Salamander IBET Field Trip Rescheduled

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Salamander IBET Field Trip Rescheduled

Ananda Kalukin, Staff Writer

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The salamander IBET field trip to Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge (EHMNNWR), scheduled for Oct. 2, was cancelled due to flooding of vernal pools in the park. Rains resulting from Hurricane Florence caused the pools to flood.

 

Teachers are hoping the flooding will diminish by Nov. 8th, which is the rescheduled date of the trip.

 

“We got approval for it to be Nov. 8th,” Stephanie Glotfelty, English teacher for the salamander IBET, said.

 

The salamander IBET has been studying Spotted Salamanders, which lay their eggs in vernal pools.

 

“Vernal pools are seasonal (typically spring and fall) shallow topographical depressions that hold water,” Marc Ingramm, a Mason Neck State Park (MNSP) employee, said.

However, vernal pools are typically not flooded during the fall.

 

“There shouldn’t be pools in the fall,” Glotfelty said.

 

Vernal pool flooding would interfere with student projects such as surveying.

The salamander IBET has four field trips planned this year to EHMNNWR, which is located in Lorton, Va. The first field trip to the refuge took place on Sept. 25.

No wildlife was harmed by the flooding, according to Ingramm.

 

The heavy rains and flooding did not affect the wildlife significantly since breeding and egg laying occurs in spring/early summer” he said.

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