Traveling half way across the world to track, dart, and obtain samples from African predators was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Having been my second time in Southern Africa, the beauty of the vast savannah did not take me by surprise. On the other hand, being stationed hours away from civilization in a remote field site (and the numerous challenges associated with it), was a brand new experience.
An electronic copy of the magazine can be found here.
Taking full advantage of our diesel generator
The device we used in the field was unique to other extreme sports cameras. As the name implies, the CountourGPS has built in GPS functionality. Using special software included with the camera (Contour Storyteller), we were able to see and track our exact GPS coordinates alongside video playback. This served both to document the locations of our many bait sites, as well as track the distance between the site of darting and the precise site the predator finally succumbed to the effects the powerful sedatives. (See slide 2 in presentation below)
We were also able to use the ContourGPS's bluetooth connectivity feature to sync with our mobile devices, allowing us to adjust audio/video settings and ensure adequate camera placement. (See slide 3 in presentation below)
As property of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, the camera will be used to capture footage during future experiential learning opportunities as well as to create educational videos for teaching veterinary students.