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Dr. Dean M. Anderson, a research animal scientist with the Department of Agriculture, is conducting research that could transform the rural American landscape. Dr. Anderson’s research into virtual fencing has the potential to fundamentally alter our relationships with domesticated animals, the landscape, and each other.
It also presents an opportunity for federal agencies, like the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, to more effectively manage the vast tracts of land they oversee and that many American enterprises, from livestock to resource extraction, depend upon.
Anderson’s research combines a relatively straightforward technological innovation – animals equipped with GPS tracking devices – with ear-mounted electronic stimulus-delivery systems. Through this combination, Anderson believes range managers will be better able to more effectively control their herds while protecting common resources. Furthermore, the technology presents the opportunity for a paradigm shift that would reduce the need for a necessary, yet very costly, aspect of the American west – fences.
Learn more about this good stuff and its potential applications from The Atlantic.
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