Photo: Jane Cogan

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Scats and Dogs
The University of Washington's Conservation Canines program may revolve around excrement, but it's nothing to pooh-pooh. The pioneering nonprofit trains dogs to detect the droppings of threatened and endangered wildlife (caribou, white-tailed deer, Pacific pocket mice); this helps researchers keep tabs on species' diets, migration patterns, stress levels and more—without disrupting their daily life. One super-sniffer is Tucker, a 12-year-old black Lab who spends almost every day of his summer on a boat catching the scent of orca droppings. His handlers say he does a whale of a job.