Citizen Spotlight: Meet Cynthia Tollo Falls!

Cynthia has been a citizen scientist for iSeeMammals since the spring of 2017. Her trail cameras in the southern NY have provided priceless data for an area where we cannot set up summer research sites. Check out the Gallery to see some of the photos she has submitted! 

What sparked your interest in wildlife? I live in East Rutherford, NJ… I hike both days of every weekend, holidays, and the odd vacation day in Harriman State Park located in Rockland and Orange Counties in southern NY, just past the NY/NJ border. This adds up to over 100 days a year in the park. Rain rarely stops me from getting out.

Why bears? Black bears are incredibly smart and I find following the families very interesting. At this point, my partner in bear research and I can recognize and find individual bears. 

What interests you most about bears?We are always interested in finding out how the bears move around from season to season and the overlapping of territories. We frequently find adults paired up past mating season. One thing I'm also interested in is all the different foods found in the scats.

Another thing we are interested in is dens. We found one, but it was only briefly used and we find betting on top of the snow. We find bear sign every month of the year, but evidence of past and present dens has always been a mystery

Update us on your findings, what’s something surprising that you’ve seen this past year?Last year we were surprised to find that the bears adapted very well despite the lack of acorns.

What motivates you to keep studying bears?  We study everything we find, and are constantly finding new stuff.

More:  Contests /  Data & Maps  /  Events  /  Social Media


ContestsBack to Top

Summer Contest! Enter to win when you submit data between now and August 31, 2018!

See prize package details below.

- iSeeMammal swag (mug + sticker; availability: 2)

Submit 3 observations (with either the app or website). Observations must have an accompanying photo. Submissions with photos of clearly non-bear sign will be void and removed.


- Trail Cam package (Bushnell 20MP Trophy Cam HD + 16 GB SD card; availability: 1)

Submit 3 hikes (with the app). Each hike must be repeated at least once. Observations associated with the hike are not necessary, and will not increase chances of winning. Each hike must be at least 20 minutes in duration.


Grand Prize: iSeeMammal swag + Trail cam packages (availability: 1)

Set up and submit data from 1 trail camera (with app and website) and submit 2 hikes (with the app). Camera must monitor a location for at least 1 month, and each hike must be repeated at least once and be at least 20 minutes in duration. Photos from camera and observations from hikes of bear/sign are not necessary, and will not increase chances of winning.

*Other rules and requirements: User must be registered with a valid email address (so that we can contact you!). If a user submits data for multiple categories, he/she will be entered into each category, but cannot win more than 1 prize package. Winners will be notified by December 31, 2018.

iSeeMammals swag and trail camera packages, 2018 contest

Pictured: Grand Prize: ISeeMammals Swag + Trail Cam Packages


Data & MapsBack to Top


In 2017, from January to October, iSeeMammals collected 373 observations, 103 hikes, and 81 trail camera locations! This data subsidized the research efforts by Cornell University and the New York State Department of Conservation.




All types of observations were submitted, but the most common were of actual bears (versus scat, tracks, hair, or markings).



EventsBack to Top

Upcoming Events

  • None scheduled

Past Events

  • September 16, 2017: New York State Conservation Council Fall Convention @ Radisson Hotel, Utica NY
  • March 4, 2017 : 25th Annual CCE Rural Land Owners workshop @ Pioneer Central School in Yorkshire NY Register here!
  • March 13, 2017 : National Active and Retired Federal Employees Assocation (NARFE) @ Bath, NY. Learn more here
  • September 18, 2016 : 5th Annual Fox Trot Festival @ Cayuga Natura Center, Ithaca NY
  • June and September 2016New York Master Naturalist Training Weekends @ Arnot Forest, Van Etten NY



Due to limited staff ( i.e., 1 graduate student) we are unable at this time to provide local workshops.  However, we are currently working on video tutorials and adding to the FAQ to help citizen scientists contribute data to iSeeMammals. Please stay tuned!



Social MediaBack to Top


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