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Faculty, student researchers participate in ‘Cool and Crawly Critters Day' at LBL

A member of the faculty and an undergraduate student researcher from Austin Peay State Universitys Center of Excellence for Field Biology helped children have great fun while learning about crawly critters on Saturday, July 15 at the Woodlands Nature Center in Land Between The Lakes (LBL).

According to Dr. Andrew Barrass, director of the Center of Excellence for Field Biology, almost 500 people joined in fun and educational experiences throughout the day.
A member of the faculty and an undergraduate student researcher from Austin Peay State University's Center of Excellence for Field Biology helped children have great fun while learning about “crawly critters” on Saturday, July 15 at the Woodlands Nature Center in Land Between The Lakes (LBL).

According to Dr. Andrew Barrass, director of the Center of Excellence for Field Biology, almost 500 people joined in fun and educational experiences throughout the day.

Nathan Parker, Dotsonville, a senior biology major and undergraduate researcher for the Center of Excellence for Field Biology, assisted Barrass with an interpretive booth designed to educate the audience about native amphibians, their habitats and their “animal sounds.”

“In addition to displays and live animals, I had a laptop computer filled with many animal sounds,” said Barrass. “Children, seated by the laptop, would press the forward key, and a program would play an animal sound with the picture of the animal displayed. The children were asked to match the picture and animal sound with live animals on display at the Nature Center.

“Nathan captured the animals in the wild and cared for them throughout the trip and during the 96-plus degree day. I really appreciated his work, as did the children and parents.”

The fun-filled day also featured an insect show with live giant bugs and spiders, a live snake program, an observation beehive, a display of live bats and children's games and crafts.

Participating in the event also were Cincinnati Zoo staff and faculty from the University of Kentucky, Murray State and the University of Memphis.

For more information, contact Barrass by telephone at (931) 221-7782 or e-mail at barrassa@apsu.edu. -- Dennie B. Burke