Here’s another short piece from the CBC on Tony Clevenger’s project in British Columbia. They are looking for volunteers to bait camera-and-hair-snare stations. This involves carrying beaver carcasses in to the stations, so it’s not for the squeamish (beaver, according to everyone who deals with wolverines, is the favorite snack food of gulos everywhere.)
Aside from the fact that the project is offering a chance to work on a wolverine research project in a spectacular location, the best part of this article is the comments section. I was struck both by the politeness of Canadian commenters, and the astonishment with which they seemed to greet both the general premise of the piece – many of them thought the entire idea was a joke – and the notion that anyone would volunteer to trek around the wilderness carrying a beaver carcass, without a salary. I fully agree that the environmental field is underfunded and it isn’t fair to assume that we can continue to run research projects on volunteer energy, but in the US enthusiastic amateur scientists seem to be crawling out of the woodwork with time and resources to spare. For those who want to participate but don’t have the academic background or full-time commitment to work on a project in a more in-depth fashion, volunteering offers both the chance for participation, and a focus for being out in the wild.
Of course, I have a selfish motivation for painting things in this light – but more on that in a bit.