As mentioned a couple of months ago, my high school Biology classes are taking part of a pilot program with the River Otter Ecology Project, completing data surveys through camera trapping and scat collection.
Several initial disappointing camera checks frequently resulted in many captures of newish local resident, the devil bird:
...Or tremendous growth in shore plants that did offer a meditative atmosphere:
Throughout these trap fails, students were still able to build skills in identifying signs of otters, collect scat that is currently being analyzed at SF State, develop a greater understanding of the local ecosystem and from time to time, see them swimming at a a distance.
In April, with some minor camera adjustments after Spring Break, the students finally captured the local otters:
With a month left in the school year, students will close out this first otter school season with two more weeks of data, then compile a best of video. Exciting times!