Santee-ProjecsmalltMarvin Brown (USC Columbia graduate student), David Cann (USC Columbia biology major), and Jessica Deer (USC Aiken biology major) spent their summer at Santee National Wildlife Refuge conducting research with reptiles and amphibians (herpetofauna) and plants. Dr. Eran Kilpatrick, USC Salkehatchie Associate Professor of Biology, was awarded funds last spring to conduct herpetofauna and floral research and provide the baseline data needed for the conservation of priority species and habitats on the 15,000 acre property. A variety of terrestrial and aquatic sampling devices were used to detect 63 species of herpetofauna and add 16 new species to the refuge list.  The team also sampled plant communities throughout the refuge to fill a void for herbarium records from Clarendon County. Each herbarium record will be made available to the public through the Flora Caroliniana Portal (


Marvin, David and Jessica also volunteered for other on-site activities including mourning dove banding, bluebird nest monitoring and serving as interpreters at the refuge visitor’s center.

This project was made possible with grant funds from USC RISE, USC STEPs to STEM, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.