Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Volunteers needed for turtle study in Alafia River

This request from George Heinrich, who has spent decades studying turtles in Florida:

Volunteers needed to assist with a distributional survey of Suwannee cooters in the Alafia River (Hillsborough County)

This project has four objectives: 1) to determine the distribution and status of the Suwannee cooter in the Alafia River, 2) to assess habitat conditions related to the species’ ecology (e.g., basking, feeding, and nesting), 3) to identify conservation actions needed to address any existing threats (including habitat restoration needs), and 4) to offer hands-on field experience and training in wildlife research methods to local college/university students, as well as volunteers active with local parks/preserves. Volunteer opportunities include:

Saturday, 21 February 2015 (9:00 am-5:00 pm) and Sunday, 1 March 2015 (9:00 am-5:00 pm):

Distribution of “sightings wanted” fliers in neighborhoods along the Alafia River. We will need a large number of volunteers to complete this task. Volunteers will work in teams to deliver fliers to homes and local businesses. Volunteers can work partial or full days and are strongly encouraged to carpool. Transportation required.

January-December 2015 (dates to be announced):

Binocular and spotting scope survey from identified sites along the river. One person per month will be needed to accompany George L. Heinrich on this day-long task. It will include hiking up to two miles at one location. Transportation provided.

March, April, May, September, October, and November 2015 (dates to be announced):

Shoreline survey to search for Suwannee cooter carcasses, skeletal material, and signs of nesting. Volunteers will work in groups during partial or full days and are strongly encouraged to carpool. Transportation required.

Sound interesting? Contact George L. Heinrich by e-mail george@heinrichecologicalservices.com or phone (727) 865-6255 .

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Citizen Science handout for LEEF mini-con

This post is for those who could not attend the session at LEEF's Fall mini-conference on Saturday, Oct 4, 2014 at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge and for those who did attend so they can easily click on the links discussed during...

If you can’t Beat ‘em, Join ‘em 
 (or how to combine technology and the outdoors)

The citizen science programs currently in mind for a current grant proposal are:
World Water Monitoring Challenge- http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org ; water quality
Yardmap- http://app.yardmap.org ; habitat improvement
FWC reports- http://myfwc.com/contact/report ; species monitoring- opportunist
iNaturalist- http://www.inaturalist.org – species reporting- opportunist or monitoring
Project Budburst- http://budburst.org – climate change evidence through plant phenology
            (Camp Bayou example: http://budburst.org/community-cby)
Florida Lakewatch- http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu – water quality
EDDmaps- http://www.eddmaps.org/florida – invasive species plants and animals
            Mobile report form: http://ivegot1.org

Other citizen science programs appropriate for classroom:
Swallowtail kites: http://www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org/swallowtail-kite.php database of sightings; mobile app: KiteSight
Bumblebee Watch: http://www.bumblebeewatch.org – native bee populations
Zooniverse- https://www.zooniverse.org - commitment to producing real research on a variety of topics
Of course there are many more... which ones would you add to this list of citizen science programs that are appropriate for the classroom in Florida? We are focusing on cost-free programs that produce real scientifically relevant data that has the potential to be used for real research.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Seeking Kestrel sightings

From FWC researchers:
Kestrel enthusiasts!
We have launched a new interactive web page to solicit sightings of Southeastern American Kestrels during the breeding season: 
This resource will help us update our understanding of kestrel distribution at a fine scale, build better habitat models, and target where to implement conservation actions.  Note we are accepting sightings from previous years as well!
Two other focal species of conservation concern are included on this sighting registry: Florida Burrowing Owl and Painted Bunting.
I would be grateful if you would disseminate this to your co-workers, staff, and students in your organization.  Feel free to post widely on birdwatching lists as well.
Thanks for your assistance!
Karl E. Miller, Ph.D.
Upland Nongame Bird Lead
Fish & Wildlife Research Institute
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
1105 SW Williston Road
Gainesville, FL 32601
352-334-4215 (office)
352-955-2183 (fax) karl.miller@MyFWC.com

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Florida Citizen Science suggestions

At a recent LEEF (League of Environmental Educators in Florida) retreat, the topic of citizen science projects and apps came up so I thought I'd share them here:
Gopher tortoise app: With your help, FWC will be able to better document where gopher tortoises are living within our Florida communities, and how we can work together to protect them. 
IveGot1: Easy species reporting of invasive plants and animals that captures your current location and allows you to submit an image of your sightings.
Kite Sight: A citizen science app for the reporting of Swallow Tail Kites (Elanoides forficatus)- this is an Android only download.
I just found a site that has a post for a bunch of other citizen science apps too.
And a site that brings together Citizen Science and the Classroom, check out this Educator's page with info on World Water Monitoring Challenge, School of Ants, Project Budburst and others.

Time to go exploring!