Proposal

Introduction

Proposal ID 2015-037
Submitted January 16, 2015
Owner wirsinga
Department Forest Resources, College of
Category Machinery & Research
Funding Status Fully Funded
Metric Score 4.13

Contacts

Primary
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Aaron Wirsing
  • Associate Professor
  • wirsinga@uw.edu
  • (206) 543-1585
  • Box 352100
Budget
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Wendy Star
  • Administrator
  • wkstar@uw.edu
  • 206-685-2047
  • Box 352100
Dean
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Lisa Graumlich
  • Dean of the College of the Environment
  • envdean@uw.edu
  • 206-221-0908
  • 352100

Descriptions

Abstract

This is a proposal to support the growing computing and field research needs of the Wildlife Science program of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences Wildlife Sciences. We are requesting funding to purchase one general-access lab workstation, two field work stations, and field equipment (especially trail cameras) to support our interdisciplinary research needs both in the lab and in the field. Research in our labs, by both undergraduate and graduate students, depends on high-speed computers with large storage capacity to work with complex datasets and field equipment to aid in collection of such datasets. Thus, the equipment we are requesting is not generally available to students within the university, and the computers that are available are located in restricted-access computing labs. Moreover, since we last requested cameras and computer equipment from STF, our wildlife program has grown and demand for equipment has outstripped supply. Accordingly, proposal funding would provide invaluable support to a growing undergraduate and graduate program serving many students but with limited external funding and facilitate access to equipment and computers for students involved in wildlife science and related fields within our School.

Category Justification

The equipment we seek to purchase is to help support the research of undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Environmental and Forest Resources in the College of the Environment. Furthermore, the requested equipment will be utilized by professors in outdoor instructional settings, for example our Wildlife Research Techniques course (ESRM 351), to help educate students on the use and implementation of research equipment.

Background

The Wildlife Science program in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS) provides its students with hands-on, field training that will allow them to compete for jobs in such fields as wildlife biology, ecological restoration, forest resource management, and climate science. At present, our program is served by only two faculty but is experiencing growing student interest, with enrollment of students in the having risen dramatically in recent years. Thus, there has been a big increase in the number of senior capstone and graduate research projects. Though student enrollment has increased, improvement in program infrastructure to support the growing number of students and their required research has not kept pace. Accordingly, the program would greatly benefit from an increase in equipment available to students to complete capstone research requirements and develop marketable research and conservation skills. Such exposure increases student experience and makes them better suited for jobs and graduate positions.

One type of technology that has become a popular, and extremely effective, research tool for students is the motion-activated trail camera. These cameras can be easily deployed across the landscape to record animal activity, and collect a huge amount of information that can be used to do anything from document presence of rare species to estimating animal populations and tracking movements. I use these cameras for two of my ongoing studies - interactions between wolves and prey in eastern WA and between bears and salmon in southwestern AK - and students use the data collected by these cameras for their undergraduate Capstone and graduate research projects. Moreover, I have had wildlife students use these cameras to conduct studies, for example, of deer occupancy in WA and raccoon activity on campus. However, we do not currently have enough cameras to meet the student demand. Also, each camera requires safety equipment to prevent theft, and students using these cameras also need computer access to process and analyze the photos. Hence, this proposal requests funds to augment our trail camera supply, associated security equipment, and undergraduate computer work stations.

Benefits to Students and the University

Students will benefit from the acquisition of new trail cameras and associated equipment as follows.

1) The cameras will be available for Capstone (senior thesis) research
2) The computers will be available for processing photographic data in the field and for analyzing the photos on campus
3) Graduate students in the wildlife program, and throughout the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences will be able to use the cameras for their thesis and dissertation research
4) Professors in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences will also be able to use the cameras for their field research

The University wil benefit from this equipment as follows.

1) The additional research infrastructure will improve the University's capacity to promote undergraduate and graduate research
2) The photographic data provided by the cameras will serve as an outreach tool that can educate and galvanize the public about UW sponsored research and also aid in student recruitment by publicizing the exciting research projects that can be conducted by UW students.

Departmental Endorsements

To whom it may concern,

It is with great pleasure that I support this STF proposal to increase the availability of computers and wildlife monitoring cameras for our students. I expect that undergraduates and graduate students will greatly benefit from these resources. This equipment will directly increase the ability of undergraduates to conduct meaningful wildlife research, which will be increasingly important to their capstone project requirements. Putting this equipment within reach of our wildlife graduate students will also increase the sophistication of the data they will be able to acquire as well as the analyses they will be able to conduct.

