S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources
Margaret Hallerud uses camera-traps to study local wildlife, with a particular focus on cougars. She is a third-year wildlife science major in the Quinney College of Natural Resources and has been working on this project since fall 2015. Starting her camera-trap research after a professor’s suggestion, she has independently developed and funded the project and has offered opportunities for other students to become involved. Project support has come from USU Honors, QCNR, and the RGS URCO. During the summer of 2016, Margaret worked as an intern for a long-term carnivore survey project in the Sierra Nevada and gained extensive experience with camera-traps and track identification. While there, she also volunteered on a local cougar project run by a USU Master’s student. Since fall 2015, Margaret has also been serving on the executive board of USU’s chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS). In October 2016, she traveled with other members of the board to Raleigh, NC to attend the TWS national conference and present a research-in-progress poster there. Learning from all these experiences, Margaret has expanded her project scope. In addition to conducting fieldwork, Margaret has completed analyses of more than 10,000 photos, analyses of cougar hunting data, and an extensive literature review. To learn more about her research, watch for Ms. Hallerud’s Ignite presentation in April 2017.