JSC to Offer Free Wildlife Tracking Workshop, Chance to Participate in $850,000 Research Grant

Johnson State College is offering a free six-week workshop with well-known Vermont wildlife tracker and biologist Sue Morse starting Wednesday, Jan. 30. Participants will help determine sources of E. coli that affect the water quality in the Lamoille River watershed. The workshop will teach scientific collection methods, wildlife tracking and identification.

 

A bobcat in Vermont's wilderness (photo copyright Susan C. Morse)The program is part of a five-year, $850,000 National Science Foundatio/Vermont EPSCoR research grant presented to Biology Professor Robert Genter.

 

Workshop participants will venture into the woods, wetlands and natural areas to collect wildlife scat. Genter is studying which animals, including humans, are sources of the bacterium E. coli that is affecting Vermont's watershed system. In addition, he is examining how this phenomenon, in turn, might shift as the result of global climate change.

 

As part of the free workshop, participants must attend all six sessions: an indoor introduction on Jan. 30 at Johnson State College, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (check-in at 8 a.m.), and five outdoor tracking sessions 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 25 and March 6 in Jericho and April 14, April 28 and May 4 in the wetlands and forests of the Lamoille River valley, from Hardwick to Georgia.

 

Participants should be physically fit and able to hike, snowshoe or ski in the mountains; they also need to dress appropriately for the weather. In particular, this is an ideal opportunity for retirees to help a worthy cause. For more information or to register, contact Robert Genter, Robert.Genter@jsc.edu or (802) 635-1693.