Camera Trapping Lesson Plans
In this open-ended, inquiry-based lesson, students use skills learned in earlier lessons on camera trap data to develop their own question about wildlife that can be answered with data from Colorado's City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP). Students develop a question, hypothesis, and research plan, they then collect appropriate data from the OSMP to answer their question and draw conclusions from their results.
In this lesson, students use camera trap data from wildland, rural, and urban areas to determine the effects of human development on wildlife communities. This exercise introduces students to the ecological concepts of species richness, life history traits, and niches, as well as using Google Sheets to make graphs.
Students analyze camera trap images to determine the type of scientific data that can be gathered from these images (i.e., species identification, habitat) and discuss the role and value of this data for scientific research.
The goal of wildlife ecologists is to study how wild animals interact with their environment. One of the most common questions wildlife ecologists ask is where certain species live, and conservation biologists add to this question, asking how humans impact where species choose to live. This lesson uses online tools and data from the Smithsonian’s Urban to Wild camera trapping project to find out how two different fox species use the habitat available to them, how their adaptations help them live in different habitats, and how humans affect these species.