Presenter Name: Meg Maloney
Presentation Title: How to Be an (Amateur) Herpetologist: A New Frontier to Outdoor Recreation
Presentation Description: As outdoor enthusiasts, we need to help others foster a love for conservation and the great outdoors. One way to do this is to appreciate the animals that live in these environments. Bird watching and fishing are common ways to appreciate the animals that live outside, but rarely does one think of snakes, frogs, turtles and salamanders. Through herping (observing reptiles and amphibians), one can grow to appreciate the beauty of these animals living throughout our ecosystems as well as discover an exciting way to finding these creatures in their natural habitat. Through learning the ethical way of discovering and observing these animals, you can engage in a new outdoor activity that is not only exciting and rewarding, but teaches to appreciate a new group of animals living in our backyards. During the session, live animals will be present so participants can learn how to appropriate interact with a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians.
Presenter Biography: Meg Maloney is a senior environmental biology major at the University of Dayton and the Trip and Program Supervisor for the Campus Recreation Outdoor Education program. Meg is passionate about engaging youths and young adults in outdoor recreation and uses her love for herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) to foster a conservation mindset in the people she takes outdoors. Previously, Meg worked for the Illinois Natural History Museum as a snake surveyor in prairies and is currently publishing her research from Dr. Ryan McEwan’s lab on salamanders and invasive species. You can often find Meg kayaking down the Miami, backpacking in Germantown Metropark or herping at Englewood Metropark. Meg plans to continue her career in outdoor education after college, and hopes to encourage all to love herping as much as she does!