IBET students collect Mason Neck data


Freshmen record elevation data at vernal pool locations.

Freshmen returned to visit the wildlife reserve at Mason Neck State Park on Oct. 11 and 12 to familiarize themselves with the terrain. These students, in biology teacher Aubrie Holman’s IBET, had already visited the park on Oct. 8 for their annual IBET field trip.

Students observed the vernal pools at the park, which are the breeding grounds of the Ambystoma maculatum,or spotted salamander, the focus of their IBET project.  The students set up the transit, marked off an area, and recorded elevation data at High Point Two, Wood Marsh and other ephemeral vernal pool locations in Mason Neck.

The students will be visiting the vernal pools once again in spring, and the final IBET reports will be reviewed at the tjSTAR symposium.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Mason Neck. I can’t wait to learn about the specific community interactions between the spotted salamander species,” freshman Maitri Patel said.