- Who should take this class?
- Should I take this class instead of some other class?
- Is this class easy?
- Do I have to live in the southwestern USA to be accepted into the course?
- Who qualifies for admission?
- How does this class differ from other tracking classes?
- How good will I be at track & sign identification after taking this class?
- Will I get a certificate if I take this class?
- What is the cost for each class?
- How do I apply for admission?
- When will the next class begin?
- Under what conditions can tuition be refunded?
- How can I check the instructor credentials?
Who should take this class?
This course is designed for beginning and intermediate trackers. Applicants involved in some aspect of wildlife conservation are given precedence in admission.
Should I take this class instead of some other class?
Not necessarily. In-person classes offered by top-notch tracking schools provide a much more well-rounded experience. Our courses are primarily intended for persons who do not have the opportunity to attend such classes. We suggest that interested persons look at the list of tracking schools at NatureTracking.
Is this class easy?
No. Most of our questions are based on photographs of partial and obscure tracks and require short essay answers.
Do I have to live in the southwestern USA to be accepted into the
No. We focus on species found in San Diego County because we have thousands of photographic examples of tracks and signs from that area. The approach we use to track & sign identification applies to species from any region. Our students have come from as far away as Mexico, Canada, and Europe.
Who qualifies for admission?
We give precedence to applicants who are currently contributing to wildlife conservation or who intend to apply track & sign identification to some aspect of wildlife conservation. This can be as simple as being a member of iNaturalist, volunteering at an animal shelter, or helping with beach cleanups. A wide range of activities qualify. We have found that people involved in wildlife conservation make the most serious and dedicated students.
How does this class differ from other tracking classes?
This course emphasizes detailed observation and objective comparison of the track features of multiple species to come to a conclusion in track & sign identification. It is highly analytical.
How good will I be at track & sign identification after taking this
The quality of T&S identification skills cannot be predicted. Students who complete the course will have acquired skills in using multi-factor analysis in track & sign identification. However, students must supplement their learning with time in the field. Students with the strongest interest and who consistently take the initiative to track in the field become the best trackers. This is true whether or not they take our course. Our course seems to accelerate a particular learning phase for such individuals.
Will I get a certificate if I take this class?
Students who follow instructions, answer all exercise questions, and who respond to all follow-up questions receive a completion certificate. Alumni are entitled to observe, without interaction, future offerings of the course.
What is the cost for each class?
The cost for the course is $75. The student fees for the course are used to cover the cost of server, domain name rental, and miscellaneous computing costs. Funds in excess of these costs will be used to defray the fees for financially disadvantaged students or else will be contributed to CTNA. Each instructor's participation is entirely voluntary, so they receive no financial remuneration.Southwest Wildlife Online Tracking Training will cover the cost of tuition for any student for whom it would be burdensome.
How do I apply for admission?
Requests for admission or information about admission should be sent to the following email address.
Please include the following information.
- Your name
- Email address
- A description of your experience or intentions related to wildlife conservation.
When will the next class begin?
August 7, 2023.
Under what conditions can tuition be refunded?
July 24, 2023, is the last day tuition can be refunded for the class that begins on August 7, 2023. It is too late to attempt to recruit additional students after July 24, 2023, and we must receive enough tuition payments to cover our annual operating costs by then.
- How can I check instructor credentials?
Go to the "Find a Tracker" tab at the Cybertracker North America website to search the tracker databases for the certification levels of the instructors.