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  • Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins: Week 2 Recap

Week 2 was exciting because we got to do extension work with students at McCutcheon High here in West Lafayette. Alexis and I put together a fun project where the students in our groups were able to make molds of animal prints like black bears, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, eastern grey squirrels, deer, and more. After teaching the students about proper data management, we spent a lot of time looking for real animal tracks in the forest behind the high school. The kids seemed to really enjoy spending time outside every day, which was so fun to see. Most of them were not interested in pursuing a career in wildlife or animal sciences; however, they did seem to enjoy the activities we planned for them.

In the time that we did not spend at the high school, we got to finish setting up our cameras and sound traps at 12 of our proposed sites around Martell Forest and Purdue Wildlife Area. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out when we would have to survey for cicadas at our sites and how often we would need to pull the SD cards from our cameras. In the first few days the cameras were out, we captured a lot of cute animals, including this picture of an adorable posing raccoon.

It is challenging hiking to all of the sites, but hopefully the cicadas will be out next week and it will all be worth it!

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