Proposal

Introduction

Proposal ID 2015-074
Submitted April 21, 2015
Owner corvid
Department Forest Resources, College of
Category Machinery & Research
Funding Status Partially Funded
Metric Score 3.73

Contacts

Primary
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • John Marzluff
  • Professor
  • corvid@u.washington.edu
  • 2066166883
  • 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
  • graumlic@uw.edu
  • 206-221-0908
  • Box 355355

Descriptions

Abstract

This is a proposal to foster enhanced research capacity for students of the Wildlife Science program in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS). We are requesting funding to purchase 20 high quality binoculars, a lens for an existing spotting scope, and one long-range thermal infrared camera to provide students a quality experience while viewing wildlife on field excursions and to enable graduate and undergraduate students to conduct advanced research in wildlife ecology and conservation. Students in SEFS, as well as those from across campus that participate in our study abroad classes, independent research experiences, and field trips will benefit from the enhanced ability this technology will bring them to observe and research shy animals. This proposed funding will enable students to investigate a wide array of previously intractable questions concerning wildlife populations and behaviors. High quality binoculars and spotting scopes bring students closer to the subjects they study, but they are not affordable for individuals or departments to purchase. Yet, students routinely experience an ‘ah-ha’ moment when struggling with their poor quality binoculars take a look through their mentor’s high-end glass. They are amazed at what the animal actually looks like and how it can be viewed under a variety of challenging light conditions. Our goal is to make these special glimpses routine. Thermal infrared cameras are not generally available to students, and as such, this proposal would provide students with unique opportunities for learning and engagement with wildlife research. Funding would serve both undergraduate and graduate Wildlife Science programs and empower students in the School and beyond (Biology majors and those from across campus routinely sign up for our field experiences) to ask and answer novel questions in their field.

Category Justification

This proposal will support undergraduate and graduate student research in the School of Environmental and Forest Resources in the College of the Environment. Students on field excursions in classes will use the binoculars and scopes during the entire quarter they are enrolled in the class. Those conducting and learning research techniques will use the equipment during field trips around western Washington, the San Juan Islands, eastern Washington, and annually during our spring break trip to Yellowstone National Park. Undergraduate students conducting capstone research projects will use the equipment during their field seasons. Graduate students will use the equipment during field research. The thermal imaging camera we propose to purchase will enhance graduate research and expose undergraduates to a novel technology during extended field trips that occur, for example in our Wildlife Research Techniques course (ESRM 351) and Wildlife Conservation in Northwest Ecosystems (ESRM 459).

Background

High quality optics are essential tools used by wildlife scientists. They bring the object of study closer without distortion and with less eye fatigue to the user than do readily available optics of poor quality. They enable shy subjects to be seen when backlit, in the rain, and in dim light. Students, however, rarely get to experience high quality optics because they are expensive. By providing students access to state of the art binoculars and spotting scopes, this proposal will increase the class and research experiences of UW students.
Thermal infrared imaging allows wildlife researchers to survey animal populations and behaviors that would otherwise impossible to observe. The technology allows users to observe warm-bodied wildlife at night and through dense vegetation, which otherwise provides concealment in the visible light spectrum, and increasingly natural resource management agencies are using infrared cameras to survey and monitor wildlife populations that are otherwise difficult to observe. Wildlife applications range from assisting capture of secretive, nocturnal birds and mammals, population surveys and behavioral observations of crepuscular and nocturnal animals, detection of bird and small mammal nests and burrows, monitoring bird and bat migration, investigating how birds and bats react to and interact with industrial wind-energy facilities, and non-invasively detecting disease in wildlife populations. In addition to enabling nighttime observation of undisturbed wildlife behavior, thermal infrared technology can reduce or eliminate "daytime bias" in behavioral studies of wildlife by allowing researchers to and managers to conduct observational surveys at all hours. Fundamentally, this grant would provide students with the opportunity to ask and investigate questions that are presently intractable. As one example, the new scope will be used by both graduate and undergraduate students in the wildlife program to thermally image snow leopards as part of a new study in central Asia (Kyrgyztan). This proposal seeks to open new avenues of research for students and by so doing, enable those students to make meaningful contributions to the field of wildlife ecology and conservation.

