Events

Bird Language: Sat, Dec 2

posted Nov 14, 2017, 10:33 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Nov 14, 2017, 10:34 AM ]


Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, December 2
9:00 - 1:00

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration for these gatherings is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop by--and it would be great to know that you are coming!

Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun!

Winter is coming. The canopy has opened up again, giving us a good view through the forest. Chickadees and nuthatches are traveling in mixed feeding flocks, "talking" about the goings on in the woods. Come join us on the slopes of the Minnesota River Valley as we eavesdrop on their conversations.


What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting still, outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:

Recommended:

Note pad & pencil
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Appropriate clothing for whatever weather we have that day
Warm footware

Optional:
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know you are coming! If you have any questions, or to register for the event:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


Nov 19 Tracking Club: For the Birds

posted Nov 7, 2017, 2:13 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Nov 14, 2017, 10:35 AM by Jonathan Poppele ]

Come join us for Tracking Club at Ft. Snelling State Park: 

Sunday, November 19
9:00am - 1:00pm 

We will gather at the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center: 

Ft. Snelling State Park 
101 Snelling Lake Rd 
West St Paul, MN 55111
 

We're most familiar with watching birds fly through the air, but they leave tracks on the ground as well. At this month's tracking club, we'll focus in on identifying and interpreting tracks and sign of some common Minnesota birds. In addition to identification, we'll work on drawing connections to the life history and ecology of the species we encounter.  

We will gather at 9:00 in the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center about noon for wrap-up. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Donnie's cell phone at 952-334-5471. Please note that cell reception is poor in much of the park.

Note that you need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center, but you can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center


Bird Language: Sat, Nov 4

posted Oct 9, 2017, 2:04 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Nov 14, 2017, 10:35 AM by Jonathan Poppele ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, November 4
9:00 - 1:00

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration for these gatherings is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop by--and it would be great to know that you are coming!

Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun!

As we move into late autumn, the fall migration is nearly complete. A few raptors are still moving through on their journey south, while "snow birds" are arriving from their northern breeding grounds. Many year-round residents are now moving about in mixed feeding flocks, filling the woods with their companion calls. Come join us on the slopes above the Minnesota River as we immerse ourselves in the birds world and hear what they have to tell us about the forest.


What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting still, outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:

Recommended:

Note pad & pencil
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Sun protection
Poncho if it is raining

Optional:
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know you are coming! If you have any questions, or to register for the event:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


Cedar Creek Survey: Sat, Oct 21

posted Oct 9, 2017, 1:28 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Oct 11, 2017, 11:08 AM ]

The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey 


The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey is a joint venture between the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project and the University of Minnesota's Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. It is a unique 
opportunity to improve your tracking skills, connect with nature, and help Cedar Creek scientists learn about the wildlife living on their property. For our fall survey, we will spend a full day in the field, then gather to share our stories from the day.


Fall Survey, Saturday, October 21

Our Fall Survey will be an all day affair. We will head out in teams to survey sand road transects for animal tracks, then come back in to share our discoveries with one another. Each team will be led by an experienced wildlife tracker, certified in Track & Sign identification. Here is the schedule for the day:

8:30am    Gathering at Lindman Center
9:00am    Tracking teams leave for the field
~12:00    Break for lunch
3:00pm    Return from the field for sharing, mapping & debriefing
5:00pm    Complete


Bring your own lunches. Weather permitting, we will have lunch in the field. Cedar Creek will provide coffee and snacks in the morning.

Please register using our contact form, or write Caitlin Potter <caitlin@umn.edu> or Jonathan Poppele <poppele@umn.edu> to let us know you are coming.


Rain Date

The sand roads of Cedar Creek make for excellent tracking--but rain quickly washes the roads clear of prints. In the event of rain, we may postpone the survey. Our Fall rain date is Sunday, October 29.


About Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is a 5,400 acre experimental ecological reserve operated by the University of Minnesota. It is located about 35 miles north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, just east of Bethel.

