Elizabeth W. Davidson received her doctorate in entomology from Ohio State University where she studied the interactions between insects and bacteria. Her research in this field is now being used worldwide to help control mosquitoes and black flies.
In recent years, she has focused her research on the diseases of amphibians and has worked in collaboration with scientists from around the globe. Their work has shown that amphibians are disappearing at an alarming rate in countries all over the world (nearly half of all species could become extinct during our lifetimes). Dr. Davidson and her colleagues are working to isolate the various causes of these population declines and to help preserve these fascinating creatures. Her laboratory, for example, found a highly pathogenic virus causing die-offs of the endangered Sonoran tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi).
Dr. Davidson and her husband, Dr. Joseph Davidson, have been at Arizona State University since 1973. Their son, Scott, is a middle school science teacher. The Davidsons enjoy international travel and outdoor adventures. In her spare time, Dr. Davidson has tutored second and third grade students in reading through the All-Star Kids Tutoring program, an experience which led to the writing of Cheery: The true adventures of a Chiricahua Leopard Frog.
Michael Hagelberg couldn't make up his mind what to be when he grew up. He had a strong affinity for science and natural history, but art was also tempting. He eventually gave in to art.
He began his career as a designer with agency and freelance work after graduating from Northern Arizona University, but the desire to combine science and art soon took him into educational publication.
He became creative director, designer and illustrator of Arizona State University's award winning Research magazine. His graphic design and illustration has been recognized by awards from the University and College Designers Association, International Association of Business Communicators and Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Today he illustrates for magazine and book publishers, as well as developing fine art and various styles of bicycling.
The curriculum guide was written by Jean Kilker, M.A. (English), M.Ed. (Technology), NBCT (National Board Certification), who has taught language arts, reading and science.
Currently, she is a Teacher-Librarian and former Follett Librarian of the Year. She is a member of the Public Library Advisory Board and co-chair of the State Teacher-Librarian Organization. She also teaches and writes curriculum at the university level for continuing teacher education in ESL, elementary language arts, reading and librarianship.
In addition, she has received grants and awards that benefit the students where she teaches. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, she and her husband live in Litchfield Park, Arizona, and keep in touch with their three world-traveling children.
Funding for this project was provided by Arizona Game and Fish Department