UB Scavenger Cam Curator/ Analyst

Coyote at night.

UB Scavenger Cam will show us which species are living and eating in Letchworth Teaching Forest!

Project description

The Department of Environment and Sustainability (EVS) seeks applications for an undergraduate student that can sort, identify, and categorize pictures from trail camera traps.
The UB Scavenger Cam project tracks opportunistic carnivores that we have on campus in Letchworth Teaching Forest. We want to know WHO is visiting our scavenger pit, WHEN they are there, and HOW they interact with the carrion and other visitors.
The successful applicant will collect and curate ≈3000 pictures and ≈400 videos per week, deleting MOST of them while keeping the best for the project website. Community composition, temporal distribution, and time of day will also be analyzed.
Skills in wildlife identification, ecology, database management, photo editing, and cloud solutions are necessary. Researchers will NOT be responsible for moving roadkill to the camera traps, but will have to download the memory cards from the site once a week. Indifference to smells, maggots, and decomposition is a MUST. In addition to earning three credits of EVS 498 UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH, the successful student will earn first authorship rights of any published manuscripts.

Project outcome

The deliverable expected is a searchable, metadata tagged, carefully curated database of pictures and videos. The student will analyze collected information and derive their own hypothesis and future experiments, if desired.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment One whole summer or a full semester is required for 3 research credits (approximately 120 hours). Skilled students who have more than 2 semesters remaining at UB will be prioritized.
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid? Hybrid
Level of collaboration Individual student project 
Benefits Research experience; may earn first authorship rights for created manuscripts.
Who is eligible All undergraduate students with experience in photo editing, metadata manipulation, cloud solutions, web and html management, ecological knowledge, and wildlife identification

Project mentor

Nicholas Henshue

Clinical Assistant Professor

Environment and Sustainability

Phone: (716) 645-4869

Email: njhenshu@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

Curating photos in OSX or Windows, including tags
Deleting files not fit for database
Basic editing of photos with Photoshop or Gimp


Environment and Sustainability