Garreth sets his feet in the swamp and gives us a rundown on his summer research venture.
By: Dylan Fry
Garreth Logan ’19 of Casco, Maine, devoted time out of his summer for biology research. “I’m mainly doing this in preparation for my senior Capstone Project, which is a project that culminates in a final product or presentation. I’m also seeing if herpetology–the zoological study of reptiles and amphibians–is what I want to pursue.”
Garreth trudges and sloshes to the same bog near Sebago Lake every single day to conduct a herpetological survey and to set small traps to catch amphibians and reptiles. For him, it’s an easy process: place trap, plot the point on his GPS, and check back in 24 hours.
On this day, he identified three Green Frogs and one Northern Water Snake, immediately pulling out his notebook and writing down definitive qualities about them. “To check back in on the traps every 24 hours is actually state law, and it makes sense. I’m not looking to hurt anything, I just want to study and track, you know?”
“My major is Biology pre-vet so I can get my foot in the door with wildlife research,” Garreth said when asked about his career plans. “I’m not sure if I want to pursue herpetology, but at least with a degree in Bio pre-vet I’ll be able to make that choice.”
Garreth also wants to use his senior research project as a resume building experience. His project has led him to contribute data to the Maine Amphibian and Reptile Atlasing Project (MARAP). Run by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (MDIFW), MARAP uses field data submitted by volunteer researches to produce a map of amphibians and reptiles. MDIFW maintains a comprehensive database on the distribution of Maine’s 34 amphibian and reptile species. This map is sectioned by region and lists known amphibians that live there. Garreth is also building his own map of Maine, similar to the MARAP project.
Garreth contributes to the Saint Joseph’s College community by being an active part in extra-curricular activities, as a member of the Commuter Association. The Commuter Association is a group on campus made up entirely of commuters, who come together to discuss their thoughts and opinions. The president of the association also holds a seat on Student Government, creating an accurate representation of the commuter community’s needs.
Garreth feels gratitude to both Saint Joseph’s College and to his advisor, Dr. Lucas Bernacki, for giving him this opportunity at research.
“Why did I pick Saint Joe’s? Well not only was it affordable for me, but I love Maine. I want to work here and I don’t want to leave it.”