Events

2-Day Tracking Workshop: Oct 14-15

posted Sep 11, 2017, 2:20 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Sep 11, 2017, 2:27 PM ]

Join the Minnesota Tracking Club for a two day introduction to the fundamentals of animal tracking  


October 14-16  
9:00am - 2:00pm  

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.
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 this free event.

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


Bird Language: Sat, Aug 5

posted Jul 8, 2017, 10:28 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Jul 8, 2017, 10:28 AM ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, August 5
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 high summer, the woods begin to quiet. The songs of spring, and even the incessant begging calls of early summer are fading as tired parents and naive fledglings do their best to feed themselves while staying safe from hungry juvenile raptors. The forest may seem more subdued than in the spring, but drama abounds. Come join us on the slopes of the Mississippi River Valley to see what the birds have to tell us about their day-to-day lives.


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


Tracking Club: Bug Out

posted Jul 8, 2017, 10:27 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Jul 8, 2017, 10:28 AM ]

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

Sunday, July 16
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


Join us as we welcome entomologist Jessica Miller for an exploration of insect track & sign. Miller has specialties in aquatic insects and their relationship to water quality; and native pollinators. She is a wild bee technician at the University of Minnesota Bee Lab and has worked on many projects to promote healthy urban watersheds. This month, she will help us learn signs of these ubiquitous, vital members of our biotic community. This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail, sometimes in very muddy conditions. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

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 Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. 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: Saturday, July 1

posted May 24, 2017, 9:54 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated May 24, 2017, 9:55 PM ]

Please join us for our next Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, July 1
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!

Kick off your Independence Day weekend eavesdropping on the birds along the wooded slopes of the Mississippi River Valley. As we move into the height of summer, we can expect to be surrounded by all five voices of the birds signing, screaming, begging, gossiping, jeering & tattling on each other like tiny, feathered fireworks.


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


Spring Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey: June 17-18

posted May 24, 2017, 3:01 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated May 24, 2017, 9:47 PM ]

Its time for the Spring 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. Our spring survey will take place on two days, and include a training and orientation for those new to Cedar Creek, new to wildlife tracking, or both.


Free Training, Saturday, June 17

If this will be your first time participating in the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey, please join us for a free training and orientation. Following the training, you will have the opportunity to join a survey team for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, June 17
9:00am - 12:00pm

The training is free, but registration is required. To register for the event:
Contact Caitlin Potter at Cedar Creek <caitlin@umn.edu> or (612-301-2602)


Spring Survey, June 17-18

Our Spring Survey will include three field sessions over two days, plus an opportunity to stay overnight at Cedar Creek. 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 weekend.

Saturday, June 17
Session 1: 8:30am ~ 12:00pm
Lunch: ~12:00pm - 1:00pm
Session 2: 1:00pm ~ 6:00pm
(includes sharing and debrief from Session 1)

Sunday, June 18
Session 3: 9:00am ~ 4:00pm
(including lunch in the field)

Bring your own lunches. We will have lunch at the Lindeman Center on Saturday and (weather permitting) in the field on Sunday. Cedar Creek will provide coffee and snacks.

Experienced team members are welcome to join us for any of the three field sessions. Please register with Caitlin Potter <caitlin@umn.edu> or (612-301-2602) to let us know when you will be attending.


Overnight Accommodations

For those who would like to stay overnight on Saturday, Cedar Creek is offering us housing on campus for the extraordinary low rate of $15. Depending on the number of people requesting housing, we may be accommodated in buildings on different areas of the property. Meals will be on our own, but each dorm has complete kitchen facilities. As we get a sense of who plans to stay in the dorms, we can do some planning to coordinate meals. The club may even have some groceries left over from the Bird Language Weekend :)

To book overnight accommodations, and register for the Survey, contact Caitlin Potter at Cedar Creek <caitlin@umn.edu> or (612-301-2602)

Housing is limited, so make your reservations right away. The deadline for housing registration is Saturday, June 10.


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

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