Hello, readers of the frog log! I hope the weeks since the last log have been soaked and saturated with lots of frog-related frenzies. Although the support has been wonderful throughout the lifespan of this column, from tadpole to now, there have been zero submissions of frog anecdotes and chronicles! Send your stories to [email protected] if you feel so inclined. Anywho, in honor of Women’s History Month, we will be honoring a truly amazing female frog scientist.
Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi is a conservationist from Ghana who was also the country’s first female herpetologist. She now is the associate executive director, advocacy campaigns director, and program coordinator of the “SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana” program. Owusu-Gyamfi is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Ghana, with a research focus on the impacts of exploitation on the distribution and population of frogs. Along with continuing to mentor young women in STEM, she was also the first person to shed light on the prevalence of amphibian roadkill in West Africa. As a Black woman and an underrepresented member of the herpetology community, — and science community in general — we can all look to Owusu-Gyamfi for inspiration!
For our next segment, I come bearing a toadly amazing and crazy story. I entered the bus to head home, just like any other day. The bus began to pull out of the stop. But little did I know, the next thing to enter the bus wouldn’t be human. As we let commuters on at the first UC Berkeley stop, a man by the name of Ben Karin entered the bus with a plastic container. I immediately started pondering the question of whether there could be a frog in said container. Laughing with my friend, I opened my sketchbook to a fresh page and thought, what was the point of only speculating? I decided to investigate my hypothesis, clicking my pen out in preparation for the far-fetched idea that I shared the vehicle’s cabin with an amphibian. I approached the man, traversing the moving bus, only able to see moss and bramble in the bin, and asked, “Hey, is there a frog in there?” Miraculously, there was! In the bumping interior of the 65 bus, there hobbled a Dendrobatidae. Astonished that I had come across a poison dart frog, I was commenced an impromptu bus interview. Stay tuned for the next log, where we will take a deeper dive into this interview, and uncover an underground frog society in the UC Berkeley community.
In sum, frogs are around every corner, you just have to be willing to look! In a way, they can represent the little things in this beautiful yet unforgiving world, and remind us that something amazing might just be right under our nares. As we part once more, I leave you with this sentiment and an acronym, for whenever you find yourself without a path: “WWAFD.” What would a frog do?