Kayhan Ostovar, Associate Professor, Biology & Environmental Science, 406.657.1175,
RMC media team, 406.657.1105 

Photos: YRRC surveillance cameras captured (top) image of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) near Red Lodge Creek Trail and (bottom) image of an American marten (Marten americanus) near Timberline Lake

Yellowstone River Research Center hosts workshop June 5-6 for citizen scientistsYRRC

BILLINGS, June 2, 2015 – The Yellowstone River Research Center at Rocky Mountain College will host a weekend workshop, beginning on June 5, 2015, at 6:00 p.m., in the Bair Science building on RMC’s campus. The workshop is designed to educate participants from all backgrounds on how to be citizen scientists, using non-invasive survey techniques to detect carnivore species in a field setting.

This presentation and workshop will summarize general procedures and findings, and also teach participants about techniques designed to survey various carnivore species. The evening workshop will last about 1.5 hours, and will include some hands-on instruction in camera placement and techniques. Attendance of this workshop will allow members of the public to become citizen scientists and join the field-training day, which will be held on June 6, 2015.

On Saturday morning, June 6, participants are invited to meet researchers at the Bair Science Center to depart for Red Lodge, Mont. Near Red Lodge, the group will access Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness land, and check and reset two field cameras. More details will be provided at the presentation on Friday evening.

Participants must preregister. For more information or to register, please email or You can also follow them on Facebook at


Future summer workshops will take place at the beginning of each month:

  • July 10 and 11, 2015
  • July 31 and August 1, 2015.

History and Background:  
Carnivores are important members of trophic communities in mountainous ecosystems, such as the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness (ABW). Limited knowledge exists about carnivore presence and distribution in mountainous regions like the ABW due to limited access. Citizen scientists can play an important role in the detection and monitoring of common and elusive carnivores.  

Last season this project recorded 19 species in the ABW study area. In addition, citizen scientists helped document some very elusive species, such as wolverine and lynx. The primary objectives of this continued study are to contribute to knowledge of mountainous carnivore species in the ABW. This requires the efforts of students from the Yellowstone River Research Center at Rocky Mountain College and public participation as citizen scientists. Data generated from this project will be shared with managers from the forest service and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. If you have a sighting, please contact us with as much information as possible.