Archivos de diario de junio 2015

18 de junio de 2015

Road Scholar

By Erika Mitchell

This summer for fun, exercise, and personal enlightenment, I have decided to embark on a project to walk every road in my town (Calais). Sort of like a Long Trail hike, but I get to sleep in my own bed every night. While I'm out there walking, I thought it would be fun to try to map the species that I see so that I (and anyone else using iNaturalist) could see where things grow.

In order to make the most of this project as an ecological study, I figure I need a sampling plan. Stratified random sampling, where samples are taken at defined intervals (such as every 50 meters), is a common technique in ecological surveys since it ensures that all areas are likely to be covered, and that samples aren't specially selected according to the interest of the sampler (or ease of access). But stratified random sampling requires measuring distances and that sounds like too much work for a just-for-fun project. Instead, I thought I would simply set a timer for 5 minutes, walk my intended route, and whenever the timer beeps, stop and take a photo of the 3 closest (wild) tree species. I decided to focus on tree species since they are relatively easy to identify and many other species are correlated with the occurrence of specific tree species. If I walk at more or less the same pace, the samples will be spread apart sort of evenly, and if I don't watch the timer, the samples will be random rather than selected due to interest.

In the meantime, I also keep a lookout for rare or endangered species, invasive species, plants I don't know, and indicator species of various types. And try to watch for animals, too. After walking just a few sections of town roads in this way, I've already learned a few things, such as how someone (probably the road crew) is spreading both comfrey and poison ivy along our roads, how mature planted trees can spread offspring up and down a road (weeping willow, honey locust, red oak, and red pine), and how it seems just about every road has a gorgeous waterfall somewhere. I'm looking forward to learning more!

The most important requirement for this project is a GPS unit that reliably provides accurate location information. I'm still working on that--I started with a point-and-shoot camera with built-in GPS, but found that its coordinates were off by as much as 1/4 mile! Then I tried a GPS unit on my DSLR camera, but it broke, and so did its replacement, and it seems there are no reliable models on the market. My next thought is a phone geo-tagging app to pair with my camera (Android phone/Nikon camera). I'll try out some tomorrow.

I would welcome feedback on any aspect of my project--the sampling plan, GPS ideas, etc. Have you tried a similar project? What did you learn?

Ingresado el 18 de junio de 2015 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de junio de 2015

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park BioBlitz 2015

bioblitz 2015

JOIN US!

Part scientific endeavor, part festival, and part education, the 2015 BioBlitz at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP (http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mbrnhp-bioblitz-2015) will bring together leading scientists, naturalists, and community members of all ages to find and document as many species as possible in one day at the park as part of the Vermont Atlas of Life. If you plan to attend, please consider joining the MBRNHP iNaturalist BioBlitz 2015 project today!

A BioBlitz is an intensive one-day study of biodiversity in a specific location. We’ll look for birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies, insects, spiders, trees, flowers, mushrooms, and more!

People of all ages and skill levels are welcome! Bring your smart phone if you have one. Bonus: camera, binoculars, magnifying glasses, butterfly nets, gardening gloves, and other personal equipment if you’d like. Everyone will add observations to our real-time online website on iNaturalist. We’ll be able to watch live as we find more and more species.

Festivities begin at 7am. Come at anytime. We'll be headquartered at the Forest Center building near route 12. Need more info? Call 802-457-3368 x22 for more information.

July 11 - Schedule of Events

Whether you join one of the events below or strike out on your own, there are hundreds of species of plants and animals to be discovered in the park. No experience necessary! Come to the BioBlitz headquarters at the Forest Center and learn how to use iNaturalist and check out the live species tally and map on the wall as observers like you discover the park’s biodiversity! Or watch the biodiversity tally live on our iNaturalist BioBlitz page and add your observations too!

Scheduled Events - All events start at the Forest Center (BioBlitz Headquarters)
• 7 - 9am Birds (meet at the Forest Center). The park is home to over 140 species. How many can we find in one day?
• 9 –11am Rock Walls (meet at the Forest Center). Explore old walls and help document every living thing we find among these historic walls.
• 10-12pm – Streams (meet at the Forest Center). From salamanders to water striders, the park’s waterways have a rich diversity of life. Help explore these waterways to document the biodiversity of these clear mountain streams.
• 12-1pm Lunch Bring your own lunch and join us at the Forest Center.
• 1 – 3pm Old Logs (meet at the Forest Center). Join us to discover what is hidden within and beneath old logs on the forest floor. From fungi to invertebrates or even a salamander, we’ll find and document them all.
• 1 – 4pm Mega-Transect (meet at the Forest Center). Join us as we walk across the entire park documenting everything that is found – from trees to bees and everything between. This will be a rigorous hike full of discovery.
• 2 – 4pm Pogue Pond (meet at the Forest Center). Using nets, buckets and our cameras, help document the life in the waters of this historic pond.
• 3 – 5pm Trees and Trunks (meet at the Forest Center). There’s a lot of life living on a tree. We’ll explore and photo-document all of it. From insects to lichens and more, how many species can we find living on a tree?

On-going Events at BioBlitz Headquarters at the Forest Center
• Summer Junior Ranger Adventure (ages 6-12) – Complete hands-on activities that will help you learn and explore the diversity of the Park’s habitats and creatures. Earn a Summer Junior Ranger Badge and certificate. For participating in this special adventure, you will also receive a BioBlitz Junior Ranger prize!
• iNaturalist app and web site training and help.
• See amazing insects and other critters up close as experts work to determine their identification.

Note: Schedule of events subject to change. Please check back before BioBlitz day.

Ingresado el 24 de junio de 2015 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de junio de 2015

Track the Species found in Your Vermont Town

You can track the observations and species in any Vermont town, ideal for town conservation commissions, students, town planners and naturalists. Go to Places at http://www.inaturalist.org/places and type in any Vermont town in the search bar to find the results for your town.

Ingresado el 08 de junio de 2015 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de junio de 2015

Tracking Biodiversity in Vermont's Biophysical Regions

We have a tool that allows users to quickly and easily track biodiversity in each of the 251 Vermont towns. Political boundaries are important to us, but what about ecological boundaries? Today, we are introducing the ability to track biodiversity findings in each of the 8 Vermont biophysical regions. You can access each region under Places or with the links listed here: http://www.inaturalist.org/places/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=Biophysical&commit=Search

The biophysical regions of Vermont help organize the landscape into smaller units that share features of climate, geology, topography, soils, natural communities, and human history. Although each region has variation within it, all are widely recognized as units that are more similar than they are different.

Ingresado el 12 de junio de 2015 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de junio de 2015

Tool Tip: Add Details About Your Sighting

We're all excited to add as many sightings of as many organisms as we can. Who doesn't want to be on top of the leader board? But slow down and think about all the sightings you are entering and what someone might want to know about them today, in a decade, or even 50 years from now.

With iNaturalist you can add more details to your sightings relatively easily when you add new observations or by editing those you already have. Take a look at the bottom of the observation entry page. There is a box titled, "More fields". In fact, there are five pages of more fields available to the user and the ability to add new fields if needed. Check them out at http://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields?page=1.

Some of my favorite fields revolve around phenology, the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and inter-annual variations in climate, like flowering or leaf out. Select "Flower Phenology" and you can indicate if the plant was bare, flowering or had fruit. Select "Leaf Phenology" and indicate the status of deciduous trees and shrubs - is the plant leafing out, fully leafed out, showing fall foliage color, or bare?

Quantity is important, but so is quality. Adding more information to your sightings will make them even more valuable in the future.

Ingresado el 16 de junio de 2015 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 1 comentarios | Deja un comentario