California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Citizen Science for CA Naturalists

Welcome to our ongoing effort to catalog citizen science and other public participation in scientific research (PPSR) projects for UC California Naturalists and other citizen scientists.  We invite you to browse the listed projects or enter key words (like birds, youth, invasive, coast, Alameda, etc.) in the search box above to find projects in your area. It's a great way to stay involved and keep developing your skills as a natural scientist!

A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date. We encourage you to contact projects directly to get involved and learn about most recent opportunities. If you work with a listed project and would like to add to, update, or correct the information we have, please email cghdixon@ucdavis.edu. Also, please consider filling out the "PPSR perspectives" survey. Click here to access the survey, which will help guide this project in the coming year.

If you know of a project not on our list, please go to the "tell us about a project" link on the left so we can list the project here. Thanks for your help!

Special thanks goes to the National Science Foundation Informal Science Education program and the Stephen J. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for supporting this database of projects.

Año Nuevo and Surrounds - UC California Naturalist Project

Organization Name
UC California Naturalist
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Contribute to growing citizen-science datasets on the distribution of the plants and animals in Sagehen Creek Basin. Data will help build a species guide and understanding of biodiversity in the watershed.

Region
Northern California
Location
Coastal California from San Luis Obispo to San Franscisco

Antioch Dunes Endangered Species Survey

Organization Name
Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Gather information that inform management plan and protection for three endangered species: Lange's Metalmark butterfly, Antioch Dunes evening primrose and Contra Costa wallflower. 

Region
Contra Costa
Location
Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, along the southern shore of the San Joaquin River

Arvin Bucket Brigade

Organization Name
Global Community Monitor
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Through air monitoring, to improve air quality through policy changes in favor of environmental health and justice

Region
Kern
Location
Sites with poor air quality around Arvin, CA

ASC Pika Project

Organization Name
Adventurers & Scientists for Conservation
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Help scientists track where pikas persist and where they may be disappearing. Pikas are chirpy relatives of rabbits that live on mountaintops throughout the North American West.

Region
Northern California
Location
Alpine areas in Central & Northern California Sierras

Bay Area Ant Survey

Organization Name
Naturalist Center - California Academy of Sciences
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Obtain baseline data for ants living in local counties.
Goals include:

  • Documenting the ant diversity of the Bay Area
  • Mapping the spread of invasive ants, including the problematic Argentine ant
  • Creating a permanent collection of ant species for scientific research and teaching
  • Allowing the community to experience scientific discovery firsthand
Region
Northern California
Location
Bay Area backyards, hiking trails, school yards - anywhere you can think of

Bay Area BioAtlas

Organization Name
Conservation Lands Network, developed by the Bay Area Open Space Council
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
As a baseline for monitoring these changes, the Bay Area BioAtlas seeks to build reserve-level Species Guides of where the Bay Area's unique plants and animals persist and where they are absent, as they shift in response to land use and climate change; To coordinate with Calflora's library of 21,000 checklists to ensure these valuable distribution data are available to conservationists. 

Region
Northern California
Location
Pepperwood Preserve and other nature preserves in the Bay Area

Bay Area Early Detection Network

Organization Name
Bay Area Early Detection Network
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Gain up to date information about invasive plants; Prevent environmental and economic damage caused by these invaders; Educate citizens regarding natural resource stewardship; and dramatically reduce the need for the planning and resources required to control large, established invasive plant populations. 

Region
Northern California
Location
Bay Area - wherever invasive plants are found

Bay Area FrogWatch

Organization Name
Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads -ongoing analyses of these data have been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species. 

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Wherever frogs are found

Bay Area's Most Wanted Spider

Organization Name
Naturalist Center - California Academy of Sciences
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Obtain baseline data for the distribution and spread of the newly introduced Zoropsis spinimana spiders. Goals include:

  • Documenting the current distribution of Zoropsis spinimana spiders in the Bay Area
  • Mapping the spread of these invasive spiders
  • Allowing the community to experience scientific discovery firsthand.
Region
Northern California
Location
Bay Area - wherever zoropsis spinimana spiders are found

Bay Lab at Crab Cove

Organization Name
East Bay Regional Park District
Region
Alameda
Location
Crab Cove at Crown Memorial State Beach

Beach COMBERS

Organization Name
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
1) obtain baseline information on rates of beach deposition of marine birds and mammals; 2) assess causes of seabird and marine mammal mortality; 3) assist resource management agencies in early detection of unusual rates of natural and anthropogenic mortality; 4) assess abundance of tar balls (oil patches) on beaches; 5) build a network of interacting citizens, scientists, and resource managers; and 6) disseminate information to the resource managers, public, and educational institutions

Region
Northern California
Location
Beaches in and around Monterrey Bay

Beach Watch

Organization Name
Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
  • Provide a baseline dataset on the presence of live and beach cast marine organisms;
  • Assist Sanctuary management in the early detection of natural and human-caused environmental events;
  • Develop a network of volunteer expert surveyors who can respond during an oil spill; and
  • Educate the public about the coastal environment and how they can make a difference in protecting their beaches.
Region
Northern California
Location
42 beach segments every two to four weeks from Bodega Head in Sonoma County to Año Nuevo State Reserve on the San Mateo/Santa Cruz county line

Behavior and Ecology of Steller's Jays

Organization Name
Humbolt State University
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To investigate mechanisms behind the complex social system and ecological relationships that drive the distribution and dynamics of the local jay population. Jays are wonderful focal animals because they are conspicuous, and travel in pairs and family groups, allowing students to practice monitoring skills. 

Region
Humboldt
Location
Near Humbolt State University, from Diamond Drive (north of campus) to Fickle Hill Road (south of campus).

Big Bear Bald Eagle Census

Organization Name
San Bernadino National Forest - USFS
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Gain information about Bald Eagles and high-use foraging, perching, and day resting areas, fluctuations of numbers, and changes in use areas depending on weather, ice, and lake level conditions.

Region
San Bernardino
Location
Big Bear Lake, Baldwin Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Silverwood Lake, Lake Gregory, and Little Green Valley Lake.

Big Chico Creek Youth Stream Team

Organization Name
California Urban Streams Alliance - The Stream Team
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
  • Provide useful baseline information that can be used to track a variety of potential impacts - such as non-point source pollutants can flow from the land into creeks including sediment, synthetic materials from our roads and automobiles, fertilizers, nutrients, sewage leaks, and animal wastes - that can stress aquatic systems and impair their beneficial functions. 
  • Facilitate the ability to track changes over time and help prioritize efforts for identifying sources of pollutants, and appropriate land use changes needed to minimize impacts and protect the ecological health of the Big Chico Creek watershed
  • Teach kids robust environmental information gathering techniques and instigate a life-long appreciation for Big Chico Creek
  • Link on-going watershed monitoring and restoration efforts with the educational needs of K-12 students
Region
Butte
