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Welcome to 'Toads, Roads, and Nodes' 2014

NCEAS Project 12658: Toads, roads, and nodes: Collaborative course-based research on the landscape ecology of amphibian poppulations

GE2   l clam photo

Getting Started: 

Before you do much else, please read the project introduction.  These explain the basics of what we're doing and how we'll do it.

Note also the tabs and folders for Research Protocols, Readings, etc. above - these contain most of the materials you'll need for the project

This site is searchable - just use the "Search Site" box at the upper right if you're having trouble finding something.

If you're a project participant, login here to access collaboration features (e.g. data uploading, discussion board)

If you're looking for any of the 2013 materials, look for these under the Archives section. 


In 2013, we identified a number of factors that affected frog and toad distributions across sites in the eastern and central United States - road length, vehicle traffic, land development, forest cover, and wetland area.  For convenience, we measured all of these factors within 1 km of frog and toad survey sites.  In reality, the scale over which these different factors will affect amphibians is likely to vary from one factor to the next.  For example, we might hypothesize that some species may need to have forest cover available very close to their breeding ponds, but that large scale forest cover shouldn't be as important.  In contrast, amphibians may not be affected by a small amount of development near their pond, but lots of development over a large scale may be highly detrimental to their population.  Our goal for 2014 is to determine the scale over which road length, traffic, land development, forest cover, wetland area, and landscape connectivity exert their maximum influence on frog and toad distributions.  The results of our study will help identify areas that may be threatened by changes in land use and determine the appropriate scale at which to measure factors that affect whether amphibians will be able to survive in any given area. 

This project is structured as a collaboration among undergraduate biology, ecology, and environmental science classes from around the U.S.  Each class will compile and analyze data on amphibian distributions and landscape features for their own region using a common set of protocols available on this website.  Then, representatives from each class will bring these data to NCEAS for a large-scale analysis of the results.  Through this project, students will get to participate in large-scale ecology research and gain experience working with large datasets, using Geographic Information Systems, and performing statistical analyses. 

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation TUES (Tranforming Undergraduate Education in Science) program.

2014 Participants:

Anoka Ramsey Community College, Clarkson University, Eckerd College, Hobart and William Smith College, Northern Virginia Community College, University of Rhode Island, University of South Carolina - Salkehatchie, Utah State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Warren Wilson College, Washington and Lee University

Contact NCEAS (David Marsh):