Cedar Creek lies at the boundary between prairie and forest. It is a mosaic of uplands dominated by oak savanna, prairie, hardwood forest, pine forests, and abandoned agricultural fields and of lowlands comprised of ash and cedar swamps, acid bogs, marshes, and sedge meadows. The area was first set aside in the early 1940s to be kept in its natural condition for scientific and educational purposes. Much of the land remains pristine, and has never been developed for agriculture. You can learn more at www.cedarcreek.umn.edu

The diverse, pristine habitat supports a wide variety of mammals. Species seen on the property over the Reserve's 75 year history include white-tailed jackrabbits, badger, fisher, fox squirrels, porcupine & spotted skunks. Reserve staff and scientists are looking for our help to update their index of mammals. If you are a beginner, the surveys will offer an overview of the diversity of Minnesota Mammals. For the advanced tracker, you might get to try your hand at distinguishing fisher from otter; fox squirrel from grey squirrel; and a variety of tiny mammal tracks. You can take a look at some of what our tracking teams have found on our iNaturalist Project Page

The property includes 25 miles of sand roads, which catch tracks beautifully. The roads will be grated shortly before our surveys, offering optimal tracking conditions for us to locate and identify a rich diversity of species.

Public access to the Reserve is limited. The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey program offers you the rare opportunity to explore this exceptional landscape.


Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
2660 Fawn Lake Dr NE
Bethel, Minnesota 55005


For a map & directions to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, click here

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

2-Day Tracking Workshop & Tracking Club: Oct 14-15

posted Sep 11, 2017, 2:20 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Oct 9, 2017, 1:32 PM ]

Join the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project for a two day introduction to the fundamentals of animal tracking--or just come Sunday for October Tracking Club!


October 14-15 
9:00am - 2:00pm Sat
9:00am - 1:00pm Sun

Ft. Snelling State Park Visitor Center
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111

Thanks to the generosity of the State Park system, this program is free--but registration is required for Saturday's class.
To register call 612-725-2724 or email krista.jensen@state.mn.us


This workshop qualifies as training for the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey. Workshop participants are invited to join us at Cedar Creek on Saturday, October 21, for our fall survey.

Over the course of the weekend you will build a foundation for your own study and interpretation of animal tracks. Tracking may be the most ancient of all sciences. Tracking is the study and interpretation of the tracks (footprints) and other signs left behind by animals as they go about their lives.

Tracking begins with identifying the animal that left the tracks and signs behind and grows into understanding the intimate details of that animal's life. Our distant ancestors learned to read the signs of passing animals. For them, it was a matter of survival. For most of us, tracking is a way to connect more deeply with the natural world around us.

Saturday will begin at 9:00am and conclude by 2:00pm with a break for lunch (please bring your own). Sunday runs 9:00am - 1:00pm. We will spend much of Saturday and most of Sunday in the field. Dress to be comfortable inside and outside both on and off the trail. You may also wish to bring:

Notebook and writing utensil
Small ruler (6" plastic rulers work well)
Measuring tape
Camera
Lunch and or snacks
A water bottle


Registration is required for Saturday.

To register, call 612-725-2724 or email <krista.jensen@state.mn.us>


A state park permit is required on each vehicle parking at the Visitor Center ($7/day pass or $35 annual pass. Available at park office upon entry to park). You can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111


Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center


Bird Language: Sat, Oct 7

posted Sep 11, 2017, 2:13 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Sep 11, 2017, 2:13 PM ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, October 7
9:00 - 1:00

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration for these gatherings is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop by--and it would be great to know that you are coming!

Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun!

The leaves are falling and the canopy is opening up again. “Snow birds" have arrived and joined the mixed feeding flocks while the raptor migration is in full swing. Come join us as we spend an autumn day observing the birds along the slopes of the Minnesota River Valley, and listening to what they have to tell us about what is going on in the forest.


What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting still, outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:

Recommended:

Note pad & pencil
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Sun protection
Bug protection
Poncho if it is raining

Optional:
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know you are coming! If you have any questions, or to register for the event:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


Sep 17 Tracking Club: No Pressure! Seeing movement through pressure releases

posted Sep 10, 2017, 8:21 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Sep 10, 2017, 8:24 AM ]

Come join us for Tracking Club at Ft. Snelling State Park:

Sunday, September 17
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather at the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


During tracking, we often focus on identifying the species of animal that made a particular track or trail. However, the disturbances of substrate in and around the track can also tell us which direction the animal was moving, how quickly, and more about its behavior. This month, we'll spend some time practicing and observing pressure releases, then move to applying that knowledge to other tracks on the landscape. 

We will gather at 9:00 in the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center about noon for wrap-up. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Donnie's cell phone at 952-334-5471. Please note that cell reception is poor in much of the park.

