The Transylvania Times -

Learn About 'Camera Trapping' Wildlife At PARI


October 2, 2017

Courtesy Photo

This black bear was "camera trapped" as part of the Candid Critters project sponsored by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.

The public is invited to learn about "camera trapping" wildlife and the Candid Critters citizen science project during an Evening at PARI program Friday, Oct. 13, on the PARI campus. The evening's activities will include a tour of the PARI site and, weather permitting, celestial observations with PARI telescopes.

This Evening at PARI event will feature a program entitled "Seeing Animals Through the Trees: Spotting Candid Critters in North Carolina and Beyond," presented by Dr. Stephanie Schuttler, postdoctoral research associate at the N.C. Museum of National Scien-ces.

"Camera traps are also known as trail cameras," said Schuttler. "They are remotely activated cameras equipped with a motion sensor that allow us to capture photographs of wildlife with as little human interference as possible.

"During my talk I'll explain how citizen scientists can participate in the Candid Critters project and work in collaboration with researchers at the Smithsonian Institution and the N.C. Museum of Natural Science.

"In addition to sharing photographs from the Candid Critters project, I'll explain how citizen scientists can be trained for camera trapping and learn about the eMammal software system used for camera trapping. I'll also provide recommendations for camera traps and share information about how participants can use our software to look at pictures, identify animals and upload photos to the digital repository for review and archiving at the Smithsonian."

"This program is suitable for all ages and experience levels," said PARI Education Director Christi Whitworth, "so we encourage everyone in the family to attend. Even if you don't plan to actively camera trap wildlife, Dr. Schuttler's talk will provide fascinating examples of wildlife that commonly can be found in North Carolina - perhaps even in your backyard."

This program will begin at 7 p.m. with the presentation, followed by a campus tour and a trip to the Exhibit Gallery. Weather permitting, the evening will also include a trip to the Nature Center where PARI astronomers and volunteers will use PARI's telescopes to showcase planets, stars and more.

Courtesy Photo

Dr. Stephanie Schuttler, shown here with an installed camera trap, will explain the Candid Critters project during a presentation at PARI Friday, Oct. 13, and explain how the public can become involved as citizen scientists. The evening's activities include a tour of the historic former NASA facility, a visit to the PARI meteorite and mineral galleries and, weather permitting, night sky observations with PARI telescopes. Register online at or call (828) 862-5554, for more information and reservations.

The event will take place regardless of the weather so attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Reservations are required and will be accepted until 3 p.m. the day of the event. Evening at PARI programs cost $20 per adult, $15 for students/ seniors/military and $5 for children ages 6-11. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Register and pay online at or call (828) 862-5554. For additional information contact Sarah Chappell at [email protected]

About PARI

The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a public not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization established in 1998. Located in the Pisgah National Forest, the 200-acre campus is the former site of a historic NASA satellite tracking station. Today, PARI is a science education and research center. The site houses radio and optical telescopes, earth science instruments and the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive. Exhibit galleries display NASA Space Shuttle artifacts and collections of rare meteorites and minerals. PARI provides STEM educational programs at all levels, from K-12 through post-graduate research. For more information, about PARI and its programs, visit


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