Winter Wildlife Tracking in the Field
Wildlife tracking may be the most ancient of all sciences. Tracking is the study and interpretation of the footprints and other signs left behind by animals as they go about their lives. Tracking begins with identifying the animal that left the tracks and signs behind for us to see. Over time, it grows into an intimate understanding of the lives of those animals. All our distant ancestors knew how to read the tracks and sign of passing animals. For them, it was a matter of survival. For us, tracking is a way to learn about our local ecology and to connect more deeply with the natural world around us. This class will introduce you to the fundamentals of this ancient art, and give you a foundation for continuing your own exploration of animal tracks.
In this class, you will: learn the fundamentals of identifying animal tracks and trail patterns in the snow; work in small groups to build a collective knowledge and understanding of the natural world; and begin to build a connection to the northern landscape by literally waking in the footsteps of other animals.
You will need the following tools for this class:
Small notepad and pencil (pens freeze in the cold)
Dress for spending a full day outside in whatever weather we have that day. I recommend dressing in layers. We will have periods of time that we are moving about, and periods when we are sitting still for extended periods.
Once registered, students will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that may offer additional optional tool recommendations and suggested reading.