Wendell Zetterberg Jr.

posted: 05/15/12
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Wendell Zetterberg Jr.

Name: Wendell Zetterberg Jr.


National Wildlife Federation-Frogwatch USA

Years volunteering:


The scope of my volunteer work:

I am an amphibian monitor; I listen to frogs calling, identify them, and record the information on Frogwatch's database so scientists know what frogs are doing in my area. I also facilitate workshops to train others how to frog watch as well as do amphibian education programs for local schools, nursing homes and youth groups. I am also starting a local Frogwatch USA chapter, the Central Indiana Frog Watchers (CIFW). I am also a volunteer with the Indiana Amphibian Monitoring Program (part of NAAMP), where I received the 2005 Volunteer of the Year award.

My first (or favorite) pet:

A tiger salamander named Sally — I have since learned that Sally was a boy!

The animal I am most like is:

A calling frog because I'm usually quiet, but once I get started, I'm full of air.

The animal I would take to:

- The Oscars: The American toad — I think it should be a national icon like the bald eagle.

- Meet my parents: Any kind of snake — the look on my mom's face would be priceless (she's not a big fan of the snake).

- The movies: An iguana — it could help me with the popcorn but not take any of my drink!

- On a trip around the world: A Galapagos tortoise, so I could be like Darwin on the Beagle.

My inspiration:

Gimpy, my bullfrog with a malformed hind leg. When I found him, I was already volunteering with Frogwatch, but finding him in my home county made me decide to teach others about it and spread the word that amphibian declines and malformations are happening — and not just in remote areas, also right in our own back yards.

The most rewarding aspect of volunteering is:

I love doing school programs, but when I get "thank you" cards that the kids make, telling me how now they want to help frogs like I do, it really warms the heart.

The most challenging:

I have a disabling headache called a status migraine that I have had for almost four years. Many days I cannot do all that I would like to do, but the fulfillment I get is worth pushing on.

The moment I knew it was all worth it:

Every time I hear Gimpy sing, I know that even just helping one frog at a time is making a difference. Citizen science is helping the world to be a better place.

In a perfect world:

Frog watching would be just for fun; there would be no need to monitor them to discover possible problems that could affect humans.

In my world:

Frogwatch has great scientific importance, AND is lots of fun!

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