Introducing New Team Member, Emily

Hi everyone,

My name is Emily Buege – I’m the newest Snapshot Wisconsin team member, and I wanted to do a quick blog post to introduce myself.  After obtaining my bachelor’s degree in ecology from Winona State University, I moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where I began working toward my master’s degree in environment & natural resources.  In the mix, I also spent a summer working at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.

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Me during my fieldwork in Belize.

My master’s thesis examined the distribution of nesting sites for several native fish species in the Bladen River in Southern Belize.  Specifically, I looked at which habitat variables seemed to be most important for each of four species as they chose a site suitable to brood their young.  All four species were cichlids, which are well-known for defending their eggs and fry against predators.  Not only did that parental behavior make for an easy way to identify and record the nest locations, but it was also fascinating to watch!

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Fish checking out my submerged camera trap on the Bladen River.

Being that my project was through the University of Alabama’s Department of Geography, one can imagine that it was spatial in nature.  Combined with my preexisting passion for wildlife conservation, the skills and interests that resulted from my time at UA led me to my new position with Snapshot: Spatial Analyst and Database Manager.  I am very excited to dive into these roles, because the project is rich in spatially-explicit data!  This is especially true with the launch of Phase 2 – all corners of the state will be reporting wildlife data that has previously been unavailable.

In addition to making more maps with our new data, one of the efforts I’m looking forward to working on is data visualization.  Now that Snapshot Wisconsin has collected so much data, there are a lot of opportunities to do visualize that information.  Right now, we have no way of allowing the public to interact with the data or to view a select set of photos.  We hope that as the project grows, we can develop a tool to do just that.  I think that making data interactive and visual allows more people to connect with it on a deeper level.

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See you out in the field and on the message boards!

Emily

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Snapshot Saturday: September 15th, 2018

Did you know that a group of bears is called a sleuth? This Snapshot Saturday features a playful sleuth of Black Bear cubs from Clark County!

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/. Classify photos from all the trail cameras at www.snapshotwisconsin.org.

Bugle Days Rendezvous 2018

M2E35L90-90R391B362The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation hosted their annual Bugle Days Rendezvous this past weekend to celebrate the RMEF volunteers and elk in Wisconsin! This year the event was hosted in the Flambeau River State Forest, one of the sites where elk have been reintroduced in the state. Bugle Days Rendezvous offers RMEF volunteers a unique opportunity to partake in a weekend of “elk camp” including exciting field trips, herd updates, comradery, and importantly the sights and sounds of bugling Wisconsin elk.

Snapshot Wisconsin team members Sarah Cameron and Taylor Peltier were granted the opportunity to partake in the festivities this year, and give a presentation about elk monitoring with Snapshot Wisconsin. Although the two missed out on spotting any early morning elk with the rest of the RMEF, they still were able to witness the sounds of howling wolves, discovered several elk tracks along back roads, and even found a sneaky tree frog hiding behind one of the Snapshot Wisconsin trail cameras they visited. It was a weekend well spent!

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Find out more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Wisconsin, including upcoming events and how you can get involved!

Snapshot Saturday: September 8th, 2018

Just in time for the Wisconsin Badger’s first Saturday football game, this Snapshot Saturday features an American Badger (Taxidea taxus) captured on a Snapshot camera in Jackson County. On Wisconsin!

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/. Classify photos from all the trail cameras at www.snapshotwisconsin.org.

September Volunteer of the Month

September’s Volunteer of the Month is
Mary from Bayfield County!

Mary has spent the past four decades sharing her love for science as a mom, scientist, educator and most recently as a volunteer.

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Mary visiting her Snapshot Wisconsin camera

In addition to hosting her own Snapshot Wisconsin trail camera, Mary has been an invaluable resource helping the Snapshot Wisconsin team put together a series of lesson plans for the project. She stated that her passion has always been in “designing and implementing hands-on tools that make learning science easy and fun for people of all ages.” Mary also works with local organizations and classrooms to continue getting students engaged with and excited about Wisconsin wildlife.

Check out the current Snapshot Wisconsin lesson plans on the newly redesigned website. Lesson plans are available for all ages, and as Mary shared, “The pictures from Snapshot Wisconsin inject excitement into the Wisconsin Science and Math standards. They transform abstract concepts into local experiences.”

Thank you, Mary! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.

Snapshot Saturday: September 1st, 2018

A quick selfie from Wisconsin’s resident expert, happy Snapshot Saturday!SnapshotSaturday_9.1.18

Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/. Classify photos from all the trail cameras at www.snapshotwisconsin.org.

