On April 20 and 21 the New York Harbor SEALs traveled inland to beautiful Black Rock Forest to study mammalian evolution. The adventure began with Dr. Kidder and Mr. Munson helping to randomly pick a sampling station in the forest to set the mammal traps. It continued with a geocaching competition to teach the students to find waypoints using GPS – a vital skill for finding the randomly generated site picked earlier. We then took a pick up truck/roller coaster ride up to the site where the students fanned out with surveying flags, tape measures, compasses, and tomahawk traps in hand. After two and a half hours of trap setting we hiked over to Eagle Cliff to catch the sunset over the beautiful New York landscape. Night time set in as we descended back to the lodge on a three hour hike guided by moon light shadows. Upon arrival, all the hungry trappers filled their bellies with hot pizza and sat around as Professor Tree, a Queens College scientist and Chinese native, taught us how to play Jiuling, a finger guessing game (replacing beer with hot peppers of course). As the evening wound down there was no need to enforce the 11pm lights out rule. Sleep was brief as we got up early the next morning to check the traps. Although we weren’t lucky enough to catch any mammals, we came back to the lodge and had a world class primer on mammalian evolution using skins and skulls by Dr. Jeff Kidder. We topped it off with a trip to the dark basement to get a glimpse of Matt’s dermastarium. Not soon after we got back on our banana bus to head back to the city did the young trappers doze off for the trip back home. It was another successful trip to Black Rock Forest. The courage, leadership, and teamwork demonstrated by the SEALs was phenomenal. For more images click here.