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Conference

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Join us
October 18-20, 2024

The general objectives for participants are to learn more about tracking and to engage in the tracking community. The value gleaned from the weekend is resounding, with folks sharing rich material, friends being made, community connecting, and new ideas generated to be brought  back to their work and lives. Inspiration, passion, and excitement are threaded throughout!

The Northeast Wildlife Trackers is a volunteer lead organization and operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Keynote Address

"Wildlife Tracking Applications in community science and conservation"

Tracking for Community
and Wildlife conservation

Haley Andreozzi and Emma Tutein, from UNH Cooperative Extension, will take you through a journey that explores how we can employ the skills of wildlife tracking through community science and conservation projects in the Northeast. We look forward to see you at this opening talk to kick off the conference on Saturday morning. 

Friday

5pm-6pm Check-in, unpack and settle into dorms or camping

6:15pm-6:30pm Brief Welcome in Sage Hall

6:30pm-7:30pm Community Dinner with friends (new and old)

8pm-9pm Night at the Natural History Museum with Amy Martinez Beal and Kelly Klingler

9pm -10pm  Campfire Camaraderie

DOWNLOAD A SCHEDULE HERE 

Includes Session Options

Saturday

7am-7:30am Subtle Awareness in Tracking with Becca Houghton

7:45am-8:30am Breakfast with sign ups for concurrent sessions

8:45am-10am Keynote with Haley Andreozzi and Emma Tutein

10am-10:15am BreakAnnouncements | Prep for Field Sessions |Tracking Mysteries | Used Book Sale

10:20am-11:40am Concurrent Field Sessions

11:45am-12:15pm Field Session Story Share

12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch

1:45pm-3:15pm Concurrent Session 1

3:30pm-5pm Concurrent Session 2

5pm-6pm Connection and/or Quite Time

6pm-7pm Dinner

7:15pm-8:15pm Monitoring Tiger Populations Film Showing and Q&A with Scott Semens and Students
 
8:30pm-10pm Campfire Cameraderie
 

Sunday

Please vacate dorm rooms by 10am

7am-7:30am Subtle Awareness in Tracking with Becca Houghton

7:45am-8:30am Breakfast with Community Conversation

8:40am-10am Concurrent Field Sessions

10:05am-10:35pm Field Session Story Share

10:40am-11am Networking and more

11am-12:30pm Concurrent Session 3 

 

12:45pm-1:15pm Gratitude Gathering

1:15pm Lunch and leisurely departure

Presenter Biographies and Topics

Haley Andreozzi

Keynote Presenter
A journey that explores how we can employ the skills of wildlife tracking through community science and conservation projects in the Northeast.
Read Bio

Emma Tutein

Keynote Presenter
A journey that explores how we can employ the skills of wildlife tracking through community science and conservation projects in the Northeast.
Read Bio

Michael Douglas

8 Disciplines of Tracking
This is a participation experience that takes the tracker through eight important tracking disciplines and how they support, each other, overlap, and create developmental sequences in our growth as trackers. Elements of identification, behavioral analysis, track interpretation, trailing, track aging, ecological tracking, and nature literacy will be explored.
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James Michael Ciesluk

Tracking Through Storytelling
Explore the importance of storytelling and its connection with tracking. We will discuss creating containers for story telling and facilitation. Practice story telling techniques to help others learn from their tracking and other nature related experiences. Students would also practice public speaking to their level of comfort and techniques that can help make them more comfortable in front of others and a more confident orator.
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Melissa Ruszczyk

Black bear movement and behavioral response to anthropogenic food
Offering sustained novelty anthropogenic food in selected collared bear home ranges to look at the effects this food had on potentially shifting home ranges and core areas. Additionally, I deployed trail cameras at feeding sites to understand movement and potential strife associated with food. This research is important to support the need for laws and education regarding feeding of wildlife and the negative effects from human-related food.
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Raymond Hardy

On the Trail of the Elusive Fisher
Ray will be discussing the natural history and behaviors of this enigmatic member of the mustelid family. He will talk about some of the distinguishing characteristics of their tracks and signs that record their activities. Ray will also discuss the current CTDEEP Fisher Project which he plans on participating in this coming winter.
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Mike Bottini

Lessons learned from field research with coyotes, otters, muskrat, beaver, raccoons
We'll discuss the problems and challenges of: distinguishing sign and even photo images of our various wildlife species; undertaking research with professional "experts" in the field; and working with volunteer "citizen scientists." My hope is to encourage more members of the wildlife tracking community to apply their skills in field research projects.
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Carla Rhodes

