Core Program


Summer Comprehensive Tracking/Naturalist Series

L. J. Hunter
Terry Kem
Jane Doudney

A field based summer series of tracking classes designed to be a continuation of last years series, or for trackers who wish to take their tracking skills into practical applications. Using the skills of finding and interpreting animal sign, this series will explore additional skills that are needed for guiding, being a citizen scientist, using remote cameras, doing wildlife surveys and being a coexistence counselor with Animal Arbitrators.

In the process of our field work we will continue using the skills of the tracker:

• Clear and blurry track identification along with foot morphology
• Gaits and Track patterns
• Feeding behavior and associated sign
• Communication behavior and sign
• Shelters, beds, nests, and temporary lays
• Trailing humans and animals
• Navigation and personal safety issues

In addition we will cover:

Guiding responsibilities
Making an adventure fun and interesting
Addressing the needs of individuals
Putting together a cohesive trip
Psychology for successful mentoring

Citizen scientist
Documentation of sign, including written, drawing, photography, and measuring
Collecting multiple sign and securing data
Confirmation of conclusions in field guides and in I-Naturalist online

Camera trapping
Determining where to set a camera
Security of your gear
Where to share and how to keep wildlife safe

Animal Arbitrators
How to defuse irrational fears
Explaining Trophic Cascade
Practical coexistence strategies

Each class will take place in the field, mostly in the southern Gifford Pinchot National Forest. If the participants have mountain bikes, we will cover more ground by bike. If not, we will drive to remote active areas and access the habitat on foot. Using a kayak to access habitat is also possible if the students have the gear.

Required Gear
Vehicle that can navigate back country roads
Maps, compass
Field guides (a list of approved field guides will be provided)
A ruler
A notebook (one will be provided)
Personal clothing that will keep you comfortable in all manifestations of PNW weather
A day pack
A walking stick

Optional Gear
A mountain bike
A kayak
Cameras and a trail camera
Close focus binoculars

Program Logistics:
Six classes will be conducted mostly in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest,
and in some areas around the Columbia River. Classes will typically be
from mid-morning until late afternoon. Students will need their own
transportation, a packed lunch and field gear for each class. Boots and long
pants are needed for every class, regardless of the weather. Students with
special needs, limitations or concerns can contact the instructor team for
consultation ahead of the program. This is a class for adults, however,
certain exceptions can be made for exceptional young people at the
discretion of the director and instructors.

The program will be limited to 10 students and must have 8 students signed up to

Instructors are Cybertracker certified and guest instructors are a possibility for some


We are curating more classes for 2020 such as day-long intro to tracking, make sure to check back soon!