Sessions

Listed by presenter last name (alphabetical)

Sharing Tracking With The World: How Online Media can be Used to Increase Participation in Tracking (Kim Cabrera)

In this talk, I would like to introduce you to the many ways that tracking can be shared with the public. There is a lot of interest out there in what we do, and there is also a lot of misinformation. By providing resources written and produced by trackers, we can increase the accurate information available and also attract more people who would like to participate in tracking. I will talk about some of the ways I have done this outreach in the past, and what has worked well and what hasn't.

Using Tracking as a Verified Method of Data Collection (Tanya Diamond & Ahiga Snyder)

In this talk, we will share how we are collecting tracking data and using these data as a method for various widlife connectivity studies. We will share how we set up tracking transects, how we pair tracking with camera monitoring, how tracking helps our habitat modeling, and how tracking helps us achieve species presence at critical locations. We are also going to highlight how tracking, along with other data collection methods, has helped us to help our partners in protecting critical habitat in the Bay Area.

Tracker, Biologist, Scientist: Which are you and which do you want to be? (Mark Elbroch)

This is not a philosophical talk or a self-reflection, but a brief presentation on the different roles we might play in wildlife conservation and research. Join Mark as he compares and contrasts these three categories of people in terms of measurable skills, providing examples from the field. Two of these categories are fairly rigid, in terms of required skills, one is more expansive. Which are you and which do you want to be?

Tracking through a career as a wildlife biologist (Jonah Evans)

As a young wildlife tracker with a fledgling biologist career, I was eager to use my skills in a professional capacity. Looking back after 7 years as State Mammalogist at Texas Parks and Wildlife, tracking has been an invaluable tool. However, the ways I've found it most useful were not at all what I expected. This presentation will include many stories of how I've used tracking through my career and explores future applications of tracking in the wildlife sciences.

The Hot Trail: Behaviors we can see in the trails of White-tailed Deer which show we might be close to them (Nate Harvey)

Behaviors shown in the trails of White-tailed deer can signify that we are approaching them, giving us clues about where to look and how to proceed in order to see the animals.

Engagement and Outreach at the Hastings Natural History Reservation (Jen Hunter)

Biological field stations like the Hastings Natural History Reservation have multiple functions. These places are outdoor classrooms and laboratories, often playing a critical role in inspiring and training future scientists. We also provide an opportunity for local and regional communities to engage with researchers and learn about our shared natural heritage. At the Hastings Natural History Reservation, storytelling is a key component of community outreach. In this talk I will provide a brief history of the the Reserve and share some anecdotes about how using animal tracks and sign provide opportunities to both build stories about this landscape and empower our community to hone their observational skills when in wilderness areas, and at home in their own backyards.

Cat-Naps and Kill-sites: how tracking helped us better understand mountain lion ecology (Anna Kusler)

Historically, due to the limitations of available technology, many ecological studies of large mammals were limited to coarse-scale analyses or restricted to species that were easily observable. But the coupling of new technologies with traditional tracking has allowed scientists to assess behavioral decisions and resource selection of even the most cryptic species. In my presentation I will describe how my masters project -- a combination of tracking skills and cutting-edge satellite GPS collars -- allowed us to better understand the ecology and space use patterns of one of North America's most elusive predators: the mountain lion.

Intro to Trailing in the CyberTracker Style - "A how to..." (Dr. Kersey Lawrence)

When Louis Liebenberg developed the CyberTracker system for evaluating trackers in 1994, he separated it into two, complementary skill sets: tracks and signs identification and interpretation, and trailing, which is the following of tracks and signs to find an animal. He described tracks and signs as the A,B,C’s of tracking, and trailing as learning to put those letters into sentences, paragraphs, and a story. While we don’t call certified participants “track and signers” or “trailers,” participants aren’t really trackers until they are doing both. Many participants in CyberTracker evaluations aren’t aware of the trailing aspect, however, or find it a bit intimidating or “murky” in the process, as opposed to the fully transparent, mind-blowing, instantaneous learning that can occur at a track & sign evaluation. Once over the mental hurdles, though, the process of following and finding becomes obsessive, and forever changes the way you look at animal behavior and landscapes. In this chat, Kersey will go over the criteria that evaluators look for in trailing candidates, and break it down into a short, memorable series of actions to keep in mind, and exercises to practice. She will also provide examples of trails from her travels. 

