Some 30 miles north in wooded areas, motion-activated 

trail cameras set out by biology major Caleb Durbin and Assistant Professor of Biology Christine Brodsky were capturing images of mammals.  

By the end of the semester, they had photographic evidence of bobcats, deer, raccoons, gray and fox squirrels, opossums, eastern cottontail rabbits, mice, armadillos, coyotes, groundhogs, and a bobcat. And by the end of the semester, those photos were on their way to becoming part of the Smithsonian Institution’s national wildlife database.  

Durbin collaborated with seven other undergraduate students as part of a nationwide project, #SnapshotUSA, to analyze the diversity of mammals in all 50 states and the impact of humans on them. 

Durbin said he’s honored to have been chosen for the project. 

“It’s mind blowing,” he said. “I’m thankful, really thankful, to have a professor who keeps me engaged — she’s one of the greatest professors I’ve ever had. It’s really crazy to think my name will be in a paper in the Smithsonian.” 

Durbin and his classmates will present results at a research colloquium in April, and the results will be uploaded to Digital Commons. The public will be able to access it there and via eMammal, a database for camera trap projects.