Benefits to Students and the University

Benefits to Students:
1. Binoculars and spotting scopes will increase the ability of students to observe and learn the animals encountered during field research and class excursions.
2. Binoculars and spotting scopes will assure all students, regardless of their financial situation, have equal viewing opportunities during field research and class excursions.
3. Thermal infrared technology is increasingly used by state and federal wildlife agencies to monitor and survey wildlife populations. Students will benefit from hands-on applied experience with this state-of-the-art equipment, making students better qualified for competitive professional positions.
4. A high quality thermal infrared camera will enable undergraduate and graduate students to undertake capstone, thesis, and dissertation research into questions that may be otherwise intractable due to the activity patterns of the animals under study.
5. A thermal infrared camera will be potentially useful to students in a wide variety of disciplines, including environmental science and resource management, landscape ecology, and forest ecology.
6. As an example of a student who will directly benefit from this proposal, SEFS PhD student Shannon Kachel is investigating the behavioral and population ecology of imperiled predator-prey communities, including snow leopards and wolves, in the Tien Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. A long-range thermal infrared camera will boost the rigor of his research in multiple ways, by A.) facilitating nighttime observation of prey behavioral response to predators (a cutting-edge and untapped area of research contingent upon the application of this technology), B.) aiding in daylight surveys of prey populations by increasing observational ability to locate animals, which are often hard to detect in visible light at distances greater than 2 miles, and C.) enabling rapid response and reducing animal stress (by reducing harsh spotlighting) during snow leopard and wolf captures, which typically occur at night.

Benefits to the University:
1. The expanded research capacity provided by a thermal infrared camera and high quality binoculars will improve the University's capacity to promote undergraduate and graduate research.
2. Students on field excursions offered by other Schools (e.g., SAFS) and Departments (e.g., Biology) will also have access to the technology we will purchase.
3. The application of this state-of-the-art technology will produce dramatic visualizations that will serve as an outreach tool to educate and inform the public about the quality and importance of the ecology and conservation research conducted in the Wildlife Science program here at UW.
4. A thermal infrared camera will highlight the exciting nature of the research opportunities available to students at the University, and will thus aid in student recruitment.

Departmental Endorsements

The wildlife science faculty (Aaron Wirsing and John Marzluff) are fully supportive of this proposal. This equipment will complement the current spotting scopes and provide new equipment not previously available to our students. The thermal infared camera will be used in current graduate research as well as demonstrated in undergraduate classes. The binoculars and spotting scopes will enhance the undergraduate learning in our existing field classes. This equipment will negate the need for students to purchase optics for our classes, which in the past have not been of adequate quality. By providing optics during field excursions, all of our students will enjoy an enhanced viewing experience, which will allow them to focus completely on learning. The proposed equipment purchase comes with a lifetime warranty and is extremely rugged under all field conditions. As such, our investment will be fully protected.
Assoc. Professor Aaron Wirsing
Professor John Marzluff

I am writing in support of the “Optics for Wildlife” proposal for the supplemental STF 2015 funding cycle. The binoculars, spotting scope, and thermal imaging camera requested by the students in the proposal is cutting-edge technology that our students should have exposure, training and access to. More importantly it will allow the student to collect wildlife information at night that they would not otherwise have access to, through night monitoring of animal behavior. This type of equipment will enhance many of our student projects, including at 15-18 undergraduate/graduate students that travel to Yellowstone every spring to monitor the wolf and elk interaction in the Lamar Valley. There are other possibilities for the usage of this equipment outside of wildlife monitoring and I am sure our inventive students will discover as the equipment is made available to them. Thus, I think this is a worthy investment by STF.
-- Assoc. Professor L. Monika Moskal, PhD

Installation Timeline

The requested equipment will be purchased as soon as funds are available, logged into the SEFS system, and made available to students during summer 2015. It is expected graduate students would use equipment during this field season. Binoculars will be made available to students traveling to Costa Rica on the SEFS Early Autumn Exploration Seminar in August, 2015. Binoculars and spotting scope will available for students conducting research and learning to identify birds in ESRM 452 during Autumn quarter, 2015.

