Problem Statement

Butterfly Tech is partnered with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) to create a new way to monitor mother bear behaviors. Our team’s main goal is to minimize the time the VDGIF researchers spend locating the bears. The current collars use ultra-high frequency to locate the bears which is inefficient and time consuming. We are creating the next generation of animal tracking collars to better understand the behavior of mother bears and other future animals. We also attempt to use the data from the collars to re-home abandoned bear cubs with behaviorally sufficient surrogate mothers.

MEET THE TEAM

Butterfly Tech combines seven students from four different majors to solve one problem for our partner at VDGIF: David Kocka.

Cannan Keller

Cannan Keller

Industrial Design, Senior

Saskia Beitzell

Saskia Beitzell

Writing Rhetoric, and Technical Communication, Senior

Nate Cook

Nate Cook

Industrial Design, Junior

Parker Given

Parker Given

Physics, Senior

Claire Naylor

Claire Naylor

Biology, Senior

Christopher Jackson

Christopher Jackson

Physics, Senior

Destiny Foley

Destiny Foley

Biology, Senior

David Kocka

David Kocka

VDGIF Partner

The Process

Please use the right and left arrows below to view our most memorable moments from this semester.

Learn More

Learn more about the American Black Bear and how we are implementing technology to solve our problem.

What the Tech?

A thorough explanation of the technology and process implemented on our new generation of animal collars.

read more

The Impact

See how our measures add up to assisting VDGIF’s data collection of American Black Bears.

  • There are approximately 900,000 American Black Bears in North America. They are one of three (black bears, polar bears and grizzly bears) of the bear populations in North America, though they are the only bears in Virginia.
  • Current estimates assume 5,000-6,000 black bears reside in Virginia.
  • Female Black Bears can have litter sizes between 1-4 but the most common litter size is 2 cubs.

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average abandoned cubs per year

estimated black bears in Virginia

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states where black bears reside

Virginia's Black Bears

Want to learn more about baby bears finding their fur-ever homes?
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