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Track and Sign Certification Event: Pescadero California

November 8–9, 2014
hosted by the Bay Area Tracking Club.
contact: Garth Harwood
email: gharwood@hiddenvilla.org
phone: (650) 949-8643 (business hours)
Cost: $250 (early bird discount: $225 if paid in full by October 10)
Join David Moskowitz (professional wildlife tracker, biologist, author and photographer), CyberTracker Conservation International and the all-volunteer Bay Area Tracking Club for a Tracker Certification weekend. In wildlife research, natural sign surveys are an effective means of collecting wildlife monitoring data because they are low-cost, non-invasive, quick to conduct and can easily provide a broader set of ecological data. There are concerns, however, about the integrity of the data that comes from these types of surveys. In response to this need for certainty about data accuracy and to the increasing call to reintegrate field skills into conservation training, CyberTracker Conservation is making its Track & Sign Certification available as an inspiring and rigorous training tool to improve your skill level, whether you are a park ranger, biologist, naturalist, citizen scientist, student, or outfitter.

The Tracking Evaluation is a two-day practical field test that emphasizes open, honest dialogue and real learning. The tracks and sign of any and all species encountered in the field are asked, whether big or small, clear or obscure. After participants give their answers, a dialogue ensues to provide the opportunity for participants to internalize the field marks for identification. Initiating the use of Evaluations not only gives biologists and research teams an edge in identifying and relaying biodiversity but also facilitates viable contribution from the public, or “local experts.” North American Tracker Evaluations emphasize practical tracking and the development of reliable field skills.

The evaluation will be based along the southern San Mateo County coast near the small town of Pescadero. Food and lodging are not included; however, the town has several restaurants, 2 small markets, and a couple of small Bed & Breakfast establishments. Both commercial and State Park camping sites are available nearby (for more details see http://www.madeinpescadero.com/pescadero.html).

To register, send a check made out to Garth Harwood to 5901 Pescadero Creek Road, Pescadero CA 94060. An early bird rate of $225 is available until October 10 only. After 10/10 the registration fee is $250. A $100 nonrefundable deposit is included in the fee; but no refunds will be available after October 15, 2014. Registration is limited to a total of 11 participants on a first-come, first-served basis so early registration is encouraged! For more information contact Garth Harwood at gharwood@hiddenvilla.org or by phone at (650) 949-8643 (business hours).