Protecting pools of knowledge
Nearly 30 years ago, a husband-and-wife research team crisscrossed 16 counties in central Virginia in search of strange puddles in forests.
The Virginia Commonwealth University biologists, Charles and Leann Blem, found more than 200 of the nondescript waters, which actually are important wetlands called vernal pools.
"Probably most of them are gone now," said Blem, now retired with Leann in northwest Montana. "A lot of them are probably under concrete or asphalt or housing foundations."
All these years later, a new team of researchers want to know. They are investigating how many of the pools still exist and checking their health.
The work could produce scientific papers. It also is aimed at encouraging landowners to protect their pools.