How big a deal is sustainability at Colorado State? We have so many green initiatives, we need more than a whole week to celebrate Earth Day! Earth Week is our chance to highlight some of the ways CSU is committed to sustainability every week of the year. Come celebrate all things green every day April 17-26, and check out the University-wide events calendar for more fun every day. And check out our State of Sustainability webpage that showcases what makes CSU so green, from our Platinum STARS rating to our interdisciplinary research and teaching. April 19th and 20th Ruth Shaw will be presenting as part of the GDPE Distinguished Ecologist Seminar Series at the Lory Student Center.
It's not every day someone gets to say, "I've discovered a new species." It's a claim that Colorado State University biologist Chris Funk can happily make. Funk and his collaborators, who've spent years exploring the tropical climes of South America to study the region's dizzying biodiversity, have documented a new species of rainfrog they've named and Ecuadorian rainfrog (Pristimantis ecuadorensis). The name, the researchers write, honors the "overwhelming beauty, and cultural and biological diversity" of the Republic of Ecuador, where the frog makes its home. The work is described in the journal PLOS ONE, published online March 22. The discovery sprouted from a field campaign, headed by paper lead author Juan M. Guayasamin, a professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), that was primarily intended to study a similar, threatened frog called the ornate rainfrog (Pristimantis ornatissimus). Funk and Guayasamin have been collaborators and friends for 20 years. In 2009, they discovered a species of frog in the eastern Andean slopes of Ecuador that they named Pristimantis bicantus, and in 2006 they described a new glassfrog (Nymphargus wileyi).
Colorado State University junior Sarah Whipple wasn't always a fan of bugs. But after going on her first bioblitz in 2015, she volunteered the next year to lead a team cataloguing insects at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. In bioblitz, researchers, students and citizen scientists visit a national park and count as many species as possible in 24 hours. "There were a ton of exotic insects and I really enjoyed it," said Whipple, who is majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Whipple said she intends to apply for the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU after she completes her undergraduate work. Gillian Bowser, research scientist at CSU, has served as a mentor to Whipple, and tapped her for 3dNaturalist and the Pollinator Hotshots. Bowser designed this project to introduce minority students to citizen science, community engagement and national parks by connecting them with big data projects through smartphone apps and other technological approaches.[Archive]