IDEAS for Binghamton has made a generous donation to the ASG to support amphibian conservation, and on the behalf of all who gain from the bounty of gifts that healthy species and ecosystems afford us, we would like to express our utmost gratitude for the encouragement and support. This blog post features a Q&A session introducing the amphibian conservation champion “IDEAS for Binghamton”.

IDEAS 2019 Composting Workshop featuring our members and one of our compost piles. Photo credits: Ava Glasser

Q: Can you tell us a little about your club?

IDEAS is a student organization at Binghamton University focused on environmentalism and sustainability. We promote education about broad environmental issues while also emphasizing community engagement. Our group works together to bring to life educational panels, educational and hands-on workshops, Earth Week (a series of daily events hosted the week of Earth Day), hikes and nature walks, local cleanups, and our student-run compost program that allows participants to compost their food scraps at the university farm.

Q: What got IDEAS interested in amphibians?

Our group has always had noted appreciation for amphibians, which is attributed to the Great Amphibian Migration that we experience every year at Binghamton University. Every spring we go  out as a group and observe spotted salamanders, spring peepers, American toads, and red efts cross the road on campus! This wonderful opportunity has fueled our interest in amphibians. Beyond the Migration, we are always flipping rocks and logs to look for any amphibian friend we can during our hikes together.

Q: How did you find out about the ASG and what inspired you to support it?

When we decided to fundraise for a nonprofit organization last year, we asked the members to think of groups they would like to donate to, and we put it to a vote. Several of our members came together and advocated for the ASG after hearing about the group in an ecology class. Upon researching more about the ASG and its mission, we were drawn to the group’s unyielding efforts to promote conservation and preserve biodiversity. We have seen how biodiversity and populations can be negatively affected, especially through human impact– researchers at Binghamton University are currently studying how salting the roads have affected the amphibians who have to cross the roads in order to reach the vernal pools. After discussing our thoughts as a group, it became clear that we would work to support the ASG and its cause that hits close to home for us.

Q: What advice would you give to people who care about amphibians?

Educate yourself! Whether it is taking a class, attending a workshop, watching a documentary, or even just googling “amphibians,” any way you choose to inform yourself is a step in the right direction in helping these animals. Our group’s motto is “think global, act local”– if you care about amphibians, see if there is anything, big or small, that you can do to help. And most importantly, remember to get out into nature, if possible, to experience these creatures yourself! There is nothing more rewarding than flipping a rock and finding a salamander or seeing a little toad hop across a hiking trail, and it will make you appreciate amphibians so much more.

Q: What is next for IDEAS?

Despite the pandemic limiting our usual in-person activities, IDEAS is excited for the new year! We plan on hosting an educational panel, go on more socially distant hikes, and much more! We are also looking forward to continuing our composting program and cannot wait to see how our compost piles are doing.

IDEAS 2019 Fall Fest. Photo credits: Olivia Belton