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HERP Project Goes Live on Pembroke Day

(October 2014)

Dr. Andrew Ash and corn snake
For the past three years, the HERP Project has provided school children in rural communities with hands-on opportunities to study frogs, salamanders, turtles, lizards, and snakes.  The project helps nurture an appreciation for these "herps" and for the science of herpetology.  Members of the HERP (Herpetology Education in Rural Places) Project took part in the Pembroke Day celebration on October 1st. 

HERP Project members Andrew Ash and Mary Ash shared information about these seldom seen animals, and they provided herp illustrations for children to color.  The big hit with their display, however, was a living corn snake.  Colorful corn snakes are among the most popular snakes to have as pets, in part because of their gentle dispositions.  Children who visited the HERP Project display learned quickly that corn snakes can be handled safely.  Children lined up to see and touch the snake. In total, the display was visited by nine groups of children from two different Head Start programs, by one group of sixth graders, and by several adults.

Children See Corn Snake Children See Corn Snake Children See Corn Snake

The HERP Project is funded by the National Science Foundation and is spearheaded by a multidisciplinary team from three North Carolina university campuses: The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Elon University. Dr. Ash is one of the team's Co-Principal Investigators.  Both he and Mary Ash are professors in UNC Pembroke's Department of Biology.

Child holding a corn snake

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