BIOL 13
Introduction to Animal Tracking Winter 2022

Class Details

This course is an introduction to the ancient art and science of animal tracking, and its use for ecological inventory. Participants will deepen their observation skills, their knowledge and awareness of the natural world, and discover that even the greens at Williams College are abundant with wildlife. Students will have field time in class at Hopkins Forest as well as through independent study at a convenient outdoor location of each student’s choosing. Basic concepts of animal tracking, its history and use by indigenous people throughout the world will be discussed through video and slide show. The course will meet twice a week for 4- to 5-hour sessions, primarily in the field. One field trip to a nearby state forest is scheduled for the fourth or fifth class meeting day. This day may extend to 4 p.m. Students are expected to have appropriate outdoor gear for winter. Aside from class time students are expected to: create journals and site maps of their team study areas, including all major features of the landscape, flora and fauna activity; visit their study spots everyday for a minimum of 2 hour of tracking journaling and data collection; Write a 3 page paper. Topic TBA; Make a group presentation of findings from their team study area; Complete assigned readings; Complete a field test of their tracking skills
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 15
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: short paper and final project or presentation; field test of animal tracking skills
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: preference given to seniors
Unit Notes: Dan has been teaching animal tracking and other primitive living skills for almost two decades. He holds a level 3 Track and Sign certification from Cyber tracker international and works at nature centers and schools throughout New York and Massachusetts as well as running his own wilderness programs at Tamakoce Wilderness Programs in upstate NY.
Materials/Lab Fee: $15
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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