Resources Provided by Department

The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences provides its students with much of the equipment needed to conduct field research (e.g., GPS units, receivers, measuring tapes, traps, remote camera). The School currently provides 1 spotting scope and the additional eyepiece to be purchased here will make a second one functional. Binoculars are not currently provided. A long-range thermal infrared camera supplied by the STF would fill a unique void and accordingly provide unique opportunities.
The current storage facility is located in Winkenwerder Hall and is maintained by the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Binoculars will be checked out to students enrolled in field classes and their use will be monitored by instructors during field excursions. The SEFS IT team will maintain all of the technology and equipment.

Access Restrictions (if any)

None

Student Endorsements

My name is Emmett Lawrence and I am an undergraduate ESRM. Recently, I participated in the Wildlife Conservation in the Northwest class that consisted of a week long trip to Yellowstone and the surrounding area. This trip was focused on locating, observing, and recording the behaviors of a wide variety of animal species inhabiting this region. Unfortunately for me, I do not own a pair of binoculars, so I was forced to borrow a pair from a fellow classmate. While the pair I borrowed were decent, I found myself struggling to spot and observe animals with the consistency and clarity of my peers. When I borrowed John Marzluff's pair, I was blow away by the difference. The clarity and definition is incomparable -- I was lucky to have a pair at all. The value of good binocs for an aspiring wildlife scientist is immeasurable. I can imagine a field trip like this one could potentially influence a student to change the trajectory of their studies, that is how impactful it can be to watch bison, wolves, and pronghorns move across the landscape. This could not happen, however, if the student did not have access to a good pair of binocs.
***********************************
I endorse the purchase of highest quality binoculars for the SEFS wildlife/ ornithology students because good binoculars will improve the quality of field experience they receive and it gives them an early advantage of viewing and understanding wildlife details in the field.
Binoculars are the access to the details in studying birds in the wild, and these quality binoculars enhance this experience. Having the best binoculars will make studying wildlife science in SEFS even more prestigious than other schools.

Good quality binoculars are weather resistant, they have clear visibility even in the rain, thus usable in all conditions of our weather in the Pacific NorthWest. In addition to all the benefits of having a good quality binoculars to use, they have a lifetime warranty which means that upon their purchase, the school will have access to top of the line binoculars forever. And the students will receive the best field experience in their wildlife science and ornithology classes in SEFS forever.

If I had access to a good pair of binoculars earlier in my career, I'd have been a better ornithologist myself! I strongly believe that if SEFS purchases such good binoculars it'll increase the enthusiasm of many students, like me, to go birding more often.:)

Carol Bogezi
PhD student, wildlife science.
**************************************************************
I would like to strongly support the purchase of high-quality optics for the wildlife science group. Binoculars and spotting scopes are the very essential equipment we need to do our research and to train students in the field. As an ornithologist, I was very proud of the first pair of binoculars I could afford: some $100 pair of a reputable brand. They were nice, but my development and ability to identify the birds I was studying was limited. And I didn't know it until I tried a pair of Swarovski EL 10x42! That day I realized that I was missing 80% of the picture with my cheap optics, especially in low-light situations (like working in the forest, or a cloudy day, or at dawn/dusk; all of which are typical conditions working in the PNW!). As I could afford better optics, my learning and identification skills sky-rocketed and I developed the ability to quickly picture very detailed descriptions of the birds. And it's just that those binoculars are so sharp, so light, so rugged and water/weatherproof that they are the best companion in the field. I see how binoculars like these will exponentially improve the learning of students and their ability to conduct research in the field. And most importantly, optics like these will greatly increase the appreciation of students for the natural world. Every time I show a bird to my students with a high-end scope I get the same reaction: awe and admiration. "This looks so great!" and they take that with them for the rest of their lives.

I wish you could help us spread that sense of wonder funding this proposal. It will change the course of our education and certainly, our lives.