Through The Wild Lens
In this presentation, Carla will delve into her photographic journey and notable projects, showcasing how the skills of track and sign have elevated her work, particularly through the art of camera trapping. She will illustrate how the fusion of these techniques has not only enhanced her photography but also contributed to conservation efforts.
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Will Close

Intro to Nature Journaling
In this workshop you will get a chance to deepen your awareness and connection to the natural world through the use of nature journaling and field sketching. With a balance of in classroom and field time you will be guided through various foundational techniques designed to strengthen your observational skills.
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Kathy Dean

Boning up on Mammal Skulls
We will begin with a discussion of skull anatomy and how that relates to animals’ natural history including their sensory adaptations and behavioral tendencies. Be guided in seeking out the identity of skulls using their newfound skull “tracking” skills. Multiple species of mammal skulls will be on hand as well as some reference materials. Bring animal skulls from your own collections as well as skull ID books if they choose.
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Joan Ellis

How to Keep a Sketch Book
Drawing tips include how to quickly capture the essential shape of your subject, whether it's a city skyline, a chickadee at the feeder, or the gnaw-marks in the bark of a pond-side sapling. Experiment with graphite, pens, colored pencils, and watercolor paints to show off your sketches. No experience necessary, perfection is not the goal, and mistakes are not possible. This is art after all, not math!
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Bob Etzweiler

Mock Evaluation
This will be a Mock Tracking Evaluation with plaster track casts as the basis for questioning.
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Rebekah Lowell

Finding Wonder: Nature Journaling and Field Sketching
We will begin with a slideshow and learn about the benefits of nature journaling, the anatomy of a nature journal page, we will explore page layout options, and discover a three-part system to getting started; I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of. We will create some textures to practice before we step outside and apply what we've learned by choosing something in nature we are curious about. You do not have to be an artist to participate.
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Joy Wang

Life in the City: Tracking Urban Foxes
She will share her journey of trailing the foxes in snowy days, following signs at the unlikely den site, to watching the athletic kits emerge and explore the surface world surrounded by curious human eyes, and eventually designing an infographic for the park to help educate the overwhelming crowd who’s eager to peek at the adorable new neighbors.
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Daniel Hansche

Sketching Tracks
Explore how to get out of own way and draw what we actually see. Move beyond perfectionism and into the joy of recording those tracks that are left behind. Daniel brings plenty of techniques for accessing our creativity and perception, drawing us beyond the limitations of our minds.
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Scott Semmens

Introduction to Trailing
This workshop will be a short introduction to learning to trail animals in the off-winter seasons. We will learn some stealth skills and given time and opportunity, learn to find and cut a deer trail and learn the basics of following a trail. Given the time, this workshop is for beginners.
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Jamie Walker

Bird Language and Application to Tracking
Come learn the core routines of bird language in this experiential workshop. Bird language is a wildlife tracking skill that uses the body language and vocalizations of birds to locate aerial and terrestrial animals on the landscape. Learning to decipher this “alarm system” of the forest by expanding your awareness and simultaneously decreasing your level of disturbance, will forever change the way you interact with the natural world.
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Chrystal Cleary

The Forester’s Dog: Insights, Practices and Caveats of Including and Appreciating A Dog in Your Tracking Practice
How can we enjoy the depth of our relationship with a dog, enhance our relationship to the land and its wildlife through the dog, and involve our dog safely in our tracking practice while being mindful of the impact on the places we explore and the wildlife in it? Chrystal will share how the dogs teach her to see better and how sharing interests deepens the relationship between dog and owner, and between people, dogs, the land and wildlife.
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Andy Dobos

Feet Make Tracks: Basics of Track Morphology
An in-depth visual examination of the basics of clear-track identification through the study of physical characteristics of tracks and the feet that make them. We will start by exploring an easy system of observation that will lead into looking the any defining features of the tracks many of our common mammal species in the Northeast.
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Jonathan Shapiro

Decoding gaits: Understanding Quadruped Movement
We will construct a framework for discussing gaits, learn to move like the animals, and discuss how to interpret animal behavior and emotional state through the lens of gait and track pattern. We will also address some inaccuracies about gaits held by the tracking community, as well as look at some of the scientific literature about animal biomechanics and locomotion and talk about how that relates to tracking in the field.
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Zephyr Hoffman

Relationships With Nature Through Tracking
A look at how the journey of learning animal track and sign opens up new relationships and connections with the animals around us. We will examine the ways that tracking opens up relationships between humans and the rest of their animal neighbors which support efforts in conservation, citizen science, systems thinking, and simply helping people care about their wild neighbors.
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