Today: Mostly cloudy with some light rain possible. A cooler afternoon high in the low/mid 60s along with a steady northeast wind at 10-15mph.
Tonight: Cloudy with some rain possible, especially over the southern part of the viewing area. An ... More...
Lee Biology Professor Earns Wildlife Award
By: Brannon Roberts
The collaboration of Dr. Michael Freake, associate professor of biology at Lee University, and other partners recently won the nationwide State Wildlife Action Plan Partnership Award. The partnership includes Lee University, Middle Tennessee State University and the Nashville Zoo. The awards will be presented to recipients on March 6 at the congressional reception in Washington, D.C.
“This year’s competition was really tight with several really great nominations. It truly was a tough decision,” said Mary Pfaffko, Teaming with Wildlife associate.
The collaborative effort, called the Tennessee Hellbender Recovery Partnership (THRP), is focused on the Eastern Hellbender, a rare giant salamander found in area streams. In 2011, THRP received a grant from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which administers the federally funded State Wildlife Grant.
The three elements of the partnership split up responsibilities. Freake coordinates field surveys in east Tennessee, handles all genetic analyses and has worked with Stephen Spear of the Orianne Society to develop a new survey technique of testing river water samples for the presence of the hellbender DNA.
“For me, working on hellbenders is all about creating and sustaining partnerships with other experts in the field because there are so many challenges to studying and managing our declining populations of hellbenders,” Freake said. “It’s definitely not a one person show and that is why we are all so delighted to receive this award.”
He was assisted with fieldwork, funding and publicity by Rick Jackson and David Hedrick of the Chattanooga Zoo, and Jim Herrig of the USDA Forest Service.
“The reasons we care about hellbenders is their uniqueness,” Freake said. “Since they are completely aquatic and need clean, cool streams, they are a valuable indicator of water quality. If they disappear from our rivers, it is a clear message that all is not well. Our concern is that this may be the last generation of Tennessee residents that will have hellbenders in the wild.”
The partnership is recognized for their efforts in the conservation of hellbenders and gaining media attention for State Wildlife Grants.
PHOTO: Pictured here with local students is Dr. Freake holding a female hellbender from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Lee Biology Professor Earns Wildlife Award
- TN/GA Regional News
- National News
- International News
- Georgia man pleads not guilty in Iowa man's death
- Girl critically injured after being struck by car
- Man sentenced after threat to eat judge's kids
- Pedestrian struck, killed by minivan in east Ga.
- Authorities seek to identify skeletal remains
- Water main break again prompts street closure
- Atlanta residents object to planned priests' home
- High winds, heavy rain expected in Georgia
- Interim president chosen for Gwinnett Tech
- Ga. woman sentenced in investment fraud scheme
- Professor: 'Game of Thrones' pic got me suspended
- Olympic player from US 'Miracle' team is auctioning his gold medal
- Ohio school shooting victim's dad died from heroin
- New Jersey woman sues over '8THEIST' license plate
- Remembering an officer slain after bombs went off
- Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president
- Teacher in chair-throwing incident not punished
- Storms threaten 2nd launch try to space station
- Atlanta residents object to planned priests' home
- NASA's moon-orbiting robot crashes down
- Christians mark Good Friday in the Holy Land
- At least 12 Everest guides killed, four missing in avalanche
- Investigators probe crew's actions, as well as alterations made to the ferry
- Ferry now totally submerged
- Ukraine government pledges reforms as insurgents reject call to quit buildings
- Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
- Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
- Bomb in shopping street in Iraqi capital kills 3
- Egypt stops attempt to smuggle Jewish artifacts
- Vice principal found hanging, suicide note expresses guilt over surviving ferry disaster
The Good Life
Celebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Don Welch to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Road TrippinCome Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
Closings and DelaysThese are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
Educator of the WeekEach week WTVC will profile a teacher in Southeast Tennessee and acknowledge their part in the advancement of the education of their students and the contributions to their profession.
Deaf & Hard of HearingInformation provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Sponsored EventsCheck Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!