Jorge A. Tomasevic
PhD Candidate, Wildlife Science
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
College of the Environment
*****************************************************************************************
Dear STF Committee,
As a graduate student studying raptor biology, I strongly endorse the acquisition of high quality optics like Swarovski EL 10x42 binoculars to be made available to ESRM and graduate students. Data for my master's thesis is being collected via direct observation of raptor nests from a distance of up to 1300 meters away. Clear, magnified images of birds entering and leaving nests are essential for my work, as they allow me to identify individual birds based subtle differences in their plumage. With high quality optics I am also able to identify prey items being delivered to nests. Knowledge gained through these observations will help inform future conservation and management measures for my focal species. Binoculars like the Swarovski EL 10x42 would enable other students conducting similar work to gather reliable data as well.
For students just entering the field of ornithology, these binoculars will be important tools as well. Many species of birds and other animals can be identified in the field after careful visual inspection for key markings and traits. Again, high quality binoculars will provide students a clear image of the animal they are viewing, enabling better education in species identification and more reliable data in field studies.
Regards,
Leif Hansen
****************************************************
I fully endorse the proposal to purchase Swarovski EL 10x42 binoculars and the thermal infrared cameras. As a graduate student, having Swarovski departmental binoculars would give me the rare opportunity to use these exceptional optics in the course of my field work, and I believe incoming and prospective students would see this as a measure of our department's investment in student resources and learning. For undergrads, these optics will provide an unparalleled tool with which to learn the basic skills of birding, something that is critical at this early stage. In some cases, it may even make the difference between students who are inspired by the opportunity to fully see and appreciate far away wildlife, and those that are simply frustrated by cheap, old equipment and choose not to pursue field courses in the future. Since Swarovski are warranted for life, I agree it's a sound investment and one that will not go to waste in the hands of undergraduate and graduate students.
The thermal infrared cameras will be another exceptional addition to our department. Although tools like this will not be used as widely as something like binoculars, having access to sophisticated cameras provides opportunities for students to get more creative with field questions and methods. As the landscape of field ecology and wildlife sciences becomes more technologically advanced, it seems necessary for our department to remain in step with such progress. By providing access to technology like this, students are liberated to explore new questions, and expand the research boundaries of our school.
Sincerely,
Kaeli Swift, graduate student
******************************************************************

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Ghee-hee Yang and I am a senior studying Environmental Science and Resource Management. My major focuses on wildlife conservation and recently, I have been working on my capstone project which involves spotting wildlife in Woodenville, WA.

With this funding and state-of-the-art equipment, the wildlife research opportunities presented to me in SEFS (School of Environmental and Forest Sciences) would be greatly enhanced. Tools such as a thermal scope and better binoculars would heighten my ability to detect hard-to-spot wildlife species regarding my capstone project. I suspect many other students and researchers in SEFS to have similar uses for these tools and I'm certain I will not be the only individual benefitting from such useful equipment.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,
Ghee-hee Yang
University of Washington l 2015
*********************************************

To whom it may concern,
I wanted to talk about how incredibly useful a set of Swarovski El 10x42 binoculars would be for me and the department. I should probably provide some background credentials; I have taken 2 field ornithology courses so far (both of which require a good pair of binoculars), and have also used binoculars extensively in the field.
I started out using a pair of Bushnell Custom Series 8x42 binoculars, which I purchased for an ornithology course as an undergrad. I had spent $80 on my Bushnell, and I thought that meant they were high quality. I was wrong. It was impossible to see much color or identifiable markings under low light conditions (i.e. cloudy days and sunrise), and they would fog up for a couple of days anytime they were used in the rain. Those binoculars added an unnecessary hardship to an already difficult class.
I later upgraded to a Nikon Trailblazer 10x42. These binoculars cost about $250, so they were out of my price range when I was an undergrad. I used this pair to complete another ornithology course as a graduate student, and continue to use them in the field. These binoculars are superior to my old pair, but I still have a hard time using them under bad light conditions (especially when a bird is backlit). I also worry about damaging them, since they have no warranty.
While birding, I had the opportunity to try out a Leica 10x42, a far superior binocular to mine. I was amazed at the detail I could see using it. If I had a pair of ultra-high quality binoculars for my undergrad ornithology course, it would have greatly sped up my identification and comprehension; I would’ve been able to see the details my instructor was telling me to look for! After speaking with several people and checking the ratings online, I’ve determined that the Swarovski El 10x42 binoculars are amongst the best you can get (even better than the Leica). Although pricey, they would provide the students who use them with an exceptional learning advantage that they would not be able to afford otherwise. They even come with a lifetime warranty, so the department would be able to quickly replace damaged pairs for free. I wish I would’ve had this opportunity when I was an undergrad.

