Conservation Research1998 - PRESENT
We have worked vigilantly with many talented and dedicated partners over the years to research and conserve frogs and salamanders in the northeastern US: Marbled Salamanders, Ambystoma opacum | Spotted Salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum | Wood Frogs, Rana sylvatica, as well as most recently in the southeast US, including amphibians in Everglades National Park and the Long Leaf Pine ecosystem. We have also worked to save neotropical critically endangered species such as Lemur Leaf Frogs, Agalychnis lemur and Eyelash Marsupial Frogs, Gastrotheca cornuta.
Education and Outreach1998 - PRESENT
In the 1990's, we formed 'Herps for Twerps' with a friend and brought reptiles and amphibians into classrooms to teach children about these incredible animals. Since then, education and outreach has always been of paramount importance to us. This year, we changed the name of our outreach programs to The Young Scientists' League to embrace our developing metro Atlanta educational programs such as Critter Camp, Critter Club and the Atlanta Urban Ecologists program which will be offered this year through a partnership with Atlanta Audubon, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Trees Atlanta, Arabia Mountain, WAWA, the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, and others. Through The Young Scientists' League, we are developing even more educational programming teaching science with reptiles and amphibians in classrooms.
Conservation Coordinator2009 - 2016
Mark Mandica (Executive Director of The Amphibian Foundation), managed the Amphibian Conservation Program at the Atlanta Botanical Garden until 2016. During that time the program focused on neotropical frog conservation, as well as priority frog and salamander species native to the southeastern US. Mark inititated programs to contribute to the recovery of the imperiled Frosted Flatwoods Salamander and to train 'citizen scientists' to monitor urban amphibian communities in metro Atlanta. He built a strong internship program with students from GA Tech, UGA and SCAD, and developed a scientific illustration program for students at ABG. He developed and taught classes at GA Tech and Duke University TIP, and is a TED scholar that spoke on his love of salamanders, and how that transformed into contributing to the federal Flatwoods Salamander Recovery Program.
Critter Camp2015 - PRESENT
Critter Camp started in the summer 2015 at the Friends School of Atlanta. The 5 day camp, with one day spent exploring salamanders, then frogs, turtles, lizards and snakes was a huge success and continued the next summer as well. Now, Critter Camp is expanding to the Critter Club, an after-school club during the school year. Critter Camp is open to campers (ages 6 - 13) from all schools. For more information, see: critter-camp.org
Scientific Illustration and Internships1998 - PRESENT
Mandica Illustration and Design, Inc was incorporated in 2000 to provide scientific illustrations for biological research. Since then, we have been published in dozens of journals and text books such as Journal of Experimental Biology, Science and Nature - and The Evolution of Animal Communication and The Biology and Conservation of the Eastern Indigo Snake. Illustrating science has always been one of our favorite ways to explore science and teach science to kids. We have interned many local students in the art of scientific illustration over the past several years, and in March 2016 we exhibited these amphibian illustrations in a month-long gallery in Decatur called The Ribbit Exhibit which raised money and awareness of global amphibian declines. During the Atlanta Science Festival, we held an all-ages scientific illustration workshop teaching the 'behind-the-scenes' of scientific illutsration complete with live animals, specimens and skeletons - the types of materials illustrators work from. The workshop and exhibit productions were done in partnership with the Atlanta Science Tavern.