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UW–Madison students gain wildlife ecology experience during summer field course in Northwoods

From left, UW–Madison students Grant Witynski, Mace Drumright, and Abby Haydin, conduct a bird playback survey on a small lake at Kemp Natural Resources Station near Minocqua, Wis., early Thursday morning, May 23, 2019. The students were taking Forest and Wildlife Ecology 424: Wildlife Ecology Summer Field Practicum, a class held every other year at the station. The survey, which helps the students inventory wildlife populations on their assigned parcel of land, involves playing a selection of bird calls on a small portable speaker, then listening and watching for birds in the immediate area. Photo by Michael P. King/UW–Madison CALS

Additional photographs available at CALS Flickr

For two weeks in late May, Kemp Natural Resources Station was home and headquarters to 24 UW–Madison students gaining intensive experience in Wisconsin wildlife identification, handling, and management. The two-credit field course, affectionately dubbed “Summer Camp,” has been held every other year since 1999 at the 230-plus acre research facility near Minocqua, Wisconsin. Kemp Station features rare old-growth forest, bogs, lake coves and more than a mile of shoreline along Tomahawk Lake.

Students utilized small and medium mammal traps, track stations, trail cameras, and other surveying techniques to inventory flora and fauna on their assigned parcels of land. During their stay, they interacted with professionals from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the USDA’s Wildlife Services program, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, learning about a range of issues from nuisance animals and agricultural damage to tribal and cultural perspectives on natural resources management.