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 each class?
  10. How do I apply for admission?
  11. When does the next class begin?
  12. Under what conditions can tuition be refunded?
  13. How can I check the instructor credentials?

  1. 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.

  2. 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 have yet to have the opportunity to attend such classes. We suggest interested persons look at the list of tracking schools at NatureTracking.

  3. Is this class easy?

    No. Most of our questions are based on photographs of partial and obscure tracks and require short essay answers. The weekly workload is about what you would expect for a 3-unit college class.

  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 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.

  5. Who qualifies for admission?

    We give precedence to applicants 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.

  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 come 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?

    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 accelerates a particular learning phase for such individuals. At the time of this writing, all alumni who have participated in Cybertracker evaluations have been certified by Cybertracker in Track & Sign.

  8. Will I get a certificate if I take this class?

    Students who follow instructions, answer all exercise questions, and respond to all follow-up questions receive a completion certificate. Southwest Wildlife Online Tracking Training hosts Cybertracker evaluations on a regular basis. At the time of this writing, all alumni who have participated in Cybertracker evaluations have received a Track & Sign certificate from Cybertracker.

  9. What is the cost of the class?

    The tuition cost for the course that begins on July 29, 2024 is $100. Tuition is used to cover operating costs first. Remaining excess funds are applied to the cost of hosting Cybertracker evaluations and tracking workshops. This reduces the cost of becoming certified by Cybertracker to our students. Instructors donate their all of their time and expertise without financial compensation.

    Southwest Wildlife Online Tracking Training will cover the cost of tuition for any deserving student for whom it would be burdensome.

  10. How do I apply for admission?

    The application period for the class that begins on 7/29/2024 is 8/1/2023-6/3/2024. Apply by email to
    email address

    Please include the following information:

    • Your name
    • Email address
    • A description of your experience and intentions related to tracking and wildlife conservation.

    Class placement is contingent on SWOTT's accptance of your application and by first-come, first-served receipt of tuition payment.

  11. When does the next class begin?

    July 29, 2024.

  12. Under what conditions can tuition be refunded?

    June 3, 2024, is the last day tuition can be refunded for the class that begins on July 29, 2024. It is too late to recruit additional students after that date.

  13. How can I check instructor credentials?

    Go to the "Find a Tracker" tab on the Cybertracker North America website to search the tracker databases to verify the certification levels of the instructors.


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