Summer Wildlife Radiotelemetry Seminars, 2005
Public school teachers from communities on the Pine Ridge reservation participated in this project. Four different groups each took part in the 2-day seminar on wildlife radiotelemetry methods. They learned many new skills used by scientists in field research, including use of the compass in navigation and map making as well as use of the global positioning system (GPS) receiver for finding accurate locations in the field and navigating back to previous points. Several other science seminars were also offered by other instructors as part of this program, allowing teachers to experience a wide range of new ideas and methods for science education that they could take back and apply in their own classrooms.
The first class, consisting of Levi Lefthand, Shirley Lefthand, Bonnie Standing Soldier, Sharon Hubbard, and Sheralda Montileaux,
gets ready to go to the field to track an animal using radiotelemetry.
“And there I was, tracking the elusive, nocturnal southern flying squirrel through the deep, dark forests of Arkansas, blah, blah”.
They get the idea. Once the strongest signal is heard from the transmitter collar, students find the correct azimuth to the animal by sighting their compasses down the axis of the directional antenna.
Hope Cross, Hazel Iron Cloud, Misty Brave-Clifford, Michele ThunderHawk, Julia Goings, and Cheryl Locke, take their turns learning to use the compass and radiotelemetry receiver.
The GPS is a handy tool that teachers are able to find many uses for in their classes.
Snake leggings in place, the class of Lana Christensen, Iris Gay, Eunice LeValdo, Norma Ceron, Theresa Ferguson, and Norma Brown Bull (out of picture) gets ready to go into the field to verify our indication of our target animal’s location.
The class finds the “animal”, just one of my flying squirrel transmitter collars placed out in the field. My dog Nelle is assisting in the search, hoping it was a real animal we were looking for.
Jennifer Fox, Juanita Witt, Babe Poor Bear, Jim Pacer, Sharon Simmons, and Donna Heathershaw watch as Suni shows them how to take their field measurements and GPS coordinates and find the location of the radiocollared animal.
Through this summer seminar program public school teachers are able to get hands-on experience using a range of instruments, computer programs, and also learn analytical methods that they can later decide to present to their students in ways appropriate to the students’ grade level and interests.