VCU Rice Center

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News and events
May 8, 2013

Research project analyzes land use and frog diversity

As darkness falls, Virginia Commonwealth University biology students stand silently in the rain at the edge of a shallow pool near the Inger and Walter Rice Center and listen intently to a chorus of Cope’s gray tree frogs that fills the night air. This is not the latest fad on campus, but rather part of a national collaborative analysis of land use and frog diversity.

Students taking VCU’s Amphibian Landscape Ecology class, through VCU Life Sciences and the College of Humanities and Sciences, joined students from nine other universities to participate in a coordinated undergraduate research project, “Toads, Roads and Nodes,” to understand how land use is affecting amphibians across the Eastern and Central United States.

The project was developed by David Marsh, Ph.D., a professor of biology at Washington and Lee University, and funded by the National Science Foundation’s Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES) program and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). It is one of the first distributed undergraduate research projects in the country.

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