Loma Pendergraft
Graduate Student
*****************************************************************
Swarovski EL 10x 42 binoculars would be extremely valuable to our department. For students beginning to learn bird species, high quality binoculars are vital. Students beginning their studies in wildlife typically don’t have the money or necessity to purchase high quality binoculars and end up using a cheap pair for their classes that make observing differences between species near impossible. Having a set that could be used by field classes would greatly enhance field skills learned and preparedness for field jobs.
As a graduate student studying Pileated Woodpecker nesting dynamics, high quality binoculars are a necessity. I need to distinguish between males and females by their facial coloring, site banded birds and be able to examine nest cavities in trees from long distances.

Amber Mount
MS Candidate
**********************************************************************
Dear STF selection Committee,

I strongly support the request to purchase both high quality binoculars and a portable-long range thermal/infrared camera for departmental education and research. As a past co-instructor of ESRM 489: Natural & Cultural History of Costa Rica (2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014) and former Teaching Assistant (2012, & 2013) and current pre-doctoral instructor (2014 & 2015) of ESRM 351:Wildlife Research Techniques, I have seen firsthand what the lack of high quality optics means to undergraduates experience of wildlife in the field.
ESRM 351 is often the first opportunity our UW students have to view wild creatures firsthand in the context of rigorous species identification, survey techniques, and management scenarios. Each spring quarter I informally poll the number of ESRM wildlife concentration students who own binoculars of any kind and the result is typically less than 50%. Of those that do own binoculars, the quality of optics varies from poor to middling (small field of view, not waterproof, not fog proof, poor quality glass that renders images dark and bias in both resolution and color representation). I always encourage students to sequester whatever funds possible towards purchasing quality optics, stressing that they provide an enormous difference in quality of experience, and accuracy in data collection. Unfortunately the cost is often much more than today’s students can afford. This year I specifically reduced the number of required texts in hopes more students could at least purchase binoculars of at least moderate quality.
I am fortunate to have owned the very model of binoculars requested in the STF proposal (Swarovski EL 10x42) for the past 15 years. I purchased these binoculars because my existing pair (Nikon 8x42 Egrets) caused immense eye strain and headaches during my study of burrowing owls in Eastern Montana. I am regularly impressed at the difference in quality when I lend my binoculars to students to view wildlife during labs and field trips; they are SHOCKED at the difference in clarity and color between what they have and my Swarovski’s. These binoculars are exceptionally rugged, but I have twice had the central focus ring damaged due to punishing hiking on tropical beaches and climbing rocky outcroppings in field, both times completely repaired by Swarovski for only the cost of shipping. They are a lifetime investment, giving me a lifetime of unmatched viewing of animal behavior and accuracy in species identification.
While I have not had the opportunity to use an infrared camera, it is the sole piece of equipment I regularly check prices for and dream of owning. While binoculars and spotting scopes provide the window to daytime wildlife watching and recording, the infrared camera is the technologically sophisticated but financially prohibitive tool to unlock wildlife during the night. The majority of mammal species, along with less studied birds such owls, are nocturnal. This life history makes these animals difficult for us to detect let alone watch and record without this powerful piece of equipment. An infrared camera would greatly enhanced viewing and research options for ESRM wildlife students during field trips (bats, owls, canids) and capstone projects, not to mention the potential for graduate research.

