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Sniffing for Science

So rarely seen, this white-footed vole image is one of the only photographs ever taken of this species.
So rarely seen, this white-footed vole image is one of the only photographs ever taken of this species.

Scientists certainly come in all shapes and sizes, but did you know sometimes they have four paws?! Recently, the League partnered with Tim Beam (Humboldt State University), Scott Osborn (California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife), and Working Dogs for Conservation to track down the elusive white-foot vole with the help of detection dogs among the redwoods.

The white-footed vole is rarely seen in California forests, evading attention and potential protection that may help such a rare species thrive. The white-footed vole study uses detection dogs to figure out where the voles live and to help estimate how many of these tiny critters call the redwood forest home. The more we know about these rare animals, the better able Save the Redwoods and our partners will be to help protect their habitat.

Read more about this story and learn more about other League-sponsored studies in our Research Grants Program.

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About Emily Burns


Emily Burns, the League’s former Director of Science, led the research program that includes the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Integrative Biology on the impacts of fog on coast redwood forest flora from the University of California, Berkeley.

A bright future for California's redwood state parks. Photo by Jon Parmentier

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Students collect data on sword ferns as part of our citizen science program Fern Watch.

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Last week, I participated in the first-ever citizen science conference put on by the Citizen Science Association. This major event attracted over 600 people from 26 different countries! Science buzz was in the air, and the talks covered a range Continued

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