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NGRREC welcomes new environmental techs to its field and lab team

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠) is welcoming three new environmental technicians to assist with field and laboratory support for various research projects.

The technicians will primarily be monitoring the ecology and conservation efforts surrounding amphibians, reptiles, dragonflies and damselflies.

“I really like the tangible impact our work and findings have on the scientific understanding of amphibian ecology, and it feels like I am doing something beneficial for the world,” Environmental Technician Andrew Wilk said. “I also really enjoy working with this community of scientists.”

The technicians will be working mostly with John Crawford, terrestrial wildlife ecologist, to continue data collection on the bird-voiced treefrog project in Southern Illinois as well as a salamander study taking place in Smoky Mountains National Park that has been running for over 20 years. The newest project is a dragonfly and damselfly study that is focused on the current status of the taxa. They are also focal species within the Wetlands Campaign of the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan.

“I love the variability of our work environments and being able to discover new flora and fauna while out in the field,” Environmental Technician Amy Janik said. “The best part of what I do is that the learning never ends, each day of the week there is always something new to discover.”

The technicians will also be assisting other NGRREC scientists with their research projects including watershed research, floodplain forest inventory and the GREON (Great Rivers Ecological Observatory Network) project.

“It’s exciting to be a team member here with the potential to assist on a broad range of projects,” Environmental Technician John Connock said. “My favorite part about working in the wildlife field is getting to see animals and places in the world that many people do not get the opportunity to see often in person.”

NGRREC, a division of Lewis and Clark Community College, also offers several opportunities including student workers and year-round internship opportunities for L&C and regional students who may be interested in a career related to research, education or conservation.

Learn more about the bird-voiced treefrog project by visiting

To learn more about the internship program by visiting

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠) is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities. To learn more about NGRREC, visit

Shown, from left: Janik, Wilk, Connock. Photos by Jen Young, NGRREC/L&C Marketing & PR

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