Field Notes

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This year, our donors are helping fund a climate change educational module geared toward middle and high school students. The program focuses on the endangered Shenandoah Salamander—a critter found on several mountains in our park, and nowhere else in the world. Park researchers are studying how a changing climate could affect this species’ fate, since it’s at the highest elevation it can go.

The educational module includes field studies that require students to learn about a non-endangered, sister-species, the Red-backed Salamander. Over the past few months, the park has been field-testing this component with different school groups, who turn over rocks and shimmy leaf piles aside to discover these animals and record notes about them and their habitat. The joy of discovery is evident on each student’s face.