Amphibian Week 2023 has the jump on spring! ARMI is participating and so can you!
ARMI scientists Kelly Smalling, Evan Grant, Erin Muths, and Mike Adams will be in Washington, D.C. in May to promote Amphibian Week (Amphibian Week 2023 | PARC (parcplace.org)) and showcase efforts by the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to support amphibian conservation. Events range from field trips to see amphibians in the urban wild areas around D.C. to exhibits at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum and National Zoo, and a multi-federal agency amphibian festival on the National Mall. ARMI will provide coloring sheets and kid-friendly games and activities (e.g., test your knowledge and win a sticker at the trivia wheel, and practice some science techniques searching for the hidden biodiversity of the forest floor!). There will be visits from Phil the Frog and, at the Mall, live amphibians to view. Amphibian Week is sponsored by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) and many other international agencies like the Amphibian Conservation Alliance. ARMI participates year around with PARC and other federal agencies on the amphibian week planning committee to designate events and develop themes and foci for each year’s amphibian week. This year themes include “Hidden Biodiversity”, “Amphibian Communication” and “Action for Amphibians”.
Here are the events happening in D.C. with highlights of ARMI participation:
Saturday, May 6:
The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center (also known as Q?rius) at the Natural History Museum – Smithsonian (10 am – 12:30 pm) (The World and Me Family Program: Amphibian Week Celebration with the USDA Forest Service and Friends! | Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (si.edu))
ARMI scientists will be there with several interactive stations, including the salamander migration game – a thrilling game of survival and chance! We will have several ways to learn about amphibians through trivia, coloring sheets, and stickers. As a bonus, Phil the Frog will be making a special guest appearance! The goal of this collaborative event, including the Smithsonian, USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and US Geological Survey, is to bring the coolness of amphibians to the public and especially kids, through different stations that focus on the many fascinating characteristics of amphibians.
Sunday, May 7:
The Reptile Discovery Center at the National Zoological Park – Smithsonian (10 am – 12 pm) (Reptile Discovery Center Exhibit | Smithsonian's National Zoo (si.edu))
ARMI scientists will assist herpetologists from the National Zoo with an event highlighting amphibians and kicking off Amphibian Week. Activities will include a scavenger hunt through the Reptile Discovery Center, live amphibian demonstrations, the Appalachian salamander exhibit, and the opportunity to observe feeding time for resident Japanese giant salamander.
Monday, May 8:
Constitution Gardens, the National Mall (Maps - Constitution Gardens (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)) (11 am – 5 pm). This multi-agency Amphibian Week event is hosted by the National Park Service. Agencies, including FWS, BLM, USDA FS, and USGS will be participating in a festival setting with different stations to learn about amphibians. In addition to the activities mentioned for the Q?rius event, ARMI scientists will be showing off a diversity of live amphibians. While these amphibians will be in aquariums, they will afford the public an opportunity to get up close and observe salamanders, frogs, and toads. Phil the Frog will be onsite.
Tuesday, May 9:
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)) – Carderock Recreation Area
From 5:30 to 7:00 pm National Park Service and ARMI scientists will lead the public through a quick information session on amphibians (life cycles, migration, diversity and conservation). Live amphibians will be on view and we will visit multiple wetlands to talk about habitats, disease, the role of amphibians in the ecosystem, and biosecurity. As dusk comes to the park, we will guide the public through calling surveys and talk about the soundscape of this urban park and how it relates to amphibian behavior and persistence. Space is limited for this event and registration is required. Please use this form (https://forms.office.com/g/7eFNFPKiS1) to start your registration process.