand improvement and biomass treatments.


Todd Fredericksen, Ph.D.

Todd Fredericksen is Associate Professor of Forestry and Wildlife. His research interests include forest regeneration ecology, responses of wildlife to forest management practices, and natural history of Virginia vertebrates.


If you have specific questions about this project, please contact Dr. Fredericksen directly at TFredericksen@ferrum.edu.


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