Colorado State University Wildlife Camera Educational Outreach with Boltz Middle School.
Colorado State University Wildlife Camera Educational Outreach with Boltz Middle School
Alex Arvin; Genevieve Fuller; Kerry Gold; Emily Grabowsky; Meredith Lewis; Rebecca Much; Samuel Peterson; Toryn Schafer; Jordan Baumgartner and the Boltz Middle School 6th Grade Science Class; Kevin Crooks
As part of an ongoing K-12 education and outreach effort, this study aimed to demonstrate ecological research and application to youth through the use of wildlife camera traps at Pineridge Natural Area with the goal of furthering interest in local habitats, wildlife, and ecosystem connections.
Fig.1 Sample of wildlife photos captured by camera traps at Pineridge Natural Area
The undergraduate chapter of The Wildlife Society at Colorado State University (CSU), along with Dr. Kevin Crooks in the CSU Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, assisted four periods of Jordan Baumgartner’s 6th Grade Boltz Middle School science classes with wildlife camera surveys in Pineridge Natural Area (PNA), Fort Collins, CO to help teach a unit in ecology.
Fig.1 Map of Pineridge Natural Area with habitats and camera locations
Boltz students in the field at PNA (left) and viewing photos captured by cameras in class (right).
Fig. 3 Example of Food Web created by Boltz students
The collaborative effort between CSU, Poudre School District, and Fort Collins Natural Areas provided an excellent opportunity to teach lessons in ecology using a local natural area. This project demonstrated the differences and diversity in local wildlife species and their habitats, allowing Boltz students to draw real-life connections to their ecology curriculum.
Fig.2 Example of line graph created by Boltz Students.