cyberTracker Certification , October 7th-9th




All nature enthusiast are welcome, ages 18 and up!  Whether you’re just getting into the world of tracking or are a well seasoned tracker looking to up their game, this program is for you.  Everyone will gain in-depth, hands on, direct experience learning to read the language of nature.  Track and sign identification and trailing is a lifelong skill through which to discover so much about this amazing world we live in, regardless of experience or livelihood. 


We’ll be in and around the Traverse City area of Northern Michigan, in  Anishinaabe Homelands.  Exact locations will be announced to participants a few days prior to our training and certification days, as weather and animal behavior are taken into account in selecting the optimal learning sites.
 This course hosted by CyberTracker of North America’s evaluator, Matt Nelson.  These courses and certifications are the National and International standard in tracking.   With a focus on deepening our understanding of wild animals, plants and places, through focused outdoor, experiential workshops, learning directly from the wildlife and landscapes themselves. 


oct 7th: workshop day, 9am-3pm

oct 8th: Eval day, 8am-5pm

oct 9th: Eval day, 8am- 2pm

Tution: $277 (registration closed)

Through this experience, you will develop and/or refine a skillset for exploring the vast world of wildlife tracking. While we always cover key fundamental themes, every tracking
experience is unique—we go where the tracks take us! Topics that will likely be explored:
• Clear and Obscure Print Identification
• Sign Interpretation, Wildlife Behavior and Natural History
• Wildlife Physiology and Design
• Animal Movement and Track Pattern Interpretation
• Aging Tracks and Sign
• The Ecology and Natural History of the Local Landscape
• Wildlife Ecology, Interactions and Roles within an Ecosystem

In short, this process is renowned for facilitating an entirely different way of relating with local wildlife and landscapes through track and sign, and for offering new tools to continue our
development as naturalists.


Meet your Lead Instructor and Evaluator, Matt Nelson! From the Arctic to the Antarctic, this simple traveler has left footprints in search of authenticity in his life. Slow to learn and
insistent on the hardest of life’s lessons, he’s a generalist in the true sense of the word. Easily  bored, Matt has worked more jobs than can be listed here, searching for himself amid all the
glittery promises of the materialistic culture he grew up in. A lifetime hunter and woodsman, Matt strives to share his deep observations and his love for all things wild and true freely
amongst his human interactions and in his teaching and has sought out mentors and learning opportunities in many corners
of this earth. Matt is a graduate of the Wilderness Guide Program, a 12-month
wilderness immersion program at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School, with whom he maintains a close relationship and collaborates with to this day.   Matt holds a Senior Tracker certificate from Cybertracker Conservation, is a track and sign evaluator with the same organization, continuing the work of keeping animal tracking
alive and valued in our modern age. 
​Matt has worked on numerous wildlife and research projects, including the Gualala River Watershed council, the Garfield/Mesa Lion project, and the East Bay Puma Project. He currently resides in northern Wisconsin.
The CyberTracker evaluation system is an internationally applied, professional-level certification process used to promote
wildlife tracking and ecological knowledge. Though this field training is in “test” form—meaning that before we go over each
question as a group, individuals are given time to look it over and come up with an answer—the goal is to strengthen participants’ ability to find and accurately interpret a wide array
of track and sign. The call to investigate a question and come up with an interpretation completely transforms our level of attention,
focus, and how we absorb and retain information. Combined with a supportive and entertaining group-learning experience and a mind-bending diversity of wildlife sign, this becomes a
uniquely powerful, skill-changing experience.
In other words, this is both an assessment and a rich learning experience, and is far different than the “tests” most of us might be used to. There is immediate feedback and group discussion
throughout the process. Evaluators always emphasize learning and development, and every participant will walk away with a lot more knowledge and “search images” for the subtle patterns left behind by life on the landscape, ultimately feeling a stronger connection to the natural world. No prior tracking experience is required to participate, but preparation can be helpful for those for whom attaining a certificate on their first evaluation is important. However, the underlying impetus is not about receiving a certificate, but rather the rich educational benefit the evaluation process provides. Tracking skill accrues with experience, and evaluations are an effective tool for rapidly increasing one’s ability and measuring progress over time.

let the adventure begin...