April Boulton, Ph.D., Director of the GIS Certificate and Environmental Biology master’s program at Hood, was recently awarded a grant from the USDA to study an invasive beetle that destroys honeybee colonies in the U.S. (commercially important pollinators). The two-year grant comes with a full student stipend, which will support a graduate student in the Environmental Biology program.
A recent collaboration between Hood College and the Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) examined how different land uses next to county wetlands can have a big impact on amphibian species. OSER collected the amphibian data and Environmental Biology Masters student Evelyn Michael analyzed the data. The research underscored that amphibian diversity is highest in wetlands surrounded by forest buffer.
Amphibians, which help control populations of pestiferous insects, utilize wetlands for breeding during spring and summer. The more amphibian species inhabiting a wetland infers that the ecosystem is healthy and stable. Amphibians inhabit forests during the non-breeding season and utilize forests as migration corridors to travel to breeding wetland sites. A higher number of amphibian species found at wetlands adjacent to increased forest shows that these ecosystems are providing adequate habitat and migration routes for various amphibian species.
Evelyn Michael presented her thesis research at the regional meeting of the Ecological Society of America in March. Her thesis is titled Adjacent Land Cover as an Indicator of Amphibian Species Richness in Frederick County Wetlands. Evelyn is a student in The Graduate School’s Environmental Biology program.