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Capturing Ecological Data with Camera Traps

Summary: 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 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.

Learning Goals:

After completing this activity, students will be able to:

  • Conduct a camera trapping study, including developing a question, a hypothesis, methods, and drawing conclusions from their results

  • Apply their experience analyzing others’ data to design a new, hypothetical study on the research question of their choice


Two 50 minute class periods + a write-up for homework (given the open nature of this lesson, students may need more or less time, depending on the question they ask and their familiarity with spreadsheets)



Lesson 1: The Science of Camera Trapping


* Lesson plans are available in .doc format for easy customization. This lesson includes 4 sections for easy download. Please contact us with any questions or problems.

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