Do you Know How Many Raccoons Inhabit the Rockefeller State Park Preserve

Daniel Farkas, chair of the Westchester IT Department has been working with Dyson College's director of the Master's in Environmental Science program, Melissa Grigione, in an interdisciplinary collaboration applying technology and spatial analysis to the conservation of natural, environmental, and ecological resources. Working with students in the Rockefeller State Park Preserve near the Pleasantville Campus, they have been studying carnivore abundance utilizing randomly placed cameras to capture animal movements.

In the field, images are analyzed to determine the species "captured" by the cameras. With additional parameters such as speed and size of the study zone, it is possible to estimate abundance. Field data and images are stored in a centralized database and a geographic information systems model (GIS) is currently being developed. Drs. Grigione and Farkas are looking to expand the study area to other locations throughout New York State.

This project is supported with funding from Thinkfinity and Scholarly Research grants. Additional funding for expanded research is being sought.