Note that you need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center, but you can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center


Bird Language: Sat, Sep 2

posted Aug 15, 2017, 7:04 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Aug 15, 2017, 7:20 AM ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, September 2
9:00 - 1:00

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration for these gatherings is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop by--and it would be great to know that you are coming!

Birds talk to each other. We can learn to understand it. And it's fun!

Nesting season has wrapped up. Migration is beginning. The first "snowbirds" have arrived from the north and the neotropical migrants have begun their journeys south. Older birds know the routine--but for this year's hatchlings, it's all new. We will kick off Labor Day weekend--the unofficial transition from summer to fall--by gathering on the slopes of the Minnesota River Valley to watch and listen to the birds as they talk to each other about all that's going on in the woods.


What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting still, outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:

Recommended:

Note pad & pencil
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Sun protection
Bug protection
Poncho if it is raining

Optional:
Water bottle
Snack
Binoculars

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know you are coming! If you have any questions, or to register for the event:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge


RESCHEDULED--Cedar Creek Survey: Sat, Sep 16

posted Aug 10, 2017, 9:53 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Aug 25, 2017, 7:50 PM ]

The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey


The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey is a joint venture between the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project and the University of Minnesota's Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. It is a unique
opportunity to improve your tracking skills, connect with nature, and help Cedar Creek scientists learn about the wildlife living on their property. For our summer survey, we will spend a full day in the field, then gather to share our stories from the day.


Summer Survey, Saturday, September 16

Our Summer Survey will be an all day affair. We will head out in teams to survey sand road transects for animal tracks, then come back in to share our discoveries with one another. Each team will be led by an experienced wildlife tracker, certified in Track & Sign identification. Here is the schedule for the day:

8:30am    Gathering at Lindman Center
9:00am    Tracking teams leave for the field
~12:00    Break for lunch
3:00pm    Return from the field for sharing, mapping & debriefing
5:00pm    Complete


Bring your own lunches. Weather permitting, we will have lunch in the field. Cedar Creek will provide coffee and snacks in the morning.

Please register using our contact form, or write Caitlin Potter <caitlin@umn.edu> or Jonathan Poppele <poppele@umn.edu> to let us know you are coming.


About Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is a 5,400 acre experimental ecological reserve operated by the University of Minnesota. It is located about 35 miles north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, just east of Bethel.

Cedar Creek lies at the boundary between prairie and forest. It is a mosaic of uplands dominated by oak savanna, prairie, hardwood forest, pine forests, and abandoned agricultural fields and of lowlands comprised of ash and cedar swamps, acid bogs, marshes, and sedge meadows. The area was first set aside in the early 1940s to be kept in its natural condition for scientific and educational purposes. Much of the land remains pristine, and has never been developed for agriculture. You can learn more at www.cedarcreek.umn.edu

The diverse, pristine habitat supports a wide variety of mammals. Species seen on the property over the Reserve's 75 year history include white-tailed jackrabbits, badger, fisher, fox squirrels, porcupine & spotted skunks. Reserve staff and scientists are looking for our help to update their index of mammals. If you are a beginner, the surveys will offer an overview of the diversity of Minnesota Mammals. For the advanced tracker, you might get to try your hand at distinguishing fisher from otter; fox squirrel from grey squirrel; and a variety of tiny mammal tracks. You can take a look at some of what our tracking teams have found on our iNaturalist Project Page

The property includes 25 miles of sand roads, which catch tracks beautifully. The roads will be grated shortly before our surveys, offering optimal tracking conditions for us to locate and identify a rich diversity of species.

Public access to the Reserve is limited. The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey program offers you the rare opportunity to explore this exceptional landscape.


Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
2660 Fawn Lake Dr NE
Bethel, Minnesota 55005


For a map & directions to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, click here

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Tracking Club: Partial Print Identification

posted Aug 10, 2017, 9:52 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Sep 10, 2017, 8:21 AM ]

Come join us for Tracking Club at Ft. Snelling State Park:

Sunday, August 20
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather at the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


In the real world of wildlife tracking, animal tracks do not always present themselves as a clear and detailed print. Join us this month as we explore how to identify the track maker when we only have part of the whole. We will start with a discussion on some of the basics then move to one of my favorite places to practice partial print identification.

We will gather at 9:00 in the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center about noon for wrap-up. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Donnie's cell phone at 952-334-5471. Please note that cell reception is poor in much of the park.

Note that you need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center, but you can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center


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