Taking Action Opportunities (TAO)
Welcome to Taking Action Opportunities (TAO)
Using trail cameras in schoolyards and protected areas to connect students to issues of habitat loss and landscape fragmentation
Remote cameras are used globally to conduct wildlife research. Now Minnesota students are getting an opportunity to learn how to do remote camera research in their own schoolyards. Students use cameras to monitor the mammals living in their schoolyard. They compare their data with previously monitored protected areas and research sites in Minnesota. Students use their analyses to explore the ways people change the landscape and how these changes affect the species that live in and around our neighborhoods and communities. Students use the analyses they conduct to build their knowledge base about habitat loss and landscape fragmentation and propose ways to improve their schoolyard for local wildlife, including planting native trees, fruiting shrubs, and prairie plants; organizing a schoolyard clean-up; meeting with school and community leaders; and many more.
*Special thanks to organizations that provided funding or donated resources to help with development of the TAO curriculum including: Wilkie Research Grant, Conservation Biology Program at University of Minnesota, Stillwater Area Schools, Gander Mountain, The Bell Museum of Natural History, and MN Trappers Association.