RONDAC: Expedition conducts research to learn more about Adirondack and their Ohio habitat

Meet Crystal! Crystal is a beautiful 2-year old Adirondack (Adirous Rondackii) from the Ohio Valley. Her hard shell is made from 11 flat Oak boards which she uses to stay completely still even in the presence of a predator. We found Crystal completely beached atop a grassy knoll on August 24th, 2015. She was on her side and hurting badly. Her boards were badly damaged, and her breathing had reached dangerously low levels. (Adirondacks only breath through their mouth. Sideways beaching causes mucus to build up in airways, impairing normal breathing patterns.) In lieu of recent scientific attempts related to telemetry (tracking), we decided to tag Crystal as we saved her from near death and track her whereabouts thereafter. Thus, our collaborative database — RONDAC — was born.

RONDAC (Research On Nearly Dozens of Adirondack Chairs), allows for real time geolocation of one of earth’s most endangered species. Our goal is to inspire current and future generations of scientists, students, and stewards, and enable researchers to generate never before collected data.

You can follow RONDAC tagged chairs from all over the world with our free adirondack tracker available for Apple and Android platforms. Below is a sample of the riveting paths Kenyon adirondacks take. Enjoy this glimpse into the secret life of adirondack.



Name: Crystal

Date Tagged: August 24th, 2015

Location Tagged: Grassy Knoll

Ping Map:

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 4.43.44 PM.png

Q: What is a “ping”?

A: A Ping is determined when the tagged adirondack’s back is touched by warm human hands and transmits a signal to a satellite overhead. The transmission then sends back an estimated geolocation.


Name: Trevor Manz

Date Tagged: August 12th, 2012

Location Tagged: Science Quad

Trevor doesn’t care if his paint is chipping. He likes to show his natural, weathered colors. Usually pings around the science quad. He is a well loved adirondack.

Ping Map:

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 4.45.12 PM.png

Q: Does the tagging instillation cause the Adirondack pain?

A. While this tagging method, which has been used on other species for over a half century may cause some level of brief discomfort, there is no evidence that it impacts their behavior or survival post-release.



Name: Thad G. but TG for short if you dig

Date Tagged: December 20th, 2016

Location Tagged: NCAs

Thad is a seasoned vet. He wants you to know that he lives far away from the buffoonery of South campus. He, by contrast, is thoughtfully caressed in the late hours of the night by a first-year or by a senior — no one else. That’s just how he operates. Boasts a “hard” exterior, but breaks very easily.

Ping Map:

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 4.50.55 PM.png

Like what you see? Share this article on Facebook with the hashtag “#AdirousRondackii” Help us continue our research by reporting and tagging and Adirondacks you see! Our research is made possible by generous donations from NOVA, Kenyon College, and plenty of  people who like wood slats. 

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