Help us launch eMammal, run camera traps in western North Carolina
Chicken coops were a warm up for the main event, eMammal, a new citizen science camera trapping project in collaboration with the Smithsonian. We will be prototyping our website and database with a select few volunteers this year from August – November in and around Stone Mountain and South Mountains State Parks/Game lands. We will provide the camera traps if you are willing to put them into the woods at 4 different places over the next few months (moving them every 3 weeks). See below for details, or open this eMammal Volunteer Recruitment pdf file.
We still have a few slots open, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Carolina coyote in a camera trap picture
- Deer in a camera trap picture
Citizen Science Camera Trapping in North Carolina
Welcome to eMammal – help us use camera traps to survey wildlife
We are using motion-sensitive cameras take short videos, triggering whenever a warm-blooded animal walks by, and saving these images to a memory card. The cameras are silent, and use an infrared flash, so usually the animals don’t even know they are being photographed. By volunteering for this project you will get a first-hand look at the forest animals, and help us collect important data for science and conservation. You will be part of a larger team of camera-trappers led by scientists at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution, running a network of cameras across the east coast.
The data you collect will help us document not only what animals live where, but also how they are affected by consumptive (i.e. hunting, trapping etc.) and non-consumptive (i.e. hiking, biking etc.) recreation.
You will be one of the first participants in eMammal, and your feedback will help us prepare for expanded surveys in the future.
For a fun video about this project, please visit this link
We Need Your Help!
We will be relying on volunteers to run the cameras at the different field sites. Each volunteer will be loaned 3 camera-traps to use, complete with rechargeable batteries and memory cards. We will also give the volunteers a set of GPS points where they will need to set the cameras (in the NC State Park or Gameland). Most sites will involve some hiking with the potential for steep terrain. In order to navigate to those points, volunteers will need to have their own GPS unit or Smartphone with GPS App, these will not be provided by the project staff. Volunteers must also have access to a computer and internet to upload the pictures the capture to the eMammal website.
Each volunteer (or team of volunteers) will be asked to move the camera traps four times, in 3-week intervals, from August to November 2012. At each location they will put out 3 cameras one on a hiking trail, one near (50 meters) to the trail and one far (200m) from the trail. All three cameras will be set up on the same day, and left for three weeks at a time. At the end of the three weeks, the cameras will then be moved to the next location (doing this a total of four times over the 12 week period). Overall, the volunteer would need to go out five times into the forest to setup or retrieve the cameras. Weeks where cameras will need to be moved are below…
Tentative Camera Set Schedule:
1st Setup- Week of August 20th-25th
2nd Retrieve and setup- Week of September 10th- Sept. 15nd
3rd Retrieve and Setup- Week of October 1st – 6th
4th Retrieve and Setup- Week of October 22nd – 27th
Final Retrieve- Week of November 12th- Nov. 17th
Please be careful if you are working in the Gamelands, as hunting season for several species begins as early as September. There is no hunting in the State Park.
Each volunteer needs to attend a mandatory training before starting the project. During this training, volunteers will meet the project staff and learn more about the project. Volunteers will be taught how to use all equipment and computer programs required by the project. Volunteers will also receive their three cameras, latitude/longitude points and other equipment and literature at the training. Training will take 3- 4 hours. You can attend either training regardless of what area you will be volunteering in and you only need to attend ONE training.
Mandatory Training (these dates are still tentative):
- Sunday, August 19th at South Mountains State Park
- Monday, August 20th at Stone Mountain State Park
How to Sign Up:
We will be running cameras this year in four areas:
- Stone Mountain State Park
- Thurmond Chatham Gameland
- South Mountains State Park
- South Mountains Gameland
If you can commit to the schedule outlined above and have an interest in running cameras in one of these locations, please contact Arielle Parsons (email@example.com) to sign up. Please indicate in your email which of the four areas above you would like to work in (also indicate if you are flexible) and which dates you are available for training (if you are not available 8/19 or 8/20, please indicate when around those dates you may be free). We will send you a confirmation email shortly afterwards.
If you have any questions please contact Arielle Parsons (firstname.lastname@example.org), 919-610-6624. Arielle can also be found in the Biodiversity Lab at the new Nature Research Center at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.
Thank you for your interest and help getting the word out on the project! We are very excited to meet you all and get started setting up camera traps and catching some good pictures!
Bear at a camera trap