Thursday: Cloudy and quite cool. Some light rain possible, even a brief wintry mix during the morning at higher elevations early. An afternoon high ... 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
- SC company buys downtown Atlanta shopping center
- Toll lane price in metro Atlanta hits record $10
- Ex-salon owner sentenced after children molested
- Dominion to buy Carolina Gas Transmission for nearly $493M
- Inmate dies at Cherokee County detention center
- Business owners encouraged to renew licenses
- UGA to hold fall commencement ceremonies
- Georgia-based company issues cheese recall
- SC company looks to buy Atlanta shopping center
- FedEx truck crashes in Georgia, spills packages
- Man charged with killing wife stuffed in fridge
- Castro survived odd, often inept, US schemes
- Tucson police to stop some immigration checks
- Ax, machete, pill bottles found by rampage suspect
- Lawyer: Christie won't be sued in bridge scandal
- Bush makes surprise visit to Sept. 11 museum
- Man gets life sentence in Vermont teacher's death
- Defense: Release for mom who drove into ocean
- Obama on Hanukkah says small acts can make miracles
- Central Texas TV meteorologist shot; gunman sought
- Draft UN resolution targets Israeli occupation
- Death toll in clash in western Mexico rises to 11
- UN chief: US torture report must spur global action
- Pope played crucial role in US-Cuba rapprochement
- Congo, UN troops launch operation against rebels
- Cuba welcomes Castro's announcement of renewed US ties
- Belarus tightens control over online media
- Unicef needs more cash for Central African kids
- Kenya urged to respect human rights
- Israel suffers sharp rebuffs from Europe
The Good LifeCelebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Coats For KidsHelp us keep a child in need warm this winter.
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.
This N ThatLearn about the latest in community affairs and great events with Brian Smith on This 'N That.
Educator of the WeekNominate now for Educator Of The Week!
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!