Congratulations to Gabe Spence, Nate Bacon, Shimo Rodin, Sarah Spaeth, Andy Stratton, and Charlie Serra on their Track and Sign Specialists!

6 New Track and Sign Specialists in the Pacific Northwest

In early October we held our first Track and Sign Specialist Evaluation in the Pacific Northwest in several years. The evaluation occurred on the Olympic Penninsula and we had an exceptionally strong group of participants. The group included professional biologists, outdoor educators, a park ranger, an arborist, a senior member of the local Land Trust, and an ecological philosopher. A truly diverse collection of professionals who put wildlife tracking skills to work in unique and varied ways in their work and personal lives.

Despite the added hardship of navigating the evaluation while following COVID-19 safe practices in the field we covered a lot of ground. The evaluation included signs of bears, mountain lions, elk, spawning salmon, and a myriad of other smaller creatures including aplodontia, a species endemic to this part of the world.

A spawned out chum salmon on the banks of a river on the Olympic Penninsula. The evaluation included numerous questions related to salmon and what feeds on them, a critical part of the ecosystem in this part of the world. Photo by Marcus Reynerson.
Evaluators David Moskowitz and Casey McFarland inspect scent marking sign from a mountain lion left under a larger western red cedar tree in the rainforest as they prepared a question for participants. Photo by Marcus Reynerson.

In the end, six individuals earned their Track and Sign Specialist Certificates, with everyone else very close as well. Congratulations to Gabe Spence, Nate Bacon, Shimo Rodin, Sarah Spaeth, Andy Stratton, and Charlie Serra on their Track and Sign Specialists.

A slightly different look for the end of an evaluation photograph during a pandemic. Photo by So Sinapolous-Lloyd
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