Salamanders have always been a passion of mine. Much of my early years were spent catching salamanders, snakes and frogs along a creek near my childhood home. During my graduate work, I studied a population of spotted salamanders. It wasn’t until after graduation that my intense enthusiasm for turtles began to grow. In more recent years, I’ve led volunteer surveys to monitor turtle populations (citizen science). I’m looking forward to using these same skills to monitor hellbender populations. Our organization is dedicated to performing research in an ecologically sustainable way and this project is a natural extension of previous work.