Monitoring Coastal Vertebrates Using Camera Trapping

About the Project:

Fort De Soto is a mostly undeveloped barrier island located just a few miles from Eckerd. We are using infrared cameras to take photos and videos of animals that walk past the cameras in a variety of human dominated and more pristine habitats embedded in this coastal ecosystem. Our goal is to measure vertebrate biodiversity on open beaches, dunes, wetlands, and upland forests and then to examine how human presence influences this biodiversity. Students will be involved with camera placement, collecting SD cards, examining and categorizing images and educating the public by sharing photographs on a webpage for each location. Students will be working with Dr. Forys & Dr. Bransford on this project. 

Dr. Forys is a professor in Eckerd's Environmental Studies and Biology disciplines. She is a conservation biologist interested in spatial ecology and endangered species. She teaches Environmental Biology, Conservation Biology, GIS, Research Methods and Field Ornithology.

Dr. Bransford is a professor in Eckerd's Animal Studies discipline. He is a primatologist that works with both wild and captive primates, and uses a variety of direct and remote observation methods to answer questions about primate foraging and ranging behavior, ecology, conservation biology, and the human-animal interface.

The First-Year Research Associate Program at Eckerd College honors academically outstanding students with awards of up to $1,000. The program also provides the opportunity, during the freshman year, for the award winners to work closely with a sponsor (faculty or administrative personnel) on a project of mutual interest. Associates might assist with research for faculty publication or new courses, conduct scientific experiments, work with creative artists, or develop projects related to any phase of the academic, cultural, and social life of the college. Scholars are selected on the basis of achievement in high school and on the creativity and depth of responses to items on this application.​

Online submission due no later than February 1, 2022.
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