Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory

SHARE: School Habitats for Amphibian and Reptile Education




School Talks




An outdoor learning project


Contact with the live animals will give them experience that is much more personal and realistic than photographs or computer images will ever provide.

What is SHARE?

Davidson Herpetoloy lab is working on a new and exciting project this year called SHARE: School Habitats for Amphibian and Reptile Education. This outdoor, low impact monitoring program allows students to safely become familiar with the amphibian and reptile species on thier own school ground. The outdoor monitoring program will further students's knowledge about environmental issues, especially those issues associated with amphibian declines and will facilitate the growth of students's love of learning and care for the environment.  Additionally, they will gain hands-on research experience.We have partnered with Davidson Elementary School to create a monitoring station in the forest behind their school.  We use simple materials such as coverboards and PVC pipes which incur relatively low start-up costs and little to no maintenance. The design of the monitoring program allows it to be paired with interdisciplinary course-material required by North Carolina currimulum. For example, students might discuss current topics such as amphibian decline and apply the scientific method to their research or they might incorporate rain gauge measurements into math lessons on units of measure. To see an outline for a year of lessons click here. Also the first three lesson are available below. If you are interested in starting your own SHARE program or want to learn more about what we have done, contact Nitya Rao.


The coverboards and PVC pipes are passive shelters for many NC species of small amphibians and reptiles. The animals can come and go as they choose and are ideal for elementary school studies because the animals are not harmed if the shelters are not checked.

What will students learn?

  • Introduction to North Carolina herpetology
  • Conservation awareness and approaches
  • Concepts and practice of basic experimental methods

Students cooperate on:

  • project setup- physical and conceptual
  • observation
  • data analysis
  • conclustions and presentation of results

 First Three Lessons:

Lessosn 1: Introduction to Herpetology and SHARE (.pdf) (.doc)

Lesson 2: Conservation (.pdf) (.doc)

Lesson 3: Mapping (.pdf) (.doc)


Herpetology flashcards (.pdf) (.doc)

Amphibian Life Cycle (.pdf) (.ppt)

Use these pictures to teach the frog life cycle. Our favorite way is to let students attach them to a hula hoop with velcro.
Comments or questions regarding this web site, contact Michael E. Dorcas