Graduate Students

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Kori Kirkpatrick

Kori Kirkpatrick
  Dr. Clayton Nielsen

Research Interest

Visual sightings are often used in wildlife identification. But for ambiguous species, such as the cougar, these sightings may or may not be accurate. For the past two years, the Cougar Network as run a twitter game under the hashtag #cougarornot which quizzes participants on wildlife photos. Participants are asked to identify if a photo is indeed a cougar, then are presented with an answer. My research seeks primarily to analyze how accurately participants are able to identify the photos. This information can be used to estimate if cougar sightings are valuable to conservation research. Secondly, my research seeks to ask what factors of the photos, such as quality and color, and the participants, such as age, sex, and location, affect accurate identifications. Finally, my research will ask if expanding education efforts on social media platforms offers a valuable outlet for education the public on cougars and other species.