Animal Tracking and Awareness

Animal Tracking and Awareness

March 19, 2021
Experience the art of holistic animal tracking and deepen your nature awareness in the field.

In this class we will go for a timeless wander in nature, practicing techniques of slowing ourselves down and opening up our senses into a state of sensory expansion, the foundation of the Tracker Mind.

We will take what nature offers us and dive deeply into the world of animal life that is revealed when we shift into this state of awareness. We will learn to use all of our senses—sight, sound, smell, feel–in our study of track and sign.

We will look at track identification, study trails, gaits and animal movement, work on scat identification, kill site analysis, feeding sign, digging sign and other landscape disruptions. We will work on mammals, birds, insects and reptiles as they present themselves. We’ll also work on skeletal structure and feather analysis.

We will do all of this while maintaining a very slow and relaxed pace.

Richard Vacha has been studying animal tracking for 30 years and has been teaching animal tracking and nature awareness for 15 years. He manages the Point Reyes Tracking School and Marin Tracking Club and has authored a collection of essays in his philosophical book, “The Heart of Tracking”. Richard is a Class III internationally certified tracker.


-We will be meeting at the Bear Valley Visitor Center and traveling by car caravan to various tracking destinations

– Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to check in

– Refunds available for all classes 7 days in advance of the start date, after 7 days and before 2 days, participants can credit their class for a future date. All requests before 48 hours in advance will be declined. For COVID cancellation policy, see below.

– Please follow the parking instructions for the facility used that day

– Please provide an email you check regularly for updates and reminders about your class

– Registration is required online prior to the event in order to maintain class sizes

– Sales end 48 hours before the start date.

– Waitlists are available when the class sells out

What to Bring:

Day Pack

Lunch Bag

Warm Variable Weather Clothing

Hiking Shoes

Water Bottle

Notebook and Pen/Field Journal

Eventbrite Confirmation Email

Binoculars (Optional)

Camera (Optional)

About the PRNSA Field Institute:

The PRNSA Field Institute offers hands-on environmental education classes throughout the year that foster enjoyment of Point Reyes National Seashore. Our classes are led by expert instructors, who take you out of your everyday life and into the natural world. We host a variety of classes about the arts and sciences and have something for everyone. You can reach the Field Institute at (415) 663-1200 x304 or by email at

Interested in becoming a member of PRNSA? Click Here!

Interested in becoming a PRNSA Field Institute facilitator? Want to take classes for FREE while helping out a great cause? Give us a call!

Are you an outdoor educator or artist who would like to teach a PRNSA Field Institute class? Shoot us an Email!

For any questions, please email us at

COVID-19 Field Institute Guidelines

In accordance with Marin County guidelines for public health and safety, we will require all participants to respect the following COVID-19 procedures:

Perform a health self-check before coming to class using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus as a guide

Do not attend class if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, suspect you have been exposed to the virus, or are suffering from any other flu-like or respiratory illness.

Participants exhibiting signs of respiratory illness may be asked to leave class

NOTE: Refund policy exceptions will be made for participants cancelling last minute due to COVID-19 infection or symptoms. Please contact us in this case.

During class all participants will be required to do the following

Wear a protective face covering

Maintain a 6 foot physical distance from other participants not belonging to your household

Bring your own food and water

Current group sizes are limited, there will be no physical contact or sharing of food and drink, and no shared physical equipment or materials unless they are sanitized before and after use, and used by only one person for the duration of class

Thank you for your cooperation in following these guidelines to help keep everyone safe.