August #SuperSnap

This month’s #SuperSnap goes to this impressive buck giving the classic “camera stare.” Thanks for the nomination, @momsabina! Look closely, you may also notice a buddy in the background! Check out the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Southwest CWD, Predator, Prey Project for more information about white tailed deer in Wisconsin.

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Continue classifying photos on Zooniverse and hashtagging your favorites for a chance to be featured in the next #SuperSnap blog post. Check out all of the nominations by searching “#SuperSnap” on the Snapshot Wisconsin Talk boards.

Announcement: Educator Resources Updates!

Riding on the wake of Snapshot Wisconsin’s statewide launch last week (see here), we are excited to announce updates to our educator resources. Snapshot Wisconsin is a fantastic opportunity to engage students in outdoor learning and to teach them about local wildlife. With over 200 educators enrolled in the Snapshot program, we thought it would be beneficial to have a wide-ranging group of lesson plans and resources available.

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Lesson Plan Updates

We are excited to announce that our suite of lesson plans is now freely available on our website (see here). These lesson plans, including “Wildlife Detectives” and “Measuring Biodiversity”, have been designed for use by educators whether or not they are hosting a trail camera! Our 10 lesson plans can be used for students of all ages, from pre-k through adulthood, and are an excellent way to incorporate exciting concepts about Wisconsin wildlife into classrooms or nature centers. To fit our lesson plans in with curriculum, we’ve made sure to meet Wisconsin’s Standards for Science.

“When I began using Snapshot Wisconsin and hosting a Trail Cam, I realized how much fun it would be to develop lessons for our local school that has a school forest and is hosting a DNR Trail Cam. The pictures from Snapshot Wisconsin inject excitement into the Wisconsin Science and Math standards. They transform abstract concepts into local experiences.” – Mary from Bayfield County

Additionally, check out our flashcard collection on our lesson plan page. These printable activities are a fun way to learn and practice animal species identification in Wisconsin. Test your skills with beginner through expert level flash cards. Below is an example from our “canid collection”.

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NEW: Educator Newsletter

SIGNUP to receive our biannual educator newsletter for lesson plan updates and other classroom resources. This is a newsletter designed specifically for educators and separate from The Snapshot, our monthly volunteer e-newsletter.

Connect with other Educators

On our Zooniverse site, where volunteers from around the world can classify Wisconsin wildlife captured on Snapshot cameras, we have a page dedicated to connecting educators. Visit this talk board to discuss the use of Snapshot Wisconsin in the classroom.

A special thank you to all the educators who reviewed and provided helpful feedback on our lesson plans. YOU make updates to the project like this possible!

 

Snapshot Saturday: August 25th, 2018

Happy Snapshot Saturday from this adorable Sawyer County bob-kitten!

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/. Classify photos from all the trail cameras at www.snapshotwisconsin.org.

First Rare Species Sighting: Moose

One of the objectives of Snapshot Wisconsin is to record the occurrence of rare species including: moose, cougar, Canada lynx, marten, jackrabbit, Whooping crane, Spotted skunk, and wolverine. With a statewide network of nearly 1,300 trail cameras, sooner or later we were bound to capture one of these rare Wisconsin species. Two years into the project, Snapshot Wisconsin captured its first  – moose (Alces alces)!

Oneida County moose

Earlier this month, we received an email from a volunteer in Oneida county with the subject ‘Picture of Moose.’ We nearly jumped out of our seats exclaiming “Moose! Moose! Moose!”

From the size and proportions of the animal, it was easy to tell that it was indeed moose.  Moose can reach upwards of 1,500 pounds and stand up to 7 feet tall, dwarfing our commonly seen White-tailed deer. When we shared the picture around, our Wildlife Research team leader remarked, “That part of the state is definitely moose-y.” The bogs of Oneida, Vilas, and Iron counties have had the most moose sightings in the recent years, making “moose-y” an apt description.

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Vilas County moose captured on a Snapshot Wisconsin camera

Upon querying our Snapshot Wisconsin database, we found another moose identified on a camera in Vilas county – this one hosted by an educator. Both of these sightings were from spring this year, and both were correctly identified by the volunteer – hurray, no ‘moose-takes’ there!

Moose are categorized as a species of special concern in Wisconsin due to their relatively low numbers, in 2016 there were only 32 possible or probable observations reported.

Whether you are a Zooniverse volunteer or a trail camera host, please let us know if you see a rare species in a Snapshot Wisconsin photo. If you spot them in the wild or on a personal trail camera, report the observation using the Wisconsin large mammal observation form. In the meantime, we hope you finding these pictures as ‘a-moos-ing’ as we do!