April’s Volunteer of the Month is
Mark and Sue from Columbia County!
April’s Volunteer of the Month goes to Mark and Sue from Columbia County! Before retirement, Mark and Sue spent their careers as Conservation Biologists for the DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Program. For the past 40 years they have served as resident managers at the Madison Audubon Society’s Goose Pond Sanctuary. Goose Pond Sanctuary, located near Arlington, is comprised of 660 acres including restored tallgrass prairie, wetlands, some cropland and a one-acre oak savannah. In addition to hosting two Snapshot Wisconsin cameras, Mark and Sue are also involved in trapping and releasing black-footed ferrets in South Dakota to vaccinate them against Sylvatic plague.
Mark and Sue were motivated to join Snapshot Wisconsin because they enjoyed viewing and surveying wildlife and wanted to use the project to help Madison Audubon members to learn about the wildlife at the Goose Pond Sanctuary. The project provides them a way to view the wildlife responses to habitat restorations on the property, and to see how populations change over time. A few previously absent species they were intrigued to find in their photos were coyote and red fox. Mark and Sue also capture a great diversity of avian life including Cooper’s hawk, snowy owl, ring-necked pheasants, northern harrier and more. Check out a glimpse of what Mark and Sue are finding below!
Thank you, Mark and Sue! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.
March’s Volunteer of the Month is
Melanie and Trees For Tomorrow from Vilas County!
March’s Volunteer of the Month goes to Melanie and the Trees For Tomorrow staff in Vilas County! Trees For Tomorrow (TFT) is a nonprofit natural resources specialty school in Eagle River, WI whose mission is to promote sustainable management of our natural resources through transformative educational experiences. TFT’s field-based programs place students in direct contact with nature, providing the knowledge and skills to prepare today’s youth to be tomorrow’s stewards of our natural world. Founded in 1944, Trees For Tomorrow is proud to be celebrating 75 years of conservation education in Wisconsin. Melanie and TFT have been hosting a Snapshot Wisconsin camera since July of 2017.
Melanie, the Environmental Science Educator for TFT, shared, “Participating in Snapshot Wisconsin has allowed us to learn more about the wildlife that lives at Trees For Tomorrow as well as engage our students and guests in exciting, hands-on learning!” Trees For Tomorrow keeps their visitors updated on what critters are making appearances at the property on their phenology board, which you can see below. Additionally, their education team created a trail camera class where students can learn about cameras, how to scout for good sites, and analyze trail camera data to investigate life histories of local species.
Thank you, Melanie and Trees For Tomorrow! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.
Find out more about Trees For Tomorrow by visiting their website here.
February’s Volunteer of the Month is
Mike from Iowa County!
February’s Volunteer of the Month goes to Mike from Iowa County, one of the first two counties where Snapshot Wisconsin started recruiting volunteers. Mike was no stranger to trail cameras when he joined the project two years ago—he had spent his career as a biologist in the tropics where he used trail cameras as one technique to study and conserve wildlife.
“Camera trap techniques motivate me because the photos are a fantastic way to learn about wildlife. The pictures are a moment in time of critters’ daily movement that is captured forever,” Mike said.
Birds are among his favorite critters captured at his site, including sandhill cranes, pileated woodpeckers and a great horned owl (who Mike noted doesn’t appear to have caught the squirrel repeatedly triggering his camera). Check out this awesome photo below that Mike shared of a squabbling pileated woodpecker and crow. In addition to participating in Snapshot Wisconsin, he is also involved with wintertime roosting eagle counts with the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council.
Thank you, Mike! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.
January’s Volunteer of the Month is
Duanne from Vilas County!
January’s Volunteer of the Month goes to Duanne from Vilas County! Duanne is a long-time citizen scientist who has participated in a variety of projects including wolf tracking, lake monitoring, Snapshot Wisconsin and more. As a 50+ year bow hunting veteran, he immediately fell in love with monitoring what was going on in the natural world when he wasn’t there.
