Thank you for registering for the Wildlife Tracking Intensive course with Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, Washington. This course is our most in-depth training in wildlife tracking.
This program details letter contains information that you will need to prepare for this program. In this document you will find orientation material, a syllabus, and a gear list. Please read it carefully.
If you have any questions regarding your registration, please contact Wilderness Awareness School at (425) 788-1301; our office hours are 8:00a-4:00p, Monday through Friday. Or email [email protected].
Please see our Registration page for detailed information about our cancellation and transfer policy.
We are looking forward to an engaging course focusing on the varied skills of becoming a wildlife tracker!
Tracking Intensive Coordinator
Adult Program Manager
Wilderness Awareness School
Wildlife Tracking Intensive Overview
The first weekend is Saturday & Sunday, September 17-18. Class typically runs 9am-5pm on Saturday and 8-3pm on Sunday. Some Saturdays we will add in an evening component as well.
Our first weekend is at Linne Doran, our 40-acre campus. It’s located about fifteen minutes outside of Duvall (where our office is located) in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Other weekends will be either at our campus or at various locations in Washington and Oregon.
The address where our first class is held is:
20410 NE 320th Ave NE
Duvall, WA 98019
You can find a map and directions on our website:
Park in the main Linne Doran Parking lot and follow signs to Cedar Lodge.
What to Expect:
We will be communicating primarily through our Google Groups list: [email protected]. You will receive an email communication with specific details about what to know for each weekend.
As you might expect, we will be spending time outside in a wide variety of conditions. Be prepared to dress in layers so that you can adjust easily (see attached gear list). We will be hiking at varying speeds (from a crawl if we are trailing an animal in challenging terrain to a fast walk).
Our goal is to create ideal learning conditions. There will be a mix of engaging presentations and lots of “dirt time”. We strive to balance theory with hands-on practice in a safe learning environment.
We will cover many topics including:
- The 6 Arts of Tracking
- Animal Track and Sign Identification for birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and more!
- Gait and Behavior Interpretation
- Aging and Event sequencing
- Trailing and Backtracking Techniques
- How to (ethically) get close to animals using tracking and bird language
- Exploring a wide variety of habitats at various times of year in the many diverse and rich bio-regions on the Pacific Northwest
- And so much more…
Camping and Facilities:
When we are at our Linne Doran campus:
There are several indoor and outdoor classrooms that we will use.
We may, or may not be able to offer camping at our campus due to the impacts of Covid-19. We will make a call later in Summer based on the current state of the pandemic and what we feel we can safely provide. Your instructors can suggest alternative accommodations nearby if needed.
Linne Doran has limited cell reception. There is potable water, but our well is low-flow. Please fill your water bottles before coming to class.
When on a Field Trip:
We travel to many abundant tracking areas for this course. We will generally stay at established campgrounds with potable water, restrooms, and a place to set up your sleeping gear.
Food is not provided for this course. Please bring whatever food you need for each day. Refrigeration will NOT be available. If you choose to camp at Linne Doran, you may cook food on the property—please bring your own stove and cooking utensils (pots, pans, etc), it is not possible to use the school kitchen for individual meal preparation or clean-up. There is a community firepit that you are welcome to use. There are also great restaurants in town; your instructors can give you recommendations.
Getting to class
There is no public transportation available to get to our Linne Doran campus. If you need to arrange to carpool with other participants, please use the Google Group. Meeting locations will be shared before each weekend.
We ask all participants to stay home if they have signs or symptoms of Covid-19. Please see the following Dept. of Health Guidelines for an updated list of symptoms. All students are asked to quarantine or isolate if they have symptoms or a Covid exposure per the most up to date state and county guidelines.
- Rain gear
- Warm layers
- Clothing for the field should allow you to be safe and comfortable outside all day (This will vary depending on location and time of year).
- Sun protection
- Appropriate footwear
- Knee-high rubber boots recommended for several field sites. Closed toed shoes are required for all field locations.
- Sleeping bag and pad
- Tent or other shelter
- Cooking supplies
- Food (including lunches which can be taken into the field)
- Musical instrument (optional)
For out of town students (and locals) camping may be available on the schools land Friday and Saturday night. Students need to provide their own equipment and food. Due to the impacts of Covid-19, we will review whether or not we can safely provide free camping on our campus in the late Summer.
For weekends away from the Puget Sound area, all students will need to provide their own camping equipment and food.
Tracking and Field Equipment
- Day Pack for field excursions
- 50 popsicle sticks
- Sturdy tape measure (~10’)
- 6” ruler with metric and English measurements
- Small field note book (“write in the rain” brand recommended)
- Pencils and pens
- Plastic bags for collecting specimens (optional)
- Plaster casting materials (optional)
- Binoculars (optional)
- 20’ Masonry line (optional)
- Small magnifying glass (optional)
- Artists sketch journal (5.5”x8.5” or 8.5”x11” okay, spiral bound preferable)
- Drawing pencils with a variety of hardnesses: 5B, 2B, HB, 2H
- 2” three ring binder (to hold and organize class handouts and readings)
- Drafting ruler and triangle (optional)
- Neadable eraser (optional)
Please note that many of the objects on your gear list are optional. You do not need to run out and buy everything on the list. See below for required/recommended book list
(“*”: Required for the Advanced Path only; “#”: Required for Primary Path only)
- Wildlife of The Pacific Northwest: Tracking and Identifying Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates, David Moskowitz #
- Mammal Tracks and Sign 2nd Edition, Mark Elbroch
- Animal Tracking Basics, Jon Young and Tiffany Morgan #
- Field Guide to Animal Tracks and Scat of California, Mark Elbroch et al. *
- Practical Tracking, L. Liebenberg, A. Louw, and M. Elbroch *
(“*”: Recommended for the Advanced Path)
- Animal Skulls: A Guide to North American Species, Elbroch
- Bird Tracks and Sign Mark Elbroch
- Mammals of the Pacific Northwest Coast to High Cascades, Chris Maser
- Northwest Arid Lands, O’Conner Wieda
- A Field Guide to Desert Holes, Pinau Merlin
- Wolves in the Land of Salmon, Moskowitz
- Natural History of the Pacific Northwest Mountains, Daniel Mathews
- Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science, Carol Kaesuk Yoon
- Winter World: the Ingenuity of Animal Survival, Bernd Heinrich
- Bird Feathers: A Guide to North American Species, Scott and McFarland
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants, Robin Wall Kimmerer
- Peterson Reference Guide to the Behavior of North American Mammals, Elbroch & Rinehart