Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
March 20, 2009
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Invaded By Youth
On Friday, March 6, any visitor at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge would have had a difficult time escaping the sound of excited schoolchildren. Four unique groups from Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies set out on missions as part of their year-round program at the refuge.
While one group went to the beach to gather and test samples of the seawater, another group conducted studies on the various plants on North Pond Trail. These two groups have visited the refuge numerous times to get hands-on experiences using scientific equipment and field guides.
A third group set out to retrieve the memory cards from the motion-detecting cameras they had placed along the exterior of the North Pond Trail. This group was so anxious to get to the camera sites that they had to be reminded about the proper etiquette to use at the refuge. After quieting down and regrouping, they continued on their trek. It wasn’t long before they reappeared with the memory cards in hand hoping to find shots of deer and other mammals. The photos are being used to assist them in their survey of mammals on the refuge.
The fourth group was on their first-time visit to the refuge. These younger, Junior Naturalists embarked on a photo scavenger hunt looking for items such as animal tracks, various plants, and the infamous, animal scat. Each team of photographers had a chance to use the refuge-supplied cameras and explore North Pond Wildlife Trail.
Fortunately, all groups had a chance to interact with refuge staff and each other, which created a fantastic learning experience for everyone. The group and refuge staff look forward to the upcoming project of preparing waterfowl wings obtained from an annual U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wing Bee. After the wings are ready for mounting, students at the school will be constructing a Wing Board for future use with other groups at the refuge.
Anyone interested in learning more about the educational programs available at Pea Island and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuges may contact Cindy Heffley at 252-987-1118.
Photo Credits: USFWS-Cindy Heffley
Cape Hatteras Secondary School Junior Naturalists observing turtles at North Pond Trail.
Cape Hatteras Secondary School “Mammal” group