Ashland University Professor Authors New Book

9/2/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Dr. David FitzSimmons, associate professor of English at Ashland University, is the author of a new book, "Animals of Ohio's Ponds and Vernal Pools."

Labeled as "a fascinating and beautiful guide to Ohio's extraordinary wetland wildlife," the new book takes a close-up look at unique wetlands -- from fascinating fish and amphibians to intriguing insects and birds -- besides examining pond and vernal pool ecology, Ohio's geologic history influencing wetland formation, and hydrology and energy cycles.

In prose, FitzSimmons uncovers both the rare and common life-forms found in and around Ohio's ponds and vernal pools. First he discusses the Buckeye State's variety of small lakes, covering everything from managed farm ponds to glacially formed basins. He then turns to vernal pools, temporary waters that fill in the late winter or spring and dry up in the summer.

Accompanying these scientifically accurate and poetic descriptions are Gary Meszaros's photographs, including close-ups of multicolored dragonflies, underwater shots of fish, beautiful images of birds, and idyllic vistas of Ohio's serene ponds and secluded pools.  Meszaros, a retired Cleveland City School teacher, has had his photographs appear in many publications, including Smithsonian, National Wildlife, National Parks Magazine, National History, and Timeline as well as on numerous posters and calendars.

The book was printed by Kent State University Press, which calls "Animals of Ohio's Ponds and Vernal Pools" a "wonderful resource about the wetlands and wildlife that will inspire readers to learn about and protect their own natural environments." More information about the book is available at:

Fitzsimmons also just completed his next book, titled "Curious Critters," which will be available nationwide on Nov.  7. "Curious Critters" is a children's picture book that will feature Fitzsimmons' photography and writing. For more information, go to<>.

As a freelance writer and photographer, Fitzsimmons has had his work appear in Ohio Magazine, Natural Ohio, Popular Photography & Imaging, Shutterbug and other magazines, dozens of international calendars and in numerous newspapers and online publications.

Ashland University (<>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.