In February 2012 I traveled to Montana to tag along with Gregg Treinish, biologist Steve Gehman and a group of volunteer outdoors folks as they spent a weekend learning to track and collect samples from one of the tougher animals to study out there, the wolverine.
Treinish's group Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation has been hooking up climbers, trekkers, trans-ocean rowers and other endurance folk with scientists who have asked athletes to look for plant life, whales and ice worms. I wrote about the pros and cons of citizen science of this sort in an accompanying article for the National Section.
Covering the tracking, which often meant hauling up a steep incline or tangling through brush, was no easy task. I'd brought far too much gear (including a small, but heavy tripod) and it was the first time I'd ever snow-shoed. I fell on my camera a few times and was constantly cleaning snow off the lens but I caught the best moments, in my mind anyhow- - finding the scat and Treinish leading his volunteers in a harp-fueled session of the "Wolverine Blues."