Sincerely,
John Marzluff
Professor, SEFS

Installation Timeline

Items will be purchased immediately upon approval and funding.

Resources Provided by Department

The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences already provides its students with much of the equipment required to conduct field research (e.g., GPS units, receivers, measuring tapes, traps). However, the supply of cameras we can offer simply does not meet student demand. Thus, additional resources provided by STF would greatly augment our program.

The current storage facility is located in Winkenwerder Hall and is maintained by the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. The SEFS IT team will maintain all of the technology and equipment.

Access Restrictions (if any)

None.

Student Endorsements

To whom it may concern,

The Student Technology Fee grant has greatly advanced our graduate research in the School of Environmental and Forestry Sciences (SEFS). The grant provided us with game cameras that we have used to collect data on what animals are using our study areas, as well as security boxes and locks to safeguard the cameras from theft. The cameras have been key in detecting the presence of one of our focal study animals, the gray wolf. They also provide data on the occupancy of different species as varied as snowshoe hare, deer, coyote and cougar. The data collected is also available to undergraduates to analyze for their senior capstone research in SEFS. This experience introduces undergraduates to the use of remote cameras in wildlife research, as well as gives them the opportunity to conduct their own analysis on a subset of the large amount of data the game cameras collect. The game cameras have greatly improved the quality of our graduate experience in SEFS and has allowed us to expand the scope of our research.

Sincerely,
Carolyn Shores and Justin Dellinger
Graduate Students
Predator Ecology Lab
School of Environmental and Forestry Sciences

***

To the University Student Technology Fee Committee:

I am a fourth year concurrent graduate student in the Evans School of Public Affairs and School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

Following the recommendations made by Dr. Trevor Sheffels (Tualatin River NWR) in his 2013 dissertation, I am evaluating nutria (Myocastor coypus) bait and lure preferences in Washington state. It will also be the first formal test on bait and lure attractiveness for nutria in the Pacific Northwest, and the first to evaluate nutria behavior in our region as it impacts other mammals.

Justin Dayton (APHIS/USDA) has identified North Creek Park, an 81-acre site in Mill Creek, as the most active nutria site in the state. I will be installing motion-sensing cameras both at burrow/lodge entrances to confirm activity and along a grid to test for effects of novelty and bait/lure type on nutria interest. As this site is public, ideally each camera will be secured with a lock box and cable lock to prevent theft.
Given that North Creek Park is a large area with scattered nutria and muskrat activity, more cameras will be necessary simply to confirm population scope. No security boxes are currently available.

Having enough cameras is critical for this research, as nutria carry zoonotic pathogens and do not thrive using current radio telemetry, making camera-based research the only functional option. In addition, there is minimal primary research on nutria in the Pacific Northwest, making this research part of the baseline knowledge for future control and study efforts.

Building a repository of research equipment for undergraduate and graduate students within the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is one of the most necessary tools for growing student-based research. Without the ability to rent high quality equipment on campus, students are dependent on grant applications which may have longer cycles than their entire planned time in school. Without this grant I will have to either delay my graduation date by at least a year to pursue sufficient funding, or accept subpar research data. Furthermore, such equipment is regularly used in most wildlife research studies, both in the classroom and in the field. This equipment will be shared to expand our native animal knowledge after my research is finished, and train undergraduates in equipment use without waiting for grants.

Please support the SEFS undergraduate and graduate students with the Student Technology Fee, as we are excited for the opportunity to expand our research on and off campus.

Best regards,

Jessica Tupper
MS student, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
MPA student, Evans School of Public Affairs
Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate student, Foster School of Business

***

Title: Wildlife Ecology Education and Research Using Trail Cameras

I support this grant to fund trail cameras and the lock boxes to safeguard the cameras. I hope to use this technology to study deer foraging behavior in wolf recolonized areas of Washington. The cameras will allow me to learn what type of ungulates (moose, elk, white-tailed deer, and/or mule deer) are visiting my study sites and identify patterns in wolf-present and wolf-absent regions. I plan to invite undergraduates to help review the camera footage to provide an opportunity for them to learn research techniques, collaborate on a research team, and apply skills they learned in the classroom.

Apryle Craig
PhD Student, School of Environment and Forest Sciences
apryle@uw.edu

Items

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
None

Browning strike force trail cameras

$197.99 50 $9,899.50
Description

Strike Force cameras are the smallest in the industry and feature 10MP picture quality, HD video clips with sound, and “Zero Blur” Night IR photos. They are excellent for wildlife research.

Justification

Game cameras are one of the most used research tools by wildlife biologists and environmental and natural resource managers. Studies generally employ dozens of game cameras. Thus, the quantity above will meet the needs of many students at once and last for many years to come.

