The Island Snakelady with South Bass
Snakin' buddies Elise and Addison
Torrence during 'Snake Day' at the
Ohio Division of Wildlife Aquatic
Visitors Center, July 2006.
Back to Outreach
In the summer of 2000, graduate student Kristin
Stanford began assisting with a new radio
telemetry
research project on Kelleys Island.
From the moment she arrived, islanders began calling
her "the snakelady"...and it stuck!
Kristin had the unique opportunity of being stuck in the
right place at the right time. The field work for the
project required her to spend lots of time following
the snakes around and often led her to end up in
residents backyards. Curious people asked questions,
and she did something odd.....she answered!
And she listened. Something residents said that others
before her were not willing to do.
The island snake lady
with a large adult
Eastern Fox Snake,
one of her favorite
snakey friends!
One summer of research, turned into three as Kristin became the primary
field researcher on the telemetry project. Work expanded to other islands
and so followed "the island snakelady". Residents continued to ask
questions and express concerns about confusing guidelines and the growing
numbers of snakes popping up along their beaches. Kristin expressed these
concerns to USFWS and ODW and began to act as a liaison between
frustrated residents, the agencies trying to protect them and the LEWS
themselves!

Since 2003, Kristin has been the Lake Erie Watersnake Research and
Outreach Coordinator and has been living and working on the islands. She
is actively involved in all aspects of LEWS Reseach and Outreach.She
currently spends her summers at
Stone Laboratory on South Bass Island
which acts as her base of operations. She writes a monthly news column for
the Put-in-Bay Gazette and Kelleys Life newspapers called
"Ask the
Snakelady". Readers write in with questions and Kristin answers publishing
the questions she thinks apply to a larger audience.
Kristin also gives many public presentations to all different kinds of
groups; College to elementary school; Herpetological Societies to
Elderhostel Programs. Most often, she likes to bring live animals with her to
allow the audience to have a live snake experience.
Kristin shows kids in Environmental
Adventure Camp how to take
measurments on LEWS. July 2006
Other "snakelady" related articles:

Snake Lady Wrapped Up In Research

With Population Below 2000 in 1999,
water snakes return

aka 'island snake lady'

Reaching Out to "Save Our Snakes"

Oh Barf! Discovery Channel profiles
'dirty job' of NIU ph.D. student

Ohio state researcher studies Lake Erie
snake
Kristin and 'lil snake man' Arthur Wolf give a presentation about
snakes to Forestlawn Elementary School in Sheffield Lake, Ohio.