Middle school students monitoring wildlife cameras are tracking data, making observations, and identifying animals. Recently, the students who work on the camera monitoring before or after school gave a presentation to the open space staff.
"I'm very excited about this partnership," said Deborah Price, education liaison with Boulder County Parks and Open Space. "These are our future leaders and scientists. I love how engaged they are. They ask questions and wonder about things and see things differently than adults."
One of the goals is to document wildlife before and after mining activity. Students have seen bears, a bobcat, a deer and fawn, a mink, squirrels, skunks, raccoons and a coyote.
"The bobcat was a big surprise," said seventh-grader McKenzie Campbell.
Students report that challenges include moving the school computers during the summer, which made it impossible for them to identify which computer they had used. The downloaded data all over again. In addition, working with a large number of pictures was challenging.