Ph.D. Candidate & Pre-doctoral Instructor, Jack DeLap
*********************************************
Dear Student Technology Fee Committee,

As a PhD student in the Wildlife Science program here in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, I enthusiastically support this proposal for high quality optics and thermal imaging technology. This proposal elegantly represents the fusion of modern technology and classical observation that is the field of wildlife ecology and conservation. High quality optics and imaging are the bread-and-butter by which wildlife students collect data to understand wildlife population trends, behavioral patterns, and responses to humanity. This proposal will enable undergraduate and graduate students alike to conduct studies ranging from simple and small-scale, to wide-ranging and complex.

I personally will directly benefit from this proposal, as day and night long-range behavior and population surveys of threatened ibex and Marco Polo sheep are a key component of my doctoral research into the ecology of fear and the conservation of endangered snow leopards and wolves in the high mountains of Central Asia. These surveys will only be possible with high quality binoculars, spotting scopes, and a thermal imaging camera as put forward in this exciting proposal.

Additionally, I have seen firsthand how such technology can enrich student programs, and believe that this proposal will help the students here at UW stay on the leading edge of the science. At my Master's degree alma mater, multiple graduate and undergraduate students incorporated thermal imaging cameras into research projects that included monitoring the effects of wind energy on night-flying birds and bats, capturing and non-invasively observing endangered salt-marsh birds, and monitoring deer populations at risk of Chronic Wasting Disease. Clearly, this technology has widespread application in wildlife science.

To reiterate, I wholeheartedly endorse this proposal, which the STF Committee would be wise to invest in.

Respectfully,
Shannon Kachel
1st Year PhD Student
**************************************************************

Dear STF selection committee,

I support this request for funds to purchase high quality optics and a portable long-range thermal infrared camera. This technology will be a very unique opportunity for students to work with high-end equipment. Because of the range on the camera, we will be able to extend the range of our studies. This is an exciting opportunity to purchase cutting-edge technology that will set the UW and its graduates apart.

Sincerely,
Apryle Craig
PhD Student
School of Environment and Forest Sciences

***************************************************************
Purchasing Swarovski EL 10x42 for use in field classes would greatly enhance the experience of students and allow them to fully appreciate the wildlife they are observing. As a birder, I know that quality binoculars are extremely important and can make or break your experience viewing wildlife. I recently took a field Ornithology class with Professor Marzluff, and I was among the only students with decent pair of binoculars. I have done field work with birds for several years and have been required to purchase my own binoculars to do my job, but most students don't need/have binoculars. A good pair of binoculars can be expensive (often over $300 for a decent pair) and unless you already have a quality pair, purchasing them for a class may be a limiting factor for students. Having binoculars for students to use will make classes more accessible and allow students a better experience interacting with wildlife.

High quality binoculars are a necessity for my research, Swarovski are among the best binoculars available and would greatly improve my field work. My research involves two species of songbird, the Black-capped Vireo and White-eyed Vireo. A large part of my field work involves identifying individuals birds so that I may find their nests and learn about their territories. We are able to individually identify these birds by capturing them and affixing colored plastic rings to their legs. Each birds is given a unique combination of these colored rings and can be identified through binoculars. These birds weigh between 8 and 12 grams (less than a AAA battery) They are secretive and extremely active and without quality binoculars identifying individuals would be almost impossible.

Binoculars are an investment and higher quality lenses can be used for decades. These binoculars would see years of use and enhance the experience of their users, whether on a field trip or doing research in the field.
Michael Heimbuch, MSc Student
***************************************************

To whom it may concern:

