Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 47.61
Liaison Tracy Edwards
Submission Date June 12, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Frostburg State University
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Sunshine Brosi
Asst. Professor
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:

A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:

The campus arboretum is managed for the protection of species of various conservation rank and status including species of concern, rare, threatened, and endangered species. Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) is a species under conservation rank of S3 (vulnerable) in Maryland. The arboretum is also home to two butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) a species listed as S3 (vulnerable) in Maryland.

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:

The methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Professors within the biology department collaborate with biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage program. Courses including Plant Taxonomy, Dendrology, Forest Ecology and Management, and Introduction to Ethnobotany systematically inventory the plant diversity on campus including surveying for endangered and vulnerable plant surveys. An intensive survey was completed on the rocks to survey for white-grained mountain-ricegrass (Oryzopsis asperifolia), a species listed as S2 (imperiled) in Maryland.

A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

The Jefferson salamander species breeds within the campus arboretum in a designated wetland area. The species is found in deciduous and mixed forests adjacent to an area managed as a vernal pools. The pool used for breeding is fishless. Jeffersons live underground in rodent burrows or other subsurface retreats within the forest most of the year. We encourage the diversity of rodents around the arboretum for underground retreats.

A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

FSU owns and maintains a 10 acre Arboretum that provides wildlife habitat for 45 species of birds, a state rare species of salamander (Jefferson salamander) and many other species of animals and plants. The Arboretum includes a variety of unique habitats that supports a diversity of species, including a wetland, a section of Sandspring Run, an open field area and a forest. The Arboretum is actively maintained by collaboration between the Arboretum Committee, the FSU Facilities staff, and many volunteer students and community members. We conduct multiple work days each semester during which 40-80 people regularly turn out to help remove exotic invasive plant species, plant and tend native tree and plant species and do many other activities to maintain this 10 acre natural area as quality wildlife habitat. The Arboretum is used by faculty and students in many FSU courses for outdoor field labs and experiences in Biology, Geography and other departments.
FSU also owns another patch of forest that is approximately 30 acres in size and is located near the Edgewood Commons student residential building. This forest is not currently protected or specially designated, but I have asked the FSU Administration to consider this. This area has been known to provide habitat for a rare shrew species and it has many unique features including large mature trees, high diversity of tree and herbaceous species, and large boulders. This area is also used for education and research by faculty in Biology and other departments. If this area could be preserved for continued education, research and conservation it would greatly increase the amount and quality of wildlife habitat owned and maintained by FSU.

The University has over 130 acres of forest that also contain 3 acres of wetlands, a pond, and creek. The arboretum off limits to any development. The forest areas have every type of native wildlife present. The wetlands and a pond have migrating water fowl. The university leaves these areas relatively untouched, which in turn promotes wildlife. There are several naturalized grass areas on campus that are home to wildlife. The campus property has white-tailed deer, gray squirrel, ground hogs, chipmunks, ducks, skunk, and raccoon. If wildlife encroaches too close to campus, such as sunk or raccoon, the university utilizes live trapping in most cases to remove and relocate the wildlife as a safety precaution.

The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.