Our Approach

In 2013, the Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Collaboration Network started as a partnership between researchers at Penn State University and the USGS Northeast Amphibian and Research Monitoring Initiative (NEARMI) with the intention of creating a research network to understand salamander climate adaptation and population dynamics across multiple scales. The goal is to identify local and regional drivers of population dynamics to better predict the impacts of management and environmental change. We plan to achieve this goal by;

  1. Creating a versatile, statistically and methodologically efficient research protocol
  2. Establishing a network of study partners that perform and coordinate observational and experimental studies.

The core of the project revolves around capture mark-recapture and our replicated plot study design. This opens the door for collaborators to participate in research on morphology, abundance, age-class structure, life history, demography, and much more. Given the rich data set that will result from the effort put forth by the network, many additional research questions can be addressed, and this is one of the emergent opportunities that participation in SPARCnet offers. Our other central component includes development of citizen science opportunities, science curriculum, field biology courses, and educational materials for nature centers, refuge visitor centers, and the National Zoo.

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Meet the Steering Committee

The steering committee directs and ensures the continuity of the network. They also evaluate project proposals and facilitate collaboration between network members.

SPARCnet1_v2

Evan H Campbell Grant

Research PI

Research Wildlife Biologist USGS NE Amphibian Research & Monitoring Initiative

David Muñoz

Network Coordinator

Ph.D. Candidate

Pennsylvania State University

Research PI

Assistant Professor

Pennsylvania State University

Kristine Grayson

Education PI

Assistant Professor

University of Richmond

Research PI

Assistant Professor

University Massachusetts Amherst

Louise Meade

Education PI

Education Director

BEACON Michigan State University

Research Collaborators

Adrianne Brand, Wildlife Biologist - U.S. Geological Survey, Northeastern Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative

Andrew Dietrich, Wildlife Biologist - U.S. Geological Survey, Northeastern Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative

Sean Sterrett, Postdoctoral Research Scientist - U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Unity, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Kristine Grayson, Assistant Professor - University of Richmond

Tanya Matlaga, Professor - Susquehanna University

Kerry Yurewicz, Professor - Plymouth State University

Paola Dolcemascolo, Assistant Professor - Berkeley College

Joseph Milanovich, Assistant Professor - Loyola University of Chicago

William Peterman, Assistant Professor - The Ohio State University

Brian Gratwicke, Research Scientist - Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Daniel Hocking, Assistant Professor - Frostburg State University

Kristen Epp, Assistant Professor - Eastern Connecticut University

Caitlin Fisher-Reid, Assistant Professor - Bridgewater State University

Jennifer Deitloff, Assistant Professor - Lock Haven University

Education Collaborators

Grant Dobson and Lyndsey Mask Education Director - Shaw Woods Outdoor Education Center, Douglas, Ontario

Matt Ellerbeck, Salamander Conservationist and Educator - Ontario

Catherine Devlin, Educator and Coordinator of Student Assessment - Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA

Amanda Hyde, Professor of Biology - Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA

Krysta Hougen, Teacher Naturalist and Camp Director - Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Easton, MD

Danika Tyminski, Educator - Swift River Elementary School, Wendell, MA

Ted Watt, Educator - Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Amherst, MA

Brett Amy Thelen, Science Director - Harris Center for Conservation Educator, Hancock, NH

Graduate Students

Jill Fleming, MS student - University of Massachusetts - Amherst

David Muñoz, PhD Student - Penn State University

Ben Padilla, PhD Student - University of Massachusetts - Amherst