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** New Positions for Spring Break 2018 Available! **

Each year, we hire local high school students to assist us during the frogs’ breeding season, which happens to fall in spring break. Here’s what past students have had to say about their experience:

Olivia. Photo: Aleesha Switzer

Have you ever wondered what could be in your backyard? What is the potential in one, solitary puddle? I can say confidently that before working for the Fraser Valley Conservancy through the Precious Frog Project I did not question what kind of life thrives in the wetlands of British Columbia. Throughout my upbringing, I have always been obsessed with biology and the ocean but never quite wondered what could be discovered in the inner regions of our vibrant province. Until now I did not know of the vast potential of amphibian life such as the Oregon Spotted Frog and how its environment is being affected and how that subsequently will affect the population; especially during breeding season when it is most crucial for the frog to be repopulating and continuing the species.

Because the Conservancy has been able to educate me about the vastness of life in a marsh or a bog I know now of the life in the wetland but not even to the full extent that explains the life of the Oregon Spotted Frog and its niche in the environment. By being exposed to the wetlands I have been able to see that there is an array of organisms that are able to thrive with the influence of humans and the potential of habitat for these animals.

Olivia | April 2018

Ian. Photo: Aleesha Switzer

At the beginning of my contract with Precious Frog and the Fraser Valley Conservancy, I was so excited to learn about the Oregon Spotted Frog. Aleesha and the team did not disappoint me. I learned more about ecosystems and the volatility of the wetlands then I could have anywhere else. It opened my eyes to a massive issue we were facing in the Fraser Valley which is, community development.

I was extremely surprised at how little habitat was left for the Oregon Spotted Frog since they are so specialized. Discovering that the wetland biome is a vast interconnected web of systems that are crucial to the many species that inhabit it was also a massive shock. Through trap checking and data collection, the team taught me just how many species there really are relying on this fragile ecosystem we drive past every day. Wetlands, as well as the people standing for the protection and research in these areas, have become a contributing factor in my passion for wildlife.

I would highly recommend anyone to join the Precious Frog program; it is full of great experiences and people. The amount of times that I laughed and learned something new is uncountable.  I got to experience my chosen career path in a local setting for two weeks before going off to university in the fall and learning more about environmental diversity. All the techs were so nice and welcoming! It always felt less like a job and more like I was going out and looking for frogs with a bunch of friends.

Ian | April 2018

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Justin. Photo: Aleesha Switzer

“When I applied to work with the Fraser Valley Conservancy and the Precious Frog program I knew virtually nothing about Oregon Spotted frogs and the ecosystems they live in, but I was curious to learn more. I learned so much about all the organisms that live in our wetland ecosystems in the most fun and interesting way possible. This experience consisted of activities such as trap checking, data collection, and exploring the wetland to find egg masses. Trap checking and egg mass surveys were two of the best parts of the job because we got to search for this endangered animal and their eggs that live amidst BC’s beautiful environment; It is kind of like an easter egg hunt in the wetlands!

While working with everyone in the Precious Frog program I learned so much about them, the paths they took to become part of the team, and their passion to take care of the amazing environment we have. With this knowledge I am going to apply it to my life as I plan to work in the field of biology similar to the ones of the people I met through this experience.

My perspective on our wetlands and the organisms in it has changed immensely as I have grown to be very interested in the huge diversity within these wetlands. Whether it be volunteer or a job opportunity I would highly recommend being part of the Precious Frog team because it is such an educational and interesting experience.”

Justin | April 2017

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Chloe. Photo: Aleesha Switzer

“If someone asked me about Oregon Spotted frogs before spring break 2017, I wouldn’t have been able to give them a very educated answer. Now, having worked with Precious Frog for only two weeks, I can tell them so much about the Oregon Spotted Frog and other amphibians that inhabit the wetlands of the Fraser Valley.

Working with Aleesha and the friendly, enthusiastic Precious Frog team was an incredible experience. I had so much fun it was hard to believe I got paid for it. The job entailed setting up traps, checking traps, processing the frogs (measuring, weighing, tagging and identifying them), collecting data, and completing egg mass surveys. One of my favourite parts was holding the frogs and having that memorable hands-on experience. I also enjoyed visiting the different beautiful sites in the Fraser Valley such as Morris Valley, Moriah slough, and Chaplin Road.

