The Original Wisdom website, blog, and Facebook page are based out of the New England area in the USA, and the Greater Kruger area of South Africa. Original Wisdom is a Limited Liability Company owned and operated by Kersey Lawrence. OW programs run locally in these areas and we can custom tailor a program in your area, wherever you are – through experiential (hands-on), correspondence (mostly online), and hybrid (a mix of correspondence and experiential) courses. We believe that an experiential approach is best, but recognize the need for mentorship in your own backyard, before and after you are in-the-field with us, so we are committed to providing that mentorship in any way we can.
Experiential program venues range from camping in tents, to 5-star lodging – we offer a range of comfort levels and will meet you where you are at in your knowledge and skills, building them from the ground, up, or deepening your awareness and expertise.
Specializing in wildlife tracking, and with over 20 years of teaching and field experience each, the OW team uses both the practical exercise and the philosophical metaphor of tracking to create age-appropriate, multidisciplinary, experiential programs that combine the oldest art with the most modern science.
Programs are for:
- High school and college level students interested in the Natural Sciences and in the Social Sciences.
- Adventurous People who want an authentic cultural & eco-experience in their own environment, or abroad. We call these programs Personal Enrichment Programs and past participants have included:
- People seeking an enriching and authentic vacation experience
- Citizen Scientists and people wanting to contribute to research
- Wilderness and Nature Schools
- Trackers of any skill level
We also offer private and small group tracker and naturalist mentoring, and assistance with research design.
Tracking is more than following footprints and finding animals. Tracking causes us to link together everything we know about animal behavior (including humans) and their environment. Tracking is the way the mind works, putting together pieces of information to make sense of a bigger picture. Obvious benefits of tracking include increased awareness of animal behavior and interactions between animals, as well as how they use the landscape and how they are moved by the landscape. Less obvious benefits of tracking include: overall increased awareness of one’s surroundings (this is important in wild areas and increasingly in cities); connection to the natural world while learning appropriate uses for modern technology; the ability to see beauty in everyday things; identification of personal fears and future goals and a methodology to work through fears toward goals; and comfort with oneself, others in community, and being in the natural world.
Online, hybrid, and field programs can also include:
- Track and Sign Identification and Interpretation
- Trailing (learning to follow and find wild animals)
- Developing track-based field surveys for research and education
- Field journaling
- Song-lining: Developing knowledge of place through exploration, story creation, and map & compass
- Story-mapping: Using GPS and online-mapping to record animal presence and behavior
- Camera Trapping: Using remotely triggered cameras to document wildlife presence, number, and behavior
- Photovoice: Using photos to tell stories
- Natural Sciences: Naturalist Studies & Field Skills, Environmental Science, Ecology, Animal Behavior, Mammalogy, Ornithology, Dendrology, Botany, Herpetology, Entomology, Geology, etc.
- Social Sciences: Anthropology, Archaeology, Sociology, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Ethnobotany (the cultural uses of plants), etc.
- Expedition: Example: Tracking in the land of the African lion (Southern Africa program)
Find out more about tracking by clicking here.
Find out more about field skills by clicking here.
Find out more about ecological and cultural programs for non-scientists and non-students by clicking here
Find out more about CyberTracker and Tracking evaluations here.