June 9, June 30, July 21, August 26, September 8, September 22
This summer-long wildlife tracking program is designed to involve students in a deeper connection with the natural world by examining the ways we can perceive the movement and lives of animals and their relationships to different habitats. The program is filled with high-quality instruction, adventure and meaningful nature connection.
Tracking is a term used to encompass a broad range of skills. Using a variety of senses, reading the stories of the lives of our animal neighbors can give us keys to better coexistence and give us a richness of experience in our outdoor adventures.
The program covers, but is not limited to:
- Foot morphology and animal gaits
- Animal feeding behavior
- Nesting and resting
- Scatology and scent marking behaviors,
- Animal/animal communication, animal/human communication
- How to use a compass and maps
- Habitat assessments
- Using habitat characteristics for mapping
- Photographing, documentation of data (field journaling), using trail cameras
- Sketching skills
- Trailing of animals and humans
- Using tracking skills for personal safety
- Blending in and using quiet sits
- Tracking by mountain bike (optional)
The program allows students to practice skills which are valuable when preparing to take a Cybertracker Evaluation.
Who should take this class? No matter where you are on your tracking journey, more of what we call “dirt time” advances your knowledge. Although we encourage beginners, this series will have different levels of exploration for previous or already practicing trackers. There will be a strong trailing element as well as the forest tracking skills of seeing subtle signs in various substrates. Hiking levels will be relatively easy and the class can adapt to various levels of physical fitness.
Six classes (and one optional bonus) will be conducted mostly in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and in some areas around the Columbia River. Students with special needs, limitations or concerns can contact the instructor team for consultation ahead of the program. This is a class for adults, however, certain exceptions can be made for exceptional young people at the discretion of the director and instructors.
The program is limited to 10 students. There will be no refunds for missed classes. Optional evaluation at the end which would involve a separate fee.
We would like to make classes/programs accessible to all who are interested. In some cases, energy exchange is available to make class participation possible. If you have such a need, please don’t hesitate to ask! Call 360-837-88733, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you interested in taking your tracking to a more robust level, you will have the opportunity to participate in extra tracking adventures/independent study with the support of staff.
TreeSong’s Tracking Staff
TreeSong tracking facilitators are phenomenal naturalists, trackers and teachers who are Cybertracker certified, as well as dedicated and passionate about sharing their love of tracking.
Instructor L. J. Hunter is the author of “Lonesome for Bears” Lyons Press 2008, a co-founder of the International Society of Professional Trackers and is certified by CyberTracker Conservation in Track and Sign, as well as by Universal Tracking Services in human tracking. Further experiences include man tracking for Search and Rescue interspersed with natural history studies and a former brown bear viewing guide in an outback Alaskan Lodge.
In 1994, Terry was reintroduced to the natural world by his first tracking mentor, Tom Brown Jr. Over the last 20 plus years, he has also taken classes from many trackers in our country with the goal to expand his skills and nature awareness. Terry has logged thousands of hours tracking and teaching his skills through various organization here in the Northwest, including his own. Terry has received a level III Track & Sign Certificate.
To learn more about Terry Kem, go to his website at www.deerdance.org.
Instructor Jane Doudney has been a lifelong outdoors enthusiast, from her youth in the Midwest to years of exploring the Alaskan wilderness and now SW Washington. She had tried many traditional ways of enjoying the outdoors and then came upon track and sign. Jane was first introduced to tracking through classes with Linda Hunter. Through these experiences, her appreciation for the interrelatedness found in nature deepened as she learned to “read” the stories the forest has to tell. She has also studied trailing with Adriaan Louw and became Cybertracker certified in 2016 in track and sign. Jane is a talented tracker. The woods symbolize peace and joy for her and she looks forward to sharing her passion for nature and tracking with new people. Jane has been an active part of TreeSong since its beginning in 2013.
Instructor Margaret Trenholm spent her early years exploring the coasts and forests of Cape Cod. She didn’t realize this idyllic experience would set the stage for a later life consumed by her passion for tracking and trailing. She is currently enrolled in a Tracking Intensive program and hoping to bring that knowledge to share with people in the Tracking Comprehensive during the summer. She passed the Cybertracker evaluation in 2016. Other tracking related experiences include – helping set wildlife cameras in the Mt Hood area, being a trail steward and reluctant birder with Steigerwald Refuge, participating in a trailing workshop with Adriaan Louw. She is thankful to Linda Hunter for igniting her interest in tracking and being a wonderful mentor/teacher.