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Teaching (and Learning) More About Marmots: RMBL's marmot project is currently in its 50th year. Because of our long track record and and because marmots are such fascinating animals, Team Marmot has many lessons to pass onto the next generation of scientists. Each year, team marmot shares its passion for understanding ecology with young and aspiring naturalists at RMBL's Kids Nature Camp.
They first demonstrated the techniques used to observe and live-trap marmots. Then, Jenn and Nicole explained how they perform manipulative experiments to understand how marmots cope with their social worlds and natural threats. For example, students learned how researchers assess whether or not marmots are capable of distinguishing among the different cues of predators.
One highlight from this training exercise occurred when students were asked to distinguish among the predators producing various vocalizations and scents (see above). Students were amazingly astute at distinguishing between coyote and deer urine. After marmot week at RMBL, these inquisitive students are now armed with new knowledge of and enthusiasm for understanding the natural world.