Duanne has spent more than two years monitoring trail cameras in the Clam Lake elk reintroduction area, though his first experience camera trapping came when his son gifted him a trail camera over 20 years ago. When asked about his favorite part of participating in Snapshot Wisconsin, Duanne responded, “probably just another excuse to get out in the woods” – we couldn’t agree more! He also shared that he enjoys reviewing and editing the pictures as each is a new opportunity to see something exciting. Below is a photo of the first elk that Duanne saw on one of his Snapshot Wisconsin cameras, which is quite the impressive looking buck!
Thank you, Duanne! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.
December’s Volunteers of the Month are
Colleen and Jerry from Ashland County!
December’s Volunteer of the Month goes to Colleen and Jerry from Ashland County! The duo moved up to the Clam Lake area in the early 2000’s to build their log cabin, and love everything connected to the Northwoods. Both Colleen and Jerry work at the local gas station, the Clam Lake Junction, which keeps them grounded and connected to their small community – they even put up a pickleball court there!
Colleen and Jerry were some of the very first volunteers to get involved monitoring Snapshot Wisconsin cameras in the Clam Lake elk reintroduction area. Colleen shared that they joined to project because it was something they could do together, and gave them an opportunity to further explore the area. The two have since played a key role in keeping up with the elk herd.
Thank you, Colleen and Jerry! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.
October’s Volunteer of the Month is
Roger from Sawyer County!
November’s Volunteer of the Month is Roger from Sawyer County. Roger was one of the first Snapshot Wisconsin volunteers, as he reaches 2.5 years with the project this month – wow! Roger enjoys hunting, fishing, and being outdoors every day.
Roger’s camera site is a fan favorite, and staff go-to for exciting photos. Roger recently stated, “One of the coolest things that ever happened to me was early in the program, I had a picture of eight otters going down a trail that I maintain on my property. This picture was used in a publication for the University of Wisconsin.” Images from Roger’s camera have also been used in a Snapshot Wisconsin lesson plan, Making Observations, where students are able to observations about animal behavior over time and space.
Thank you, Roger! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.
October’s Volunteer of the Month is
Thomas from Marinette County!
Thomas has been a trail camera host since June 2017. Thomas is also an activate participant on Snapshot Wisconsin’s crowdsourcing platform, www.SnapshotWisconsin.org, where you may recognize his handle of @Swamp-eye. His username comes from the position of his camera overlooking the swamp on his property, the same piece of land where he was born and raised.
Thomas enjoys hunting, fishing, woodcarving and volunteering with Snapshot Wisconsin in his free time. He shared, “I have always been interested in the flora and fauna of this great county. I learned my hunting skills from my dad and my love of nature from my mom.” One of our favorite quotes from Thomas is, “you couldn’t find a better hobby” – we think we couldn’t find better volunteers!
Thank you, Thomas! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.
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.
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.
Volunteer of the Month is a new addition to the blog with the goal of highlighting volunteers that go above and beyond with their participation in Snapshot Wisconsin.
August’s Volunteer of the Month goes to Skylar from Marquette County!
Skylar has been with Snapshot Wisconsin for over two years, one of his motivations for joining the project was to bridge his interests in nature and technology. As a teacher, he utilizes his Snapshot Wisconsin camera to help connect students with the diverse wildlife residing in their school forest. When asked about his fondest memories with the project, Skylar responded:
“It was really amazing to see our photos of a fisher, or fishers, at the school forest contribute to the southward expansion of that species’ known range in our state. That was something that was really exciting to share with the students especially because it showed them clearly why their work on this project matters and how they are contributing to science that has an impact.”
Thank you, Skylar and the awesome students at High Marq! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.
Season 3 of Snapshot Wisconsin will feature photos collect by volunteers right here in Wisconsin!
Volunteers who host trail cameras on private land are responsible for deploying and maintaining the cameras, as well as submitting photos to the Wisconsin DNR several times per year. To date, 71 volunteers in two counties have been trained in the project. An additional 65 educators across the state are using Snapshot Wisconsin in their classroom. Next month the Wisconsin DNR will begin training volunteers in four more counties.
Here’s a closer look at who has volunteered to host a trail camera so far.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for Snapshot Wisconsin, visit the project website or join the mailing list. Already a trail camera volunteer? Tell us about your favorite part of participating in Snapshot Wisconsin in the comments.