9-month Weekend Immersion
Rangers Guild: Wildlife Tracking
Bay Area, CA
9-month Immersion Take 1-weekend a month for 9 months to immerse yourself in the core study of Wildlife Tracking. Under the guidance of the most innovative tracking trainers in the field, you thoroughly develop your own skill, knowledge and experience in the art and science of tracking.
The Art and Science of Tracking
This immersive course fully covers all aspects of the art and science of wildlife tracking. Students spend over 9-months delving into the skills of interpretation, trailing and ecological analysis. You learn how to identify individual tracks and sign, extrapolate behavior from the track patterns, key aging methodology applicable in all substrates, deep ecological relationships and most importantly, the ability to trail and follow the animal you are tracking. Graduates of this course develop a set of critical tools rarely found in any wildlife sciences or tracking training program.
In Depth Ecological Awareness
This course is more than simply following footprints in sand or learning baseline naturalist skills. We focus each of our tracking immersion weekends through the lens of a different species of mammal. We start by working with the life of deer, moving to the complex social structures of coyotes. We explore the diversity of wetland animals and pair the fascinating life history of prey species with the large carnivores that hunt them. The program is applicable for both the beginner and advanced student as it includes information not found in many other tracker training courses. Our instructors don't simply give students questions, they engage them in meaningful conversation, tailoring individual discourse to the highest level of a student's ability, thus pushing the learning edge of the entire team.
Independent Study and ResearchYou are given independent study homework in assessing sign from nearly every major mammals species in your area, collaborating with the program instructors to give greater context to what you are learning. All this becomes a starting point an individual research based on your own real world studies, it could include anything from locating wide ranging carnivores to analyzing forage preferences through the year by just a quick glance.
Independent Study and Research
You are given independent study homework for skills projects outside of program weekends. The amount of work is flexible and tailored to a student's available time. This optimizes what you can be learning during actual course days with our instructors.
Immersion That Fits Your Life
Our Guild Immersion Programs integrates well into both your working and social life. Each weekend begins Friday evening and ends the Sunday afternoon. Most weekends take place within a two hour drive from the SFO Airport (an international terminal). Each weekend occurs monthly, so there is time for students to self-utilize and refine experience in the skills we teach. Dates are as follows….
September 9-11, 2011
October 7-9, 2011
November 11-13, 2011
January 13-15, 2012
February 10-12, 2012
March 9-11, 2012
April 13-15, 2012
May 11-13, 2012
June 1-3, 2012
Register for Wildlife Tracking Immersion
|Add to cart||
Full Payment $2,550 Payment plans available, Contact Us
9 monthly weekends September 2011 to June 2012 Friday Evening to Sunday Overnights
In various key ecological areas in Northern California
Tuition and Class Size
Tuition Tuition includes meals and camping for program weekends. Plus, course reader materials. Our payment options include...
Pay in Full $2,550 by credit or debit card. Use Add to Cart above.
9-month Payment Plan 3 payments of $950 every 3 months. Please Contact Us
Scholarships or Our Outdoor & Environmental Educator Training Program We have scholarship or Our Outdoor & Environmental Educator Training Program awards available of up to 10%-50% or tuition. Due to limited funds of awards we recommend you apply early to increase your chances of acceptance. Submit a scholarship or Our Outdoor & Environmental Educator Training Program application
Wildlife Tracking Weekend Immersion includes...
• Tracking in varied and difficult substrates and soils
• Track Geography (often referred to as pressure releases and gait analysis)
• Interpret behavior from trail movement
• Track identification. Extrapolating presence and absence as a rudimentary exercise
• Extrapolating presence and absence through other relational pressures
• Focus on individual species and habitats: deer, bear, coyote, mice, rabbits, bobcat, raccoon, beaver, nutria, muskrat, otter, red fox and more
• Trapping of invasive wetland species (nutria). Students can option out of this exercise
• Following a track and trail to the animal that made it
• Tactical human tracking and trailing
• Intensive ecological mapping and extrapolation
• Prime Projection as a tracking tool: learn intensive journaling techniques, then learn to work faster without them
• The ability to teach yourself and personally develop new tracking skills and capabilities
• Functional knowledge of wildlife science applications for tracking
• The capacity to teach and help develop more trackers
• A fundamentally deeper awareness of the world around you
Us vs Them
Conventional tracking training often yields students who only focus on what they have been told from their instructors and teachers. This is not a full and complete tracker. It is someone who has learned about footprints and field guides. The Rangers Guild Wildlife Tracking Immersion differs from other tracking courses by our focus on "hyper-adaptive" learning. We believe a tracker's senses and awareness must be cultivated from agile creativity, direct experience with what is wild and bedrock common sense. While other programs focus mostly on tracking in easy-to-see soils, we take you far beyond sand and mud, teaching practical skills for a world filled with many different environments.
Other schools' tracking classesOther Schools are primarily focused on identifying tracks in sand. Many programs have your work with a specific philosophy of tracking. When asked to go beyond their scope, students are often unable to develop new skills because the highly structured concepts or formulas they have been trained to work with. They are unable to adapt to the different landscapes that arise in the dynamic life of a tracker.
