Monday, July 27, 2009

Bill Sutton Joins ALAPARC as Secretary

The Alabama Chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation is pleased to announce that Bill Sutton has signed on to serve as our Secretary. Bill is a Ph.D. student at Alabama A&M and is researching how amphibians and reptiles respond to pine-hardwood forest management. Bill brings extensive experience to his new post, as he also serves as Secretary for Southeast PARC. We are looking forward to working with Bill as he helps keep track of all our ongoing efforts, meetings, and initiatives.
Welcome Bill.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ALAPARC Call for Abstracts for Inaugural Meeting

We are planning our inaugural meeting on November 6-8, 2009 at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center near Andalusia, Alabama. We will feature a lineup of distinguished speakers to discuss how individuals may facilitate effective conservation in different capacities. To date, confirmed speakers for this event include Whit Gibbons, John Jensen, Craig Guyer, and Matt Aresco. Additional speakers, including Jim Godwin, Jim McHugh, Chris Jenkins and Mark Bailey, will introduce current conservation efforts in Alabama.

Our inaugural meeting will feature presentations (oral and poster) describing research, education, and conservation efforts in the state. We welcome abstracts for consideration; send them to Presentations will be confirmed for the meeting as space allows.

We want to know what you've been up to in Alabama! Submit your abstracts soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Press Release...Released!

Today is a big day, we disseminated the press release announcing the formation of our chapter as well as inaugural meeting and registration information. We are excited to see how the coming weeks develop.

We will busy in the weeks and months leading up to our meeting. Hopefully more individuals will contact us about getting involved in Alabama Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

About Our Logo

ALAPARC's new logo was created by Nathan Burkett-Cadena. Nathan is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Auburn University studying mosquito ecology and a freelance artist in his spare time. Nathan graciously and enthusiastically agreed to design a logo for our organization and we are proud to display the outcome.

The silhouette is that of an Alabama map turtle, Graptemys pulchra. A rare species known primarily from Alabama rivers, this animal is an especially relevant representation for our organization and our goals.

Thanks to Nathan for his exceptional artwork and the time spent to give ALAPARC a professional and aesthetically pleasing logo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Member Profile: Mark Bailey

Mark Bailey has been integral to ALAPARC since its inception and has been involved in all aspects of our progress from meeting coordination to website creation and launch. We have been unable to come up with a title that accurately encompasses his contributions so for now he is "only" a member of our steering committee.

Senior Biologist at Conservation Southeast, for nearly ten years Mark was Terrestrial Zoologist for The Nature Conservancy’s Alabama Natural Heritage Program and was lead author on the recently published PARC Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Southeast. Mark was subcontracted to assist in development of Alabama’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, chaired the Herpetology subcommittee of Alabama’s Second Nongame Wildlife Conference, and co-authored two of the resulting publications. Mark has written multiple Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) and frequently works with the Alabama Forest Resources Center on large conservation easement projects. Mark is the immediate past president of the Alabama Chapter of The Wildlife Society and serves on the board of directors of the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

Clearly ALAPARC is fortunate to have an Alabama wildlife veteran like Mark Bailey working to further our amphibian and reptile conservation goals.

Monday, July 13, 2009

State and Federal Agency Liaison Position Filled

ALAPARC is proud to announce that Jim Godwin has recently accepted a position with our organization as State and Federal Agency Liaison. Jim is a zoologist with the Alabama Natural Heritage Program and has vast experience conducting amphibian and reptile research in the state. With unmatched wit and charisma, Jim has fostered relationships with numerous state and federal agencies relevant to wildlife conservation in Alabama. These relationships will be put to use by ALAPARC in furthering our goals.

Welcome Jim.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

ALAPARC Website: Webmaster Needed

As of this morning, the brand new ALAPARC website is up ( It's pretty much bare bones without graphics and not much to look at just yet, but it's a start. We hope to have PayPal set up soon so that meeting registration can be handled through the site.

Is anybody out there proficient in web design and willing to take the reins with this site? Now's your opportunity to step up. Contact me at

Friday, July 10, 2009

Education and Outreach Committee Needed

Hey everybody,

As Steen said, I'll be heading up the first education/outreach efforts for the group. I'm hoping that the chapter can serve as both a catalyst for new ideas and approaches and be a forum for enhancing collaboration between groups with existing education programs in Alabama.

Those are all good buzz words that sound great on paper, but turning them into something tangible is going to take a dedicated group of folks coming together to foster new ideas. As the chapter begins to form, I'm looking for a group of 5 to 6 folks to potentially serve on an education and outreach committee. Specifically, I'm looking for people with an interest in translating hard science into something easily digestible for the public, as well as anyone who may already have connections or be willing to connect with groups outside of science. If you're interested at all, feel free to shoot me an email at


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Education/Outreach Position Created

We are excited to announce that Wally Smith has agreed to help our chapter find effective methods of using outreach/education to further our amphibian and reptile conservation goals.

Wally is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Alabama, researching interactions between ecological variables, forest management and diversity of amphibians and reptiles within Talladega National Forest.

Welcome aboard Wally.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Treasurer Position Filled

We are proud to announce that Karan Bailey has agreed to serve as ALAPARC's Treasurer. Karan brings with her years of experience serving as Southeast PARC's Treasurer and has worked on amphibian and reptile conservation in Alabama for years as project manager and biologist with Conservation Southeast, Inc.

We are still eager to recruit more individuals to our team, please let us know how you would like to become involved.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A New Chapter

Hi all,

Our chapter is developing quickly and we will soon make the formal announcement regarding our formation and our inaugural meeting this fall at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center. Stay tuned for details.

We currently have initiatives planned to address the status and distribution of the hellbender in Alabama as well as efforts to determine how chytrid fungus may be influencing amphibian populations in the state. We hope to update you on the progress of these initiatives and hear your ideas for more this fall.

As our chapter solidifies, we have identified the need for additional officers. We seek enthusiastic and self-motivated individuals to become either Secretary, Treasurer, or Newsletter Editor. Contact us at if you are interested.

David Steen
ALAPARC Co-chair