It’s Elementary – Wildlife In Our Backyard

February 14, 2017

It’s Elementary – Wildlife In Our Backyard

To those of us living in Yukon communities, we appreciate the fact that we can often encounter wildlife within minutes from our front door. EDI’s biologists appreciate this more than most as they find themselves up close and personal with many boreal creatures and their habitats. With a penchant to share her experiences, wildlife biologist, Kelsey Russell, set her sights to where they would matter most – her former elementary school. Kelsey joined forces with Golden Horn Elementary School’s Great Outdoors Experiential School (GOES) Program to teach grades 4 & 5 students about one of the methods she uses to observe wildlife in their natural habitat – the use of remote motion-sensing cameras.

Kelsey developed a presentation specifically for the kids of the GOES program, teaching them about wildlife and the important uses of remote cameras. And in January she took the 22 students to the forest, where she grew up, to gather habitat information and deploy remote cameras in hopes to observe wildlife in the area. As an added bonus to the day, the class had an opportunity to encounter a wolf kill site and learn about wolves and caribou that inhabit the region. The students set up two remote camera sites, learned about the different types of information collected, and experienced the outdoors in a way many of them have never done before. Click here to view photos that showcase their day.

Kelsey’s visit to her old elementary school served as an inspiration to the students of GOES. Shortly after her visit, the kids wrote letters thanking her for the experience – testimonials showing their appreciation for sharing the day with her. Here are some samples of those letters...

"Dear Kelsey, thank you for taking us, that was so much fun! I thought I knew a lot about that stuff, but I learned so much I didn't know. Your parents have such a nice property and that wolf kill was amazing. You inspired me to become a wildlife biologist when I grow up". -–Anonymous GOES Student

"Dear Kelsey, thank you for showing us about the cameras. The wolf kill was really cool. Have you seen any other wolf kills? Why did you pick your job? I hope I can work for EDI when I grow up. It would be so much fun". –Anonymous GOES Student