Moultrie M-880 Security Box

$38.49 100 $3,849.00
Description

18-gauge, all steel construction, laser cut, precision die bent for accuracy. Can be lagbolted, belted, or bungeed. And it's designed with plenty of clearance for large headed lag bolt. Cutouts on the bottom for water draining and external power cable plug. Sold separately: padlock to lock the security box closed and python or cable lock to secure box to tree. http://www.moultriefeeders.com/moultrie-mini-game-camera-security-box

Justification

These will protect cameras from damage due to animals and prevent vandalism or theft by other people.

Python locks

$21.99 100 $2,199.00
Description

These are 6 ft by 5/16 in diameter Python cable locks. We received this quote online from Master Lock.

Justification

The camera boxes we purchased to house and protect some of the game cameras require a lock to keep the camera securely housed and safe within camera box. Without a lock the cameras are still easily accessible by passersby.

Padlocks

$13.75 100 $1,375.00
Description

Masterlock rekeyable padlocks

Justification

Used to lock security boxes.

Powerex MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger

$293.98 5 $1,469.90
Description

Rechargeable AA or AAA battery chargers.

Justification

Charge batteries for trail cameras purchased with last year's STF grant.

Lab computer work station

$1,500.00 1 $1,500.00
Description

Precision workstation. The nature of the scope of this group is both broad and applied to wildlife conservation and ecology in all its aspects. Some students focus on behavioral issues of wildlife, while others study habitat use, interactions with humans, and planning using GIS, statistic packages, and graphic software as main tools. Employing quantitative analysis methods, the students of the Wildlife Science group have become increasingly dependent upon computing resources to accomplish personal research goals.

Justification

Will allow students to conduct analyses on data collected with field research equipment.

Field computer work stations

$2,200.00 2 $4,400.00
Description

Panasonic toughbook plus associated software. The nature of the scope of this group is both broad and applied to wildlife conservation and ecology in all its aspects. Some students focus on behavioral issues of wildlife, while others study habitat use, interactions with humans, and planning using GIS, statistic packages, and graphic software as main tools. Employing quantitative analysis methods, the students of the Wildlife Science group have become increasingly dependent upon computing resources to accomplish personal research goals.

Justification

Will allow students to transfer and analyze data in the field.

Total requested: $24,692.40

Total funded: $24,692.40

Group Funded Item Change in Unit price Change in Quantity Change in Subtotal
None

Browning strike force trail cameras

-$97.99 0 -$4,899.50
Description

Strike Force cameras are the smallest in the industry and feature 10MP picture quality, HD video clips with sound, and “Zero Blur” Night IR photos. They are excellent for wildlife research.

Justification

Game cameras are one of the most used research tools by wildlife biologists and environmental and natural resource managers. Studies generally employ dozens of game cameras. Thus, the quantity above will meet the needs of many students at once and last for many years to come.

Lab computer work station

$0.00 1 $1,500.00
Description

Precision workstation. The nature of the scope of this group is both broad and applied to wildlife conservation and ecology in all its aspects. Some students focus on behavioral issues of wildlife, while others study habitat use, interactions with humans, and planning using GIS, statistic packages, and graphic software as main tools. Employing quantitative analysis methods, the students of the Wildlife Science group have become increasingly dependent upon computing resources to accomplish personal research goals.

Justification

Will allow students to conduct analyses on data collected with field research equipment.

Photogofer License

$3,000.00 1 $3,000.00
Description

The photogofer license is for image processing software that will enable undergraduates to rapidly process data collected by the trail cameras. The software facilitates searching through large numbers of images by “tagging” images with data such as camera and site location as well as additional information such as species, sex, and predation. The software will be uploaded onto all computers used by students in the SEFS wildlife program to search through and analyze photo data.

Justification

Since being awarded this grant, we have discovered that the trail cameras we covet can be purchased for $100 each rather than $197. At the same time, as a group we are collecting terabytes worth of image data from all the cameras that are being used by various student researches, necessitating steps to help with data processing (searching through all the photos). Thus, we would like to use some of the funds freed up by the camera price drop to purchase photo searching and processing software, which will then be available as an aid to all students wishing to use camera data for their research projects (see below).

Supplemental request: -$399.50

Deicision: Funded

Group Funded Item Change in Unit price Change in Quantity Change in Subtotal
None

Powerex MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger

-$120.23 0 -$601.15
Description

Rechargeable AA or AAA battery chargers.

Justification

Charge batteries for trail cameras purchased with last year's STF grant.

