Buxton resident Garreth Logan, a Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Class of 2019 student, was awarded a summer research grant from NASA through the Maine Space Grant Consortium. SUBMITTED PHOTO

STANDISH — Garreth Logan, a Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Class of 2019 student and Buxton resident, was awarded a summer research grant from NASA through the Maine Space Grant Consortium to test and implement a new, accessible method to monitor reptiles and amphibians using environmental DNA.

Logan, is part of a NASA-funded research team that includes Dr. Lucas Bernacki, also of Saint Joseph’s College.

The research, titled Testing and implementation of a new, accessible method for herpetological monitoring using eDNA and PCR amplification of the CO1 gene
will allow for the testing of presence/absence of select reptiles and amphibians using simple water samples. This would open up a new way to go about surveying and monitoring amphibians and reptiles, providing more information on the distribution of various reptiles and amphibians in the Sebago Lakes Region.

“I’m excited for this project because reptiles and amphibians face the highest proportion of species decline among the vertebrates and it’s very important to make sure these species are safe,” Logan said. “This project also allows me to get real hands-on experience with herpetological surveying, scientific field work, and in lab DNA extraction and amplification to help prepare me for my future.”

Founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy in Portland, Saint Joseph’s College is Maine’s Catholic liberal arts college with a commitment to sustainability and wellness. The 474-acre campus, located on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, offers more than 40 undergraduate programs and a nationally renown Division III athletic program to a population of approximately 1,000 on-campus students.

The College provides certificates and undergraduate and advanced degrees for thousands more working adults who reside throughout the United States and in more than 20 other countries through an online learning program.

In 2018, Princeton Review named SJC one of America’s “Greenest Colleges,” and in 2015, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized the College’s focus on community service through its mission and daily interactions with local, regional, and global communities with the Community Engagement Classification.

For more information, see www.sjcme.edu