Field Immersion in Wildlife Techniques
For two weeks most every May, many ESF undergrads are immersed in the questions, methods, and tools used to track and manage wildlife populations. This unique course has been underwritten by Jody and Doreen Garrett and held on their picturesque Lucky Star Ranch property in Chaumont, NY. Students are "up" at 5 am for bird surveys and out well after dark studying bats and owls. They deploy game cameras, track plates, mist nets, rocket nets and live traps to document the species residing on the ranch and, in the process, to learn how to safely handle wild animals and design effective surveys. They conduct field necropsies to study wildlife health, home in on radio-collars to track animal movements and habitat use, quantify vegetation composition and structure to assess habitat quality, and learn how to manage wildlife conflicts. In addition, students earn their certificates for hunter education, trapper education and waterfowl identification. This is the kind of intensive boots-on-the-ground training that sets ESF students apart, and we were fortunate to be able offer it through the generous support of the Garretts.