Rangers Guild Tracking ImmersionOur Course immediately takes you beyond sand and mud. We give you the tools to trail and track through the entire landscape. This includes but are not limited to forest, field and multiple substrates. To us, tracking is about an individual's relationship with the wilderness and personal creative process. We help cultivate this relationship for your own future studies. We need you to develop your own relationship with this ancient art.
More Wildlife Tracking Programs
Guild Immersion Programs are designed to be an immersive experience in a core Guild study. They are 1-weekend a month for 9-months. Check out our other core programs for more in-depth work...
$25 Taster Wildlife Tracking 3-hour introduction
Fundamentals Wildlife Tracking 2-days learning the foundations
Field Intensive Wildlife Tracking 4-day overnight expedition
Weekend Immersion Wildlife Tracking, 1-weekend at month for 9-months of immersive study
More from the Rangers Guild
This is one of 3-core study tracks of the Rangers Guild curriculum. Other tracks include...
Long Term Immersion
The Way of the Rangers 3-weekends per month Combine all the Rangers immersion programs to create full 3-weekend per month program.
Trackers Village: Residential Wilderness Living Program 7-days a week Live in a primitive and traditional village for one 1-year.
Program staff for our core studies programs bring with them years of study and real world experience in the skills they teach. They are some of the best and the most innovative leaders in their field. We encourage you to personally connect with each one in the process of choosing to join our program.
David Jacobson, Core Instructor
David has held a passion for the art and science of tracking all his life. He has put in countless hours of study towards every aspect of tracking. Along with a degree in botanical studies as they relate to wildlife habitat, his own immersive "dirt time" includes track geography (often referred to as pressure releases and gait analysis), intensive substrate analysis for aging and structure, tactical tracking and search and rescue, wetland ecology, stealth and camouflage, sustenance hunting and perfecting the art of trailing.
One critical aspect of David's educational philosophy is his attentiveness to safety of students and the requirement that every lesson needs to functional. "I will never ask a student to do something that does not have a real purpose. We learn about tracking to actually find the animal, not simply as an academic study".
David sees every aspect of wilderness skills as being relevant to the whole. "While we teach a tracking class," he says, "We also delve into the reality of survival skills. Our own understanding of how we live in the wild, foraging for food, sustaining our livelihood, is what truly tells us about the lives of the animals we are learning to both track and trail."
Tony Deis, Core Instructor
Tony Deis, Core Instructor
Tony has lived and studied skills and concepts of sustainability his entire life. Even as a teenager he cultivated a 3/4 acre market garden based on principles of permaculture design and the study of ecology through tracking. The extensive Italian family Tony grew up with was one of the greatest influences on his core philosophy of the value of community and family.
His focus at the Evergreen State College was how humans connect to the land around them through participatory experiences. This, coupled with decades of work and cutting edge development as a contractor and consultant in the field of environmental education, lead him to found TrackersNW and the Trackers Family of programs. Based on his work, research and experience in survival, bushcraft, traditional skills and tracking, Tony also taught extensively for the graduate sustainability program at Portland State University, including founding their Naturalist Training Program.
Tony has facilitated wildlife tracking, outdoor entrepreneurial and adventure education workshops for the Forest Service, Audubon Society of Portland, countless parks and interpretation agencies, universities, colleges and much more. Currently, he is a lead Tracking facilitator for the TrackersTEAMS Immersion Program. Tony is also authoring a definitive guide and workbook on tracking and naturalist training.
Shaun Deller, Core Instructor
Shaun was born and raised in Pennsylvania where he spent his youth playing in the fields and forests that surrounded his small neighborhood. There he roamed free and wild, getting dirty, building forts in the woods, climbing trees, catching salamanders, and fishing for bass. Shaun attended the Maryland Institute College of Art where he studied painting, drawing, sculpture and fiber arts. In addition, he spent a semester in Aix-en-Provence, France refining his skills with a small group of artists.
Being a self-employed entrepreneur afforded him time to perfect his skills in ultra-light backpacking, bicycle touring and wilderness survival. Not only has he backpacked and cycled through much of the US and Oregon's varied terrain, self-training primitive and bushcraft skills, but he has done it with gear that he made with his sewing skills. His personal backpack, tent, sleeping bag, camp stove, water filter and clothing are all made from scratch with personally tanned hides, furs and recycled fabrics. Shaun has started many successful businesses including Deller Designs, which offers unique hats for cyclists from recycled wool and cotton garments.
Shaun teaches workshops with TrackersNW in the study of bushcraft skills such as: wild edible and medicinal plants, hide tanning, shelter building, felting, dyeing, basketry, navigation, tracking and backcountry travel. He also spends his days working an urban trapping line in Portland, OR, removing invasive species such as nutria and serving them to guests of wild food potlucks of which he is host. His experience as an artist, small business owner and adventurer has made Shaun a key component of the TrackersNW experience. Shaun has a blog that tells the story of his hat business and work with TrackersNW.