I am writing today to show my support for the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences to receive a grant that would allow for the purchase of optics and a portable long-range thermal infrared camera. As an undergraduate student studying wildlife conservation I believe that an infrared camera is a necessary addition to the arsenal of research tools provided for the students of the wildlife sciences. The possibilities of research for both undergraduates as well as graduate students increase immensely with the ability to non-invasively observe certain wildlife species and populations in the dark. I myself have been in two classes that would benefit exponentially from a tool like this. In ESRM 459 (Wildlife Conservation in Northwest Ecosystems) we were taken on night safaris and owling late at night. When doing this we were forced to use a spotlight, which would noticeably disturb the animals, yet was necessary to further our education of nocturnal animals. A portable infrared camera would allow us to study nocturnal animals without the negative effects of shining a spotlight on them. In ESRM 351 (Wildlife Research Techniques) we learn about bat biology as well as practice catching and observing birds and small mammals. The incorporation of an infrared camera in this class would not only give undergraduates like myself experience with a very high tech and popular research implement but also provide unique learning experiences that we would not be able to receive if we were not able to view these animals in the dark.
The thermal capabilities would also come in handy on senior capstone projects by opening up the door to take data on species at night, or species that are very hard to see at far distances in daylight hours. Cougars are great examples of animals that can be challenging to see at any time of the day. With the help of a thermal camera, cougars would become more visible, allowing for more data and increased accuracy of data.
Overall the addition of a portable long range infrared camera, like the one proposed would provide an exponential amount of opportunities for undergraduate students like myself to not only gain experience using advanced technology but would open up a slew of new research questions that would previously be inaccessible without the ability to view species and populations in the night hours.

Sincerely,
Connor Meyer
Junior, Environmental Science and Resource Management
School of Environmental and Forest Resources

Items

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
none

InfraTec VarioView Thermal Infrared Camera

$40,000.00 0 $0.00
Description

The binocular thermal imaging system VarioVIEW combines a high resolution infrared imager with laser range finder, permitting precise detection and distance-measuring during nighttime wildlife operations. The camera is capable of detecting deer-sized animals from more than 3 miles away. The camera is rugged, easily portable (<3 kg), and powered by a rechargeable Lithium ion battery, making it ideal for outdoor use for wildlife research.

Justification

Thermal infrared cameras are increasingly used by wildlife biologists, conservationists, and natural resource managers for an growing array of purposes, from monitoring bird migration, and detecting disease in bat colonies, to censusing game populations across large regions. Given the somewhat specialized applications of this technology, even a single thermal imaging camera will likely meet the research needs and interest of students.

Zeiss DiaScope 30x/40x Eyepiece

$500.00 0 $0.00
Description

This eyepiece fits an existing scope, which SEFS owns. Currently the eyepiece on the SEFS scope is for photography, rather than viewing.

Justification

By purchasing an eyepiece for an existing scope SEFS’s students will have another scope to be used while observing animals during research or during field excursions. This eyepiece extends the utility of an existing piece of equipment making it possible to clearly observe distant wildlife. Scopes are used by graduate and undergraduate students conducting research and daily during ESRM 459, 351 and 452 class trips.

Swarovski EL 10x42 Binoculars

$2,600.00 20 $52,000.00
Description

State-of-the-art binoculars of sufficient magnification to observe small birds and mammals. These binoculars are water and fog proof, with rugged bodies and coatings. They include a lifetime warranty.

Justification

Good binoculars are not affordable for the typical student, yet their use greatly enhances the experience of viewing and studying wild animals. They are essential to field research as well as to field study that is required of our wildlife science graduate and undergraduate students.

Tax, Shipping and Handling

$7,000.00 1 $7,000.00
Description

Expected tax and shipping for all items.

Justification

Shipping is provided on most items. Tax calculated at 7.5%.

Total requested: $99,500.00

Total funded: $59,000.00

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

Zeiss DiaScope 30x/40x Eyepiece

$0.00 1 $500.00
Description

This eyepiece fits an existing scope, which SEFS owns. Currently the eyepiece on the SEFS scope is for photography, rather than viewing.

Justification

By purchasing an eyepiece for an existing scope SEFS’s students will have another scope to be used while observing animals during research or during field excursions. This eyepiece extends the utility of an existing piece of equipment making it possible to clearly observe distant wildlife. Scopes are used by graduate and undergraduate students conducting research and daily during ESRM 459, 351 and 452 class trips.

