Monday: Sunny and breezy. Less humid and cooler with an afternoon high in the mid/upper 70s. ... 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
- Authorities investigating fuel truck fire in Macon
- Police: Man falls from dock, drowns in Lake Lanier
- New Ga. lobbying rules allow for summer travel
- Cobb police investigating fatal shooting
- Ga. agency says photo IDs will cost $7.7 million
- Police: Body left near railroad tracks in Atlanta
- University of Georgia to celebrate centennial
- Emory to celebrate life and work of Seamus Heaney
- Polk County sheriff's deputy fatally shoots man
- BET Hip-Hop Awards holds taping of show in Atlanta
- Global marches draw attention to climate change
- County sheriff touts grenade launcher as key tool
- Group says it gave hundreds of veterans free pot
- Police say rifle carried by ambush suspect found
- Ex-stepson: White House intruder meant no harm
- Southwest flight makes emergency landing at LAX
- White House intruder identified as Army veteran who served in Iraq, retired due to disability
- NYPD: 1 officer killed, 8 hurt in van crash
- UN General Assembly to focus on war on extremists
- 32 structures destroyed in California wildfire
- Erdogan: Turkey won't give hostage release details
- France's Sarkozy makes comeback TV appearance
- Official says Syrian refugee flood into Turkey hits 100,000 as Islamic State group advances
- 2 al-Shabab suspects arrested in Frankfurt
- Paris prison opens doors for Heritage Days
- Pope in Albania urges Muslims to condemn extremism
- Thousands march in Moscow against Ukraine fighting
- Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown
- US general: Arab nations needed in Iraq, Syria
- Hopes dim for return of Philippine troops to Golan
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.
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!