by Jennifer Keats Curtis
School may be out for the summer but working dogs are still, well working. This week, I had a chance to learn what was occupying the time of one of my favorite human-dog duos, Julianne Ubigau and her dog Jasper. Julianne, the education and outreach coordinator of Conservation Canines, University of Washington Center for Environmental and Forensic Science, and I are the authors of Pooper Snooper. This gloriously illustrated (by Phyllis Saroff) nonfiction details how Julianne and her dog detective work together to help scientists investigate and track endangered animals. (Yes, the title gives it away: The snoopers’ clue? Poop.)
In addition to teaching her dogs to sniff for the scat of endangered animals, Julianne and her canine helpers are also working with scientists and environmentalists to seek out invasive plants and animals, such as garlic mustard plants and bullfrogs. In her spare time (which she could not possibly have), Julianne is talking with students, interested groups and podcasters to explain how the incredibly useful snufflers of rescued dogs can be. This month, Phil Hatterman, host and producer of Dog Words Presented by Rosie Fund, interviewed Julie to get at the heart (or at least the nose) of the matter. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen, https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dog-words/id1496693461?i=1000568974499.
Photos courtesy of Julianne Ubigau: Sampson, Julianne’s current pooper snooper, readies himself to sniff out bullfrogs.