July 29 Program Brings Hands-On Ecology to New Quarter Park

A Walk and Talk about ticks, Hands-On Ecology, will be held at New Quarter Park on Saturday, July 29, from 10am-12 noon.* The program is inspired by William and Mary biology professor Matthais Leu's work exploring the impact of urbanization on the natural environment. Data from six transect sites at New Quarter Park and three on the Colonial Parkway near the park contribute to a database built from many samples collected across the Middle and Virginia Peninsulas.

Dylan Simpson, one of Leu's graduate students, will lead participants in procedures to sample for ticks, and then discuss how to identify them and what scientists do with the ticks they collect. Participants will also learn more about Dr. Leu's long-term study. Leu and his graduate students have published a number of journal articles concerning the intersection of all things deer, ticks, birds, and butterflies using evidence from six-year's-worth of local sampling data.

Ticks are not insects. They are classified as arachnids, so are more closely related to spiders than to flies or mosquitoes. Ticks have four pairs of legs, no antennae, and don't fly or jump. Some species of ticks transmit diseases such as ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease.

New Quarter Park is located at 1000 Lakeshead Dr. and is next to the Queen's Lake neighborhood.

* The Walk & Talk, originally scheduled for July 8, will be held July 29.

Photo courtesy Andrew Lewis, DoG Street Journal.

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