Eric J. Chapman

Will lift rocks for food.

Institution: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – Watershed Conservation Program

My job: I lift car-sized boulders.

Real title: Director of Aquatic Science

Education:Montclair State University,MA, 2004

How I help save sallies: I work to document the elusive hellbender in as many streams as possible in western Pennsylvania because we can’t protect salamanders if we don’t know they exist. Since 2007, we have identified several new sites for this imperiled species in the Allegheny River watershed. Our team is conducting long-term monitoring of these newly discovered populations and collecting valuable growth data for wild hellbenders.

Best salamander story: While surveying for hellbenders in one of Pennsylvania’s more highly-sedimented streams, we were noodling for hellbenders and instead found two large and angry snapping turtles. Needless to say, we had a precipitous drop in noodling volunteers when we resume the survey.

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