Cascade Citizens Wildlife Monitoring Project
The Cascade Citizens Wildlife Monitoring Project (CCWMP) is a service-learning activity through which students in the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School draw upon traditional ecological knowledge and observation skills to help solve a modern problem. The LEAF School employs service-learning as a form of participant observation through which students can come to better understand their own community, its subcultures and its interconnectedness within an ecosystem. In the winter, students assist the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition with documentation of wildlife presence and movements along the primary east-west route across the Cascade Mountains. During the spring, summer and fall students collaborate with Conservation Northwest and Wilderness Awareness School to set up remote cameras to document the presence of rare carnivores in the Cascades. The 2009 LEAF School students are helping to place, set up and check cameras targeted for documentation of reported wolf sounds and sightings in the vicinity of Manastash (south of Cle Elum, Washington). The data collected by students is shared with government officials, environmental organizations and land managers to help guide the protection of wildlife corridors and the placement of freeway crossings.
In the Coast Salish and Sahaptin cultures of the Pacific Northwest the telling of stories, embedded with an abundance of information about particular plants and animals, serves as a primary means of transmission of traditional ecological knowledge. This multi-term assignment introduces students to these local indigenous stories, significant plants and animals of our region and some basic skills in reading animal tracks and signs. The students apply traditional knowledge and skills to document the presence and patterns of movement of wildlife in the Cascades.
The data collected by students is shared with government officials, environmental organizations and land managers to help guide the protection of wildlife corridors and the placement of freeway crossings.
Context for Use
TimeframeThis assignment is designed to fit the multi-term, mentoring-based curriculum of the LEAF School. Students are exposed to the traditional ecological knowledge through the use of stories, beginning with the first day of the introductory class. The mentors select and read the stories to introductory students as part of a "daybreak" activity. The mentor selects a plant and animal from the story and provides additional detail about their habits, characteristics and needs. Throughout the quarter, students work collectively on a variety of service-learning projects in partnership with local tribes, governments, non-profits, business and industry. The Cascade Citizens Wildlife Monitoring Project requires a day of training and approximately three days of field work in the winter quarter (about 40% of the overall class meeting time). These field days are spread out throughout the quarter. The spring, summer and fall courses require a few hours of training and at least one full field day per quarter (a minimum of 12% of the overall class time). This training or field day should be positioned to coincide with the changes in the seasons that may limit access to the remote camera sites (after sufficient snow has melted for access and before the start of modern firearm hunting season).
Description and Teaching Materials
The Learning ActivitiesStudent Handouts
- Sit Spot - All Students
Field Note and Observation Skills Exercise for Human Ecology, Spring 2009
"So you can read a book and recognize a corporate logo? But can you "read" the world around you?"Overview:
The human ability to read books, recognize corporate logos and make collaborative decisions is based upon a set of abilities that evolved as survival skills in ancient societies. Historically, most humans had well-developed abilities to recognize tracks, species and other signs from which they learned about the availability of the resources that they needed in their everyday life. These abilities have diminished with time.
These natural signs are much like a complex alphabet or a multitude of corporate logos. We read them by recognizing what they stand for.
- Mentoring Assignments - Anthropology 102 - 298
Human Ecology, Spring 2009
People in today's urban societies are highly mobile and often disconnected from the plants and animals with which they share this world. These mentoring activities are designed for you to take a leadership role in assisting students in Anthropology 101 to connect more with local plants and animals.
- Human Ecology Field Project
Snow tracking with cascade citizens wildlife monitoring project.PRE-FIELD ASSIGNMENTS:
- Read this field packet.
- Complete the reading assignments indicated on the syllabus. These include the protocol for this project and the report from the previous year.
- Visit the websites for Cascade Citizens Wildlife Monitoring Project, Conservation Northwest, Wilderness Awareness School, I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, Washington Department of Transportation, REI and Starbucks.
- http://www.i90wildlifebridges.org/ & http://www.i90wildlifebridges.org/snowtracking.htm
- http://www.rei.com/stores/alderwood/ & http://www.rei.com/stewardship
- http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/overview.asp & http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/csr.asp
- Study Guide for Quiz #1
Sit Spot (Microsoft Word 40kB Oct25 11)
Mentoring Assignments (Microsoft Word 27kB Oct25 11)
Human Ecology Field Project (Microsoft Word 188kB Oct25 11)
Study Guide for Quiz #1 (Microsoft Word 164kB Oct25 11)
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
For photos from the CCWMP and some student comments see the links below.