By Keith Uhlig
About this time of year, a small army of volunteers take posts near designated wetlands across Wisconsin and sit quietly to listen to frogs.
These frog listeners are citizen scientists participating in the Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey, coordinated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Their mission is straightforward. By listening to various frog and toad calls, they determine what species of the amphibians are present. Then they estimate how many individual frogs there are, subjectively determining whether there are a few frogs, a moderate number of frogs or many frogs in a given place at specific times...
...For individual frog listeners such as Art Stevenson, 56, of Babcock, the study offers an off-the-beaten track perspective into the natural world.
“You learn something new every time you go out,” said Stevenson, a physics and astronomy lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. “I always see something. I learn about a new sound, a new road I haven’t driven on before. You find some incredible things.”