The Frog Scientist

The Frog Scientist


Scientific inquiry can deepen our understanding of the ways in which environmental changes affect the growth and development of animal species, including humans. Scientists such as Dr. Tyrone Hayes and the public (citizen scientists) can have important roles in protecting our environment, saving endangered species, and preventing the future endangerment or extinction of living things.


Watch this video segment from Frogs: The Thin Green Line to see Tyrone Hayes speak about the nature of research, his interest in frogs, and citizen science. 

After watching the video, answer these questions on the Frogs: The Thin Green Line student sheet

  • Describe the ecological problem that concerns Tyrone Hayes and identify the possible causes for the problem.
  • What do you think Tyrone Hayes means when he says “I like the science, I like solving the puzzle, I like the CSI”?
  • What percent of U.S. agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.) come from California?
  • What is California referred to because of its agricultural production?
  • What chemical does California use on its farms more than every other state in the U.S.?
  • Where do much of the pesticides end up?
  • What can happen in a river that has fertilizer run-off and what does it indicate?
  • According to Dr. Hayes, what major health problem did the frogs in the river have?
  • What does Tyrone Hayes mention as the cause of the decline of the native red-legged frog?
  • What is another name for non-native or introduced species that take over a habitat? 

Now listen to the podcast interview with Pamela Turner and Andy Comins. As you listen to this interview, think about your answers to these questions, which you’ll discuss in class. You can record your answers on the Frog Scientist Interview student sheet.

  • What was it like for the book’s author to hunt frogs with Tyrone Hayes?
  • Where were the book’s author and Tyrone Hayes searching for frogs and what type of frogs were they trying to catch?
  • What is special about the relationship between Tyrone Hayes and his students? 
  • What important concepts does the book discuss?
  • What important experiments did Tyrone Hayes perform?
  • How does the book’s author describe what science is?
  • Where did author Pamela Turner’s interest in science come from?

Before you begin the book activity, you can review the SB&F Book Club Guide: The Frog Scientist. The two-page guide summarizes what the book is about, who wrote it, and why you should read it.

In addition to The Frog Scientist, you can use these resources to help you answer the questions on The Frog Scientist student sheet:

This esheet is a part of the The Frog Scientist 1: The Mystery of Disappearing Frogs lesson.

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