Field School For Aspiring Teen Scientists

What is Tracy Aviary Field School?

Tracy Aviary Field School is a hands-on summer camp for pre-teens and teens going into 7th-9th grade. Campers get an up-close look at science work in the field–meeting local scientists, using real tools, and taking field trips around the Salt Lake Valley. We're going to show you highlights from last year and how to join us for new adventures this summer!

Monday and Tuesday: Campers discovered the important tools and skills needed for field work. Each camper received a field journal to keep detailed notes during the week. They also practiced using compasses, GPS receivers, and radio telemetry! Campers learned about exciting examples of research happening here in Salt Lake City and around the worl. We used our own ethograms to record bird behavior at the Aviary and explored data from PeliTrack to understand pelican behavior across the continent!

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Wednesday: Campers headed into the field! We spent the morning on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, collecting and identifying insects. Back at the Aviary, we learned how to identify plants with our Horticulturist, discovering some edible plants here on grounds.

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Thursday: Campers headed up nearby Red Butte Canyon to help with ongoing bird research. We met a Conservation Biologist from the University of Utah who explained the bird banding project to our campers and showed us how to check mist nets, take measurements, band, and properly release the birds we caught.

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Friday: We finished the week with a whole day of bird watching and a chance to practice our new skills! In the morning we went birding at the Great Salt Lake, then campers met Tracy Aviary’s Director of Conservation at Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The campers participated in a hummingbird survey, looking and listening for broad-tailed hummingbirds. Their data contributed to the Project Broadtail citizen science project!

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If you know a 7th-9th grader interested in birds, science, or conservation, claim your spot in Field School today! You can register and find more information below.

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-Marina Astin, Education Manager