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Thanks to Ufi Charitable Trust funding, we are developing the first of what we hope to be a series of new courses under the overall title WildSkills. Effective Camera Trapping is the first of these courses and is about making you a more effective wildlife camera trapper, increasing your field skills, producing great photos and enhancing your employability/continuing professional development.

THE NEED FOR TRAINING

There are many people looking for jobs in nature conservation and there are many employers saying job applicants lack practical survey skills.  If you are doing, or have just done, a University degree, or you are seeking to change career, then being able to demonstrate your practical skills in nature conservation to a future employer is essential. Our WildSkills project  and this new Effective Camera Trapping course are designed to address these issues.

We are rolling out this course next summer. Participants will be sent a camera and then supported, through live online workshops and learning materials to work through while practising and sharing results. With a track record of over 18-years delivering nature conservation training courses, our experienced and supportive team will empower participants to succeed.

Previous course participants have said the most valuable aspect was: “[Learning the] best way to set up and deploy traps in a range of environments.”  “Approachable course leaders.  Open to discussions”

WHAT IS CAMERA TRAPPING?

Camera trapping is now widely used as a wildlife monitoring tool.  It can determine if a particular species is present (with conservation or legal consequences) or it can be used to help with public engagement with nature.  Ecological consultants might use camera traps to see if a protected species is on a given site, nature conservation charities might use the technology to show the public what species are around on a nature reserve and biological records centres and national species surveys welcome the species records for their datasets.   Becoming an effective camera trapper means practising nature detective field skills and getting to know how this technology works.  The aim of this course is to encourage you to develop these skills ready for a new job or as part of your existing/future role.

CAN YOU HELP US?

Before the first run-through of the course in Summer 2020 we’d like to test (we’re calling it a micro test!) some of the technology.  We want to do a livestream across the internet to some volunteers.   If you’re free on Monday 16th December, 12:30-13:00 and would like to join in, please register your interest below.

We are looking for volunteers to join a closed Facebook group for half an hour to watch our livestream test training session from the fields of Lower Sharpham Farm, Devon. We want to test the technology (and we are expecting it to challenge us all!!).  We’d like to hear from you during the broadcast (via the comments) and afterwards via a short online feedback survey. This is potentially ‘cutting edge’ technology in the context of training and so we need, with your help, to ‘pressure test’ it.

To follow the livestream you’ll need to be in the UK, have either a mobile with 4G or any other computer with Wifi connection and a Facebook account.  If you are interested in helping with this, please register below.  Let’s see how we get on!

THE BIG TEST – A FREE COURSE IN SUMMER 2020

Registering your interest in helping us with this Micro Test also means you can go on the list for possible selection for the test of the full course in June-July 2020.  This will be a 6-week part-time course.  We will have 20 participants on this first full ‘dress rehearsal’.  As it’s a test, this is a FREE course.  We will ask for is a £30 refundable deposit. We’ll be sending you a camera trap (on loan) and then walking you through setup, positioning and results analysis via a series of tasks. All this will be supported by access to on-line training materials and live training broadcasts. You can take the time you need to gain competence in these specialist professional skills, ready for your new job or to enhance your existing employment through continuing professional development.

You’ll then be able to demonstrate your skills by contributing data to a citizen science project and uploading examples of your work to on-line platforms.  We hope this will lead to recognition and endorsements from employers and professional bodies.

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