Raising Frogs for Freedom

From The New York Times:

FROGS-2-articleLargeThe birdman of Alcatraz became famous. But the frogmen of Cedar Creek are still anonymous beyond the tiny cult world of amphibian science. For now, they say. Mat Henson, 25, serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence for robbery and assault, and his research partner, Taylor Davis, 29, who landed in the Cedar Creek Corrections Center here in central Washington for stealing cars, raised about 250 Oregon spotted frogs in the prison yard this summer.

Working with biologists, Mr. Henson is now helping write a scientific curriculum for other frog-raisers, in prison or out. A previous inmate in the program, released some years ago, is finishing his Ph.D. in molecular biology. When asked about his plans after he is released from prison in 2014, Mr. Henson paused only a moment. “Bioengineering,” he said. The state program that connected the dots — or rather the felons and the frogs — is called Sustainability in Prisons. Nationally, it is unique in enlisting inmates to help rescue imperiled species like the Oregon spotted frog, which is threatened across much of its range.

More here.