Fellows in the News

"We can tell you that bear and deer and moose use these pools a great deal," says University of Maine professor Aram Calhoun, one of Hoffman's advisors. "The animals that breed in thise pools and then go out into the forest provide food for a lot of other wildlife species that are important to Mainers."

Calhoun says Hoffman's [her advisee] research is part of the interdisciplinary Sustainability Solutions Initiative that is designed to bring science to action. In this case, understanding the ecology of vernal pools will help planners know which lands to conserve, and which might be appropriate for development.

"It is important to understand the particular habitat needs of blue-spotted salamanders because they are the least studied of the vernal pool amphibians," Calhoun says. "We have a lot of information on wood frogs. We have a lot of information on spotted salamanders. But we can not expect efficient management of these species if we don't know the habitat needs of all of the animals involved."

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