Lab computer work station

-$307.24 0 -$614.48
Description

Precision workstation. The nature of the scope of this group is both broad and applied to wildlife conservation and ecology in all its aspects. Some students focus on behavioral issues of wildlife, while others study habitat use, interactions with humans, and planning using GIS, statistic packages, and graphic software as main tools. Employing quantitative analysis methods, the students of the Wildlife Science group have become increasingly dependent upon computing resources to accomplish personal research goals.

Justification

Will allow students to conduct analyses on data collected with field research equipment.

Field computer work stations

$151.41 0 $302.82
Description

Panasonic toughbook plus associated software. The nature of the scope of this group is both broad and applied to wildlife conservation and ecology in all its aspects. Some students focus on behavioral issues of wildlife, while others study habitat use, interactions with humans, and planning using GIS, statistic packages, and graphic software as main tools. Employing quantitative analysis methods, the students of the Wildlife Science group have become increasingly dependent upon computing resources to accomplish personal research goals.

Justification

Will allow students to transfer and analyze data in the field.

Supplemental request: -$912.81

Deicision: Funded

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
None

Browning strike force trail cameras

$100.00 50 $5,000.00
Description

Strike Force cameras are the smallest in the industry and feature 10MP picture quality, HD video clips with sound, and “Zero Blur” Night IR photos. They are excellent for wildlife research.

Justification

Game cameras are one of the most used research tools by wildlife biologists and environmental and natural resource managers. Studies generally employ dozens of game cameras. Thus, the quantity above will meet the needs of many students at once and last for many years to come.

Moultrie M-880 Security Box

$38.49 100 $3,849.00
Description

18-gauge, all steel construction, laser cut, precision die bent for accuracy. Can be lagbolted, belted, or bungeed. And it's designed with plenty of clearance for large headed lag bolt. Cutouts on the bottom for water draining and external power cable plug. Sold separately: padlock to lock the security box closed and python or cable lock to secure box to tree. http://www.moultriefeeders.com/moultrie-mini-game-camera-security-box

Justification

These will protect cameras from damage due to animals and prevent vandalism or theft by other people.

Python locks

$21.99 100 $2,199.00
Description

These are 6 ft by 5/16 in diameter Python cable locks. We received this quote online from Master Lock.

Justification

The camera boxes we purchased to house and protect some of the game cameras require a lock to keep the camera securely housed and safe within camera box. Without a lock the cameras are still easily accessible by passersby.

Padlocks

$13.75 100 $1,375.00
Description

Masterlock rekeyable padlocks

Justification

Used to lock security boxes.

Powerex MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger

$173.75 5 $868.75
Description

Rechargeable AA or AAA battery chargers.

Justification

Charge batteries for trail cameras purchased with last year's STF grant.

Lab computer work station

$1,192.76 2 $2,385.52
Description

Precision workstation. The nature of the scope of this group is both broad and applied to wildlife conservation and ecology in all its aspects. Some students focus on behavioral issues of wildlife, while others study habitat use, interactions with humans, and planning using GIS, statistic packages, and graphic software as main tools. Employing quantitative analysis methods, the students of the Wildlife Science group have become increasingly dependent upon computing resources to accomplish personal research goals.

Justification

Will allow students to conduct analyses on data collected with field research equipment.

Field computer work stations

$2,351.41 2 $4,702.82
Description

Panasonic toughbook plus associated software. The nature of the scope of this group is both broad and applied to wildlife conservation and ecology in all its aspects. Some students focus on behavioral issues of wildlife, while others study habitat use, interactions with humans, and planning using GIS, statistic packages, and graphic software as main tools. Employing quantitative analysis methods, the students of the Wildlife Science group have become increasingly dependent upon computing resources to accomplish personal research goals.

Justification

Will allow students to transfer and analyze data in the field.

Photogofer License

$3,000.00 1 $3,000.00
Description

The photogofer license is for image processing software that will enable undergraduates to rapidly process data collected by the trail cameras. The software facilitates searching through large numbers of images by “tagging” images with data such as camera and site location as well as additional information such as species, sex, and predation. The software will be uploaded onto all computers used by students in the SEFS wildlife program to search through and analyze photo data.

Justification

Since being awarded this grant, we have discovered that the trail cameras we covet can be purchased for $100 each rather than $197. At the same time, as a group we are collecting terabytes worth of image data from all the cameras that are being used by various student researches, necessitating steps to help with data processing (searching through all the photos). Thus, we would like to use some of the funds freed up by the camera price drop to purchase photo searching and processing software, which will then be available as an aid to all students wishing to use camera data for their research projects (see below).

Overall total funded: $23,380.09

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