WILDLIFE CAMERA TRAPS FOR SCIENCE RESEARCH
As part of our new InstaGrant initiative, funding was provided for a collaborative project for sophomore science research students at the Peabody Preserve Outdoor Classroom.
Working with Ms. Zielinski, staff from the Teatown nature preserve were able to provide equipment and advice to the students, to enable them to set up camera traps at Peabody. Camera traps are special wildlife cameras, mounted to trees for one month over the winter, that use infrared light and motion-sensing technology to capture images of animals like deer, squirrels, birds, raccoons, foxes, skunks, and sometimes even beavers, bears, and bobcats.
Students were given hands-on outdoor experience and were required to mount the camera traps, bait the traps, retrieve the camera traps, enter their raw data into excel, compile data from all groups, analyze the data, communicate the data using graphs and perform a statistical analysis on the data. Through these activities, science research students developed their science inquiry skills and methodological approaches to conducting scientific research.
Ultimately, the data collected from this study will provide baseline information about the wildlife population at Peabody Preserve that can be used to inform future science research projects at the Preserve. This data collection project is an example of real-world citizen science, the results of which can be shared with the local Tarrytown community as well as with the regional scientific community.