Wildlife Tracking & Road Ecology in Northern Mexico (Mirna Manteca)

Federal Highway 2 runs somewhat parallel to the international border through one of the most biodiverse regions of North America. From the town of Ímuris in Sonora to the small community of Janos in Chihuahua, this highway creates a rift in a landscape that must remain open to provide connectivity for jaguars, black bears, and other wildlife, including the recently reintroduced Mexican wolves in Chihuahua. We are using research to inform transportation authorities in Mexico City regarding actions necessary to mitigate the effects of the recent expansions and to reduce the risks of wildlife-vehicle collisions. 

Staying Humble: Lessons gained from a decade as a trailing evaluator (Brian McConnell)

Stories and anecdotes of my personal trailing experiences and observations of evaluation participants. My goal is to unshroud some of the mystery I've heard expressed over the years and present trailing for what I think it really is: an Art. Art that is sometimes messy! I want to walk people through a trailing evaluation experience as an aid for someone who may be curios or possibly intimidated by the process.

Applications and Ethics of Tracking for Wildlife Photography (Dave Moskowitz)

One of the most fundamental applications of wildlife tracking is to find wild animals.

Understanding how to interpret and follow the tracks and signs of wild animals can be a powerful tool for wildlife photographers. In an age of ever-increasing pressure on wildlife from human encroachment, the application of tracking for this purpose needs to be approached ethically. Conservation photographer, Senior tracker, and evaluator for CyberTracker Conservation, David Moskowitz will share some tips of the trade and explore the ethical dilemmas and opportunities provided by the window into the hidden lives of wild animals tracking provides for photographers.

Putting it all together: Tracking from a hunter's perspective (Matt Nelson)

A lifelong hunter and outdoorsman shares perspectives, tips and, what he sees as helpful and important in finding, approaching, and interacting with wildlife.

The Cybertracker North America Community - Some people and organizations keeping tracking relevant in the 21st Century (Marcus Reynerson)

This session will highlight some individuals and organizations that have committed to seeing the art and science of tracking spread and become relevant in a variety of different ways in North America. While tracking is potent because an individual can do it wherever they are, it goes to another level when we know that people all across the continent are practicing it in different ecosystems, and in different cultural settings and putting it to work to contribute to ecological literacy in the 21st century.

Use of Snow-tracking to Model Occupancy of Snowshoe Hare Predators On The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation (Kim Shelton)

Why are snowshoe hare and their predators important, and how is wildlife tracking used to conduct culturally sensitive research on tribal land? Current results and overview of Snowshoe Hare Predator Occupancy and Abundance on The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) Reservation graduate studies project in collaboration with the LLBO Department of Resource Management.

The Many Intersections of Conservation and Wildlife Tracking (Sarah Spaeth)

In this session, Sarah will share stories of the intersections she’s found between land protection efforts and wildlife tracking. By learning to read the stories of our wildlife brethren written on the landscape, Sarah (who is director of conservation and strategic partnerships for Jefferson Land Trust) has been able to build excitement and a greater appreciation with landowners, the community, and funders about the wildlife we share these landscapes with and how they benefit from conservation. And the landscape-scale perspective she brings to a tracking class, both as a student and instructor, can help the audience understand both the threats for habitat isolation and the opportunities for future habitat connectivity through the protection of critical corridors.

Comparing wildlife trailing techniques and lost person behavior models (Rob Speiden)

There are many similarities between tracking 4-legged animals and searching for missing or lost humans. This presentation, by Senior Tracker Rob Speiden, will discuss the overlaps between search and rescue (SAR) operations and wildlife trailing tactics. Lost person behavior models will be presented and compared with efficient and effective means of staying on the trail of furry quarry. Feel free to have questions ready after the presentation.

Tracking Wolves - From Populations to Personalities (Gabriel Spence)

In this talk I will share some experiences and observations gained while tracking, capturing, and studying wolves in Washington. I will also talk about the value that fine-scale individual-level data collected by tracking can provide to agencies that largely manage based on population-level information.

Applications for Trailing in Wildlife Management and Research (Preston Taylor)

Trailing, the act of following a specific set of tracks to find an animal or gather data, can aid biologists in conservation work where technology fails to capture small scale data, visual sighting of animals is impossible, or capturing and collaring is inadequate. I will cover a few research and management projects where trailing was a necessary tool used to collect data. I will also discuss limitations and hurdles for integrating trailing into professional biology work.

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