Swarovski EL 10x42 Binoculars

$0.00 -20 -$52,000.00
Description

State-of-the-art binoculars of sufficient magnification to observe small birds and mammals. These binoculars are water and fog proof, with rugged bodies and coatings. They include a lifetime warranty.

Justification

Good binoculars are not affordable for the typical student, yet their use greatly enhances the experience of viewing and studying wild animals. They are essential to field research as well as to field study that is required of our wildlife science graduate and undergraduate students.

Tax, Shipping and Handling

-$6,500.00 0 -$6,500.00
Description

Expected tax and shipping for all items.

Justification

Shipping is provided on most items. Tax calculated at 7.5%.

None

Swarovski CT 101 Tripod

$879.00 1 $879.00
Description

Carbon tripod with head to fit requested scope.

Justification

Required to support requested scope.

Swarovski ATX 25-60x85mm scope

$4,088.00 1 $4,088.00
Description

Spotting scope with great light gathering ability and durability. Lifetime warranty guarantees it will be available for many future students as well.

Justification

This top of the line spotting scope will be used by students to study distant wildlife. Adding this scope to the wildlife group's equipment will increase our capacity to enable student use by 25% (we currently have 2 scopes and have requested the eyepiece for a third in this supplemental). Together with the requested eyepiece we will have 4 scopes for our students to use during research and distant wildlife viewing.

Supplemental request: -$53,033.00

Deicision: Funded

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
none

InfraTec VarioView Thermal Infrared Camera

$40,000.00 0 $0.00
Description

The binocular thermal imaging system VarioVIEW combines a high resolution infrared imager with laser range finder, permitting precise detection and distance-measuring during nighttime wildlife operations. The camera is capable of detecting deer-sized animals from more than 3 miles away. The camera is rugged, easily portable (<3 kg), and powered by a rechargeable Lithium ion battery, making it ideal for outdoor use for wildlife research.

Justification

Thermal infrared cameras are increasingly used by wildlife biologists, conservationists, and natural resource managers for an growing array of purposes, from monitoring bird migration, and detecting disease in bat colonies, to censusing game populations across large regions. Given the somewhat specialized applications of this technology, even a single thermal imaging camera will likely meet the research needs and interest of students.

Zeiss DiaScope 30x/40x Eyepiece

$500.00 1 $500.00
Description

This eyepiece fits an existing scope, which SEFS owns. Currently the eyepiece on the SEFS scope is for photography, rather than viewing.

Justification

By purchasing an eyepiece for an existing scope SEFS’s students will have another scope to be used while observing animals during research or during field excursions. This eyepiece extends the utility of an existing piece of equipment making it possible to clearly observe distant wildlife. Scopes are used by graduate and undergraduate students conducting research and daily during ESRM 459, 351 and 452 class trips.

Swarovski EL 10x42 Binoculars

$2,600.00 0 $0.00
Description

State-of-the-art binoculars of sufficient magnification to observe small birds and mammals. These binoculars are water and fog proof, with rugged bodies and coatings. They include a lifetime warranty.

Justification

Good binoculars are not affordable for the typical student, yet their use greatly enhances the experience of viewing and studying wild animals. They are essential to field research as well as to field study that is required of our wildlife science graduate and undergraduate students.

Tax, Shipping and Handling

$500.00 1 $500.00
Description

Expected tax and shipping for all items.

Justification

Shipping is provided on most items. Tax calculated at 7.5%.

None

Swarovski CT 101 Tripod

$879.00 1 $879.00
Description

Carbon tripod with head to fit requested scope.

Justification

Required to support requested scope.

Swarovski ATX 25-60x85mm scope

$4,088.00 1 $4,088.00
Description

Spotting scope with great light gathering ability and durability. Lifetime warranty guarantees it will be available for many future students as well.

Justification

This top of the line spotting scope will be used by students to study distant wildlife. Adding this scope to the wildlife group's equipment will increase our capacity to enable student use by 25% (we currently have 2 scopes and have requested the eyepiece for a third in this supplemental). Together with the requested eyepiece we will have 4 scopes for our students to use during research and distant wildlife viewing.

Overall total funded: $5,967.00

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