Introductions are in order

Let me introduce myself. I am John Van Niel, Professor of Environmental Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College. At the moment, this Project is a one-man show :). But from these humble beginnings, I expect great things. 

I guess this isn't really the beginning. Sure, it is the beginning of this particular Project but this journey can be traced back to 2010, when I first became involved in the NSF-funded project that has become the Community College Undergraduate Research Inniative (CCURI). Through that project I have received training in camera trapping techniques as well as experience in how to use reseach as a teaching tool. I have been able to pass along my knowledge to instructors at other community colleges who now host their own research projects. 

I pounced upon camera traps as near-perfect tools for undergraduate research. They are easy enough to use and produce compelling data. I use them in my personal and professional lives. Professionally, camera traps are a way to engage students in research in order to meet course objectives, help them learn to identify wildlife and get them to think creatively. Rarely do I engage in reseach simply for the sake of research. Usually, the goal is to use the reseach as a teaching tool. 

Thanks for stopping by. Contact me with any questions at