Riley Jones

This is Riley Jones

Forest Stewardship: Vernal Pool Monitoring at Masson Ridge “Forever Wild”Environmental Science major at GCC

What was most fun about the internship? Catching salamander larvae! I was interested in vernal pools and not afraid to get wet.

About Riley

Intern Responsibilities

Observe physical changes in vernal pools in spring and summer during amphibian mating season and hatch out. I collected data on pools’ cycles and obligate species within the individual pools.

What you wanted from the internship

I wanted to witness spotted salamander life before they emerged onto land. I learned about vernal pools and the species that inhabit them and the life cycle of spotted salamanders and wood frogs.

What was most challenging?

Finding the time and finding a good time for everyone to meet.

What did you find most useful as a student? How did it connect to your classroom learning?

Gathering data and documenting it in an organized fashion.

What was most fun?

About Masson Ridge “Forever Wild”

Business Description

Mount Grace Land Trust facilitates land conservation (forests and farms) and supports the local economy and community. This field site is a protected forest preserve surrounding large areas of inter-connected wetlands including certified vernal pools and headwater streams. Large numbers of obligate vernal pool species share the habitat.

Business Location

West Road, Northfield, MA

Required Qualifications for Intern

Introductory Biology, Algebra and English composition. The applicant must be comfortable with the design and use of data entry forms and computer data entry or else learn this skill quickly. An interest in outdoor work and tolerance for heat, cold, water, sun, bugs and dense brush are also needed for success in this field-oriented position.

Outcomes for the Internship as Stated by Business

The data collected during this project will be added to the long term observation record of physical and biological change at this permanently protected site. Close experience with the woodland vernal pool system will help generate a better appreciation for the challenges faced by all species that are sensitive to climate change.