Name: Lauren Skeens
From: Moyock, NC
School: J.P. Knapp Early College High School
for the Frogs
By Lauren Skeens
I am Lauren Skeens, and I am a high school senior at J.P. Knapp Early
College High School. I chose to volunteer for the cause of the
conservation of North Carolina frog species by joining the North
Carolina Calling Amphibian Survey Program (CASP). I volunteered
10-20 hours a month, and that includes studying frog calls, taking a
frog call quiz online, and driving around and doing the surveys.
My responsibilities included completing training to identify frog
calls, studying frog calls so that I can identify frog species by
ear, and driving around to 10 specific stops in my town in order to
listen for frogs calling and recording data about what species are
calling and how much.
My biggest challenge as a volunteer was going out at night and
getting bit by mosquitoes. Turns out my blood type (O) is more
attractive to mosquitoes than the other blood types. Thanks, genetics
My biggest satisfaction as a volunteer was being able to learn 30
different calls and being able to identify frog species by ear in one
afternoon. I have learned as a volunteer for the CASP program is that
I may want to be a wildlife biologist as a career, one that
specializes in amphibian life.I have been studying the frog calls and
listening at night. The call timeframe ended June 30th,
and I hope to be able to do this again next spring.
I think that my activity as a volunteer is considered “forward
looking” because it helps with the conservation of frog species. If
frogs went extinct, you would definitely notice. The insect species
of North Carolina would have a boom in population. Flies would be
everywhere, beetles would be everywhere, bugs would be everywhere.
Frogs keep the insect population under control.
With my activities, I seek to help the conservation of frog species
which are losing their precious habitat due to land development.
Ten years from now, I would look back and I may not see a visible
change, but I would know that frogs are being helped by the program I
had volunteered in back those 10 years ago. This is because we
collected numerical data on the calling activity of frogs, to see how
much they live in the area and how they are breeding.