Southwest Wildlife Online Tracking Training

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who should take this class?
  2. Should I take this class instead of some other class?
  3. Is this class easy?
  4. Do I have to live in the southwestern USA to be accepted into the course?
  5. Who qualifies for admission?
  6. How does this class differ from other tracking classes?
  7. How good will I be at track & sign identification after taking this class?
  8. Will I get a certificate if I take this class?
  9. What is the cost for the course of classes?
  10. How do I apply for admission?

  1. Who should take this class?

    This course is designed for beginning and intermediate trackers.

  2. Should I take this class instead of some other class?

    Not necessarily. In-person classes offered by top-notch tracking schools provide a superior 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 atNatureTracking.

  3. Is this class easy?

    It varies. Experienced biologists or trackers who have good computer literacy and are comfortable writing short essays sometimes complete an exercise in as little as 15 minutes. It is harder for beginners and may require 2-3 hours of preparation and work to complete each weekly exercise. Persons with little computer expertise tend not to do well. Most of our questions are based on photographs of partial and obscure tracks.

  4. Do I have to live in the southwestern USA to be accepted into the course?

    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 that we use to track & sign identification is applicable to species from any region. Our students have come from as far away as Mexico, Canada, and Europe.

  5. Who qualifies for admission?

    We have found that people who are involved in wildlife conservation make the most serious and dedicated students. The requirement for admission is past or current involvement in wildlife conservation or an explanation of how the applicant will apply track & sign identification to wildlife conservation. Examples of such involvement include but are not limited to the following:

    1. biological research
    2. wildlife monitoring
    3. public outreach
    4. education
    5. habitat restoration or cleanup
    6. contributing observations or identifications to iNaturalist
    7. assisting with administration in a conservation organization
  6. 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 c ome to a conclusion in track & sign identification. It is highly analytical.

  7. How good will I be at track & sign identification after taking this class?

    That can't be predicted. Students who complete the course will have acquired skill in using multi-factor reasoning in track & sign identification. However, it is essential that students supplement their learning with time in the field. Students who have the strongest interest and who consistently take the initiative to go tracking in the field become the best trackers. This is true whether or not they take our course. Our course simply seems to accelerate a particular learning phase for such individuals.

  8. 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. These students are also entitled to observe (i.e., no interaction) future offerings of the course.

  9. What is the cost for the course of classes?

    $40.
    The time and effort that the director and instructors expend on SWOTT is voluntary. They receive no financial remuneration for their participation. SWOTT has recurring costs for server rental, domain name licensing, and instructor PC maintenance. We believe that we can cover these costs if each student contributes $40 for the course of seven classes. This estimate is based on a projection of admitting an average of fifteen students per year.

  10. How do I apply for admission?

    Send and inquiry via thecontact page.Include a description of your experience or intentions related to wildlife conservation.