This opportunity gave me a chance to experience real field biology. Throughout the past two weeks, I gained new perspectives about environmental biology and insight for my future career choices. I would definitely recommend this job to anyone who is interested in biology, passionate about the environment, and prepared for hard work (trekking through the wetlands isn’t a stroll in the park). One of the many things I took away from this experience is that Precious Frog isn’t just one frog, it’s a symbol of a vanishing wetland, and we can make a difference, we need to. I would like to thank Aleesha and the Precious Frog team for making this experience unforgettable. I can assure you that Precious Frog will always have a special place in my heart.”

Chloe | April 2017

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Sasha. Photo: Aleesha Switzer

“Through the days of trekking through wetlands, data collection, scanning roadside ditches, and conducting exploratory surveys, I have learned more than I ever thought was possible within a span of less than two weeks. The skills and knowledge obtained have better prepared me for my future career and have helped ignite my passion for wildlife management and preservation.

I was not even aware that the Oregon Spotted Frog was an endangered species here in BC. Now I have such a better understanding of Oregon Spotted Frog and other native and invasive amphibians.

My favourite part was when I first laid eyes on an Oregon Spotted Frog because it felt like reaching the end of a dungeon to find the hidden treasure. The frog’s eyes mystified me with their beautiful, vibrant yellow shine and I found their noises both amusing and adorable.

I hope that students will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy the same experience as I did whether it be as a volunteer or paid work because the experience and knowledge obtained is valuable and worth sharing. My main message for them would simply be “Be patient and be prepared. It’ll all be worth while soon.”

Sasha | April 2016

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Spencer. Photo: Aleesha Switzer

“Working with Aleesha and the Fraser Valley Conservancy was an absolutely amazing experience. So much so that it was difficult to actually call the experience work. The program shed new light on an issue that I initially had little to no experience in. I went in not knowing exactly what to expect and came out with what feels like an incredible amount of knowledge on not only Oregon Spotted Frogs but the program itself and the other organisms that call our wetlands home.

My experience working to help these frogs was surreal. I learned an incredible amount about the Oregon Spotted Frogs and a ton of other organisms that reside in our wetlands. I also learned about the challenges, both political and environmental that are being faced and the complexity of the issues. I had an amazing time and hope that the program sees a great success in what they’re doing. I’d be glad to come back and volunteer when I have free time.”

Spencer | April 2016

Photo credit: Isabelle Groc

Sean. Photo: Isabelle Groc

“The last two weeks in the wetlands have been a very exciting, informative, and fulfilling time for me. I learned a lot about my local environment and the wildlife within it.

I have always been interested in wildlife and our local species of plants and animals, but I have never really had an opportunity to have an in depth look at it. I have been by many of the areas that we surveyed many times, and I always just viewed it as empty land, but in actuality it had an amazing abundance of life. Through spending days with all of my supervisors I started to really understand how much each and every species in an ecosystem mattered to that ecosystems survival.

The people who I spent time with had lots of information to give and were enthusiastic about helping me understand the importance of the job we were doing. The work really bolstered my interest in biology and has inspired me to take further biology classes in school.”

Sean | April 2015

Photo Credit: Aleesha Switzer

Euan. Photo: Aleesha Switzer

“This spring break employment opportunity gave me the chance to see and experience what kind of work these biologists do. Most importantly, it showed me the significance of protecting natural habitats. When I applied to the position offered, I had very little knowledge of the wetlands. I never would have thought that these places were home to so much wildlife. The first day of collecting data in the traps at Maria Slough made me realize that wetlands are filled with organisms that exclusively live in these biomes, and not just an empty piece of land with little importance. This opened up my mind on the part that the wetlands play in maintaining the health of other biomes and of wildlife and humans everywhere.

This experience has allowed me to understand the many reasons of why it is crucial to protect these biomes, as the wetlands not only house keystone species such as frogs but also act like huge kidneys that control water levels and help cleanse the biosphere. I believe that it is vital that everyone should be aware of the importance of maintaining and protecting these lands that help keep the world healthy.”

Euan | April 2015