Tracking Days at Alderleaf: Plaster Casts

The day began with a quick test. A number of plaster casts were laid out on the tables in the classroom with questions attached for the students to answer, “Who? Which Foot?” For a little bit of an extra challenge, “Male or Female?” was sometimes added into the mix.

Knowing how to effectively plaster cast can serve as a great learning tool. You can capture an animal’s footprint to look at and study from again, and again, and again. It is also fun to capture different tracks not only to go back and look at yourself, but also to share as a way for others to learn too (I got  chance to see someone’s polar bear plaster cast earlier this year, something I have not seen on my own!). Jason, the program director and a core instructor here at Alderleaf, took the students out after their quiz to make some plaster casts themselves.


Jason stirring the plaster

pouring the plaster down into the track

letting the plaster set

*thanks to Hallie for the photos

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