San Diego Specialist Cert 11/12/2017
Marcus Reynerson and Bob Ollerton hosted a Track and Sign Specialist Certification in the deserts east of San Diego, California on November 11-12, 2017. Participants at Specialist Certifications have to answer 57 very complex questions over an arduous 2 days. Two evaluators (1 standard and 1 external) are present at Specialist Certifications to ensure reliability and consistency. Casey McFarland served as external evaluator.
We saw the tracks of 29 species, including 13 mammals, 6 birds, 2 herps, and 7 invertebrates. We spent the first day Scissor Crossing and at Warriner Spring. We saw a beautiful set of mountain lion tracks, as well as antelope squirrel tracks, leafcutter bee sign, and some cool dried algal mats in the riverbed.
On day 2 we saw lots of kangaroo rat, coyote, bobcat, and deer sign along a dusty road. In the afternoon we explored animal sign on a cactus covered hillside. We found woodrat feeding sign on prickly pear, mouse feeding on cactus seeds, and desert encrusting termite sign.
Congratulations to all who attended. We had an extremely talented group of trackers. A big congratulation to Marcus achieving his Desert Specialist Certificate. He has worked very hard toward this goal and should be very proud of his accomplishment.
I want to thank Jerry Maserjian and Abe Kempthorne for assisting. I also want to recognize Kim Cabrera and Jill Cooper who came incredibly close. They are both fantastic trackers and I look forward to seeing them earn their Specialist soon.