Students searching for property on which to conduct research 

Two graduate students in the PSU Biology Department are searching for a rare skunk species, and in order to find it, they’re looking for property owners willing to allow them to deploy a motion-activated game camera on their land for one month. 

Jenell de la Peña and Daniel Benson, students of Associate Professor Christine Brodsky, are conducting a statewide project in search of the Plains Spotted Skunk. Their survey spans 18 counties throughout the state, including: Anderson, Barton, Butler, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cowley, Crawford, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Gray, Labette, Montgomery, Sedgwick, Sumner, Trego, Wilson, and Woodson counties. 

"For those who agree to participate, we would need to visit the property on three occasions: first to deploy the camera and a small can of sardines as bait, a second time to check the camera, and a third to collect all items,” de la Peña said. 

Their methods are non-invasive and quick: their camera will be strapped at knee height to a tree or T- post that they will provide and will encompass only a small area in the frame. When they review their data, they are happy to share with landowners the mammals documented on their property. 

“Private land access is integral to our study and is greatly appreciated," Benson said. “Please feel free to contact either of us at if you have any questions or would like to hear more about our spotted skunk research project."