There is no time like spring in the Midwest United States. It’s a time of transition. The first sign of spring is the carpeting of wildflowers on the forest floor and the chorus of spring peeper frogs. My favorite childhood hobby was exploring the marshy environments of Southern Indiana and getting to witness the metamorphosis of frogs. I watched the mass of jelly eggs change into squirmy tadpoles before becoming four-legged jumping amphibians. Frogs gave me my first tangible experience of studying biology and got me hooked. I've prepared this article to give students ideas on how they can use the SAVE THE FROGS! website to incorporate amphibian conservation into their assignments and improve the quality of their completed projects.
Ambystoma maculatum from Bloomington, IN photo by Colette Ciresi
Today, I am finishing up my biology degree with a minor in animal behavior at Indiana University. During my undergraduate career, I have had the opportunity to study a myriad of organisms all with the goal of improving life around me. Working with distinguished professors and other professionals, I have investigated the biodiversity and symbiotic relationships of endophytes (a microscopic fungi in all plants), the evolution of paternal care in anurans (frogs and toads), the aggressive behavior in tree swallows, and the impact of lionfish on the Meso-american coral reef’s indigenous fish.
I can truthfully say that frogs are still the organism that holds my interest the best because of their status as a bioindicator, imperative role in the food web, and impact on medical and scientific advancements. I found that no matter what subject I was studying, whether it be calculus, statistics, or public speaking, I always seemed to relate my studies back to frogs.
Lithobates sylvaticus photo from Bloomington, IN by Colette Ciresi.
If you have navigated the web and gotten to this website, it was fate. You are on the brink of discovery — and certainly in the right place if you are looking for an “A+” idea for your upcoming school work.
Wood frogs mating, photo from Bloomington, IN by Colette Ciresi.
I invite you to use the SAVE THE FROGS! website as an invaluable resource on your next school assignment just like I did! You can use it to educate yourself on the problem at hand (frogs are disappearing globally) and how this affects you, the environment, society, and the overall health of our planet. Hopefully, then you will be motivated to become an advocate for these little guys because you will understand their colossal importance.
As a student who loves frogs, you can easily become an outstanding advocate for saving the frogs by just doing your homework!
Wood frog calling, photo from Bloomington, IN by Colette Ciresi.
The SAVE THE FROGS! website will be able to get you started on your assignments and can give you a great alternative destination when surfing the web next time you have a few minutes. If you are like me, the facts and information you learn from this website can leave an impression on you and impact your future education and career paths. What started as a childhood hobby for me, exploring local ponds looking for spring peepers and salamanders, transformed into my focus of study in a university research lab before finally evolving into my future career as a biologist.
Students are the future and the planet’s future will be better if frogs are still in it!
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
Here are some examples from my undergraduate career where I got to educate my professors and fellow classmates about frogs!
I hope this article gave you some ideas about how to incorporate SAVE THE FROGS! and amphibian conservation into your next homework assignment. You can find a lot more resources for students on our Students For Frogs webpage. Best of luck!