ARMN volunteers enjoy helping Smithsonian eMammal camera trapping project

By Jeanette Murry and Alan Tidwell

We  graduated from the spring 2012 ARMN Basic Training Course. During the summer and fall, we volunteered on a camera trapping project called eMammal organized by the Smithsonian. We focused on Keyser Run Fire Trail in the Shenandoah National Park for our trapping.

When we saw the eMammal Project advertised through the ARMN listserv, it sounded interesting and challenging, so in August we went along to a half-day training at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute at Front Royal, VA.

Tavis Forrester, eMammal Project Coordinator and a wildlife biologist, describes the project: “eMammal is a large-scale NSF-funded citizen science project using volunteers and remote cameras. eMammal is a further development of SI Wild, an existing project that has pooled camera-trapping images from all over the world and will be expanded to allow volunteers to upload data, and then expanded again to allow visitors to analyze and visualize data.”

Our role, under the excellent guidance of Megan Baker from the Smithsonian, was to deploy 3 cameras – one on the trail at a specified location, the second and third cameras at 50 and 200 meters respectively away from the trail. After 3 weeks, we would collect the cameras, change batteries and SD cards, and then redeploy the cameras to the next locations. We did a total of 4 deployments, finishing on November 10. Continue reading

Virginia Master Naturalist Photo Contest – 9/4/12 Update

9/4/12 Contest update – Voting is closed.

The winners are:

Flora – Chelone turtlehead flower with bumble bee by Catherine Howell

Fauna – Dragonfly by Christine Friedel

Thanks to our photographers and to everyone who voted!


The annual 2012 Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Conference and Training is just around the corner. From September 7-9, members from Master Naturalist chapters across the state will gather to share ideas and learn from each other, to participate in high-quality advanced training sessions, and to learn about a region of Virginia that may be different from their home communities.  Each chapter has been asked to submit two photos, one of native Virginia flora and one of native Virginia fauna, to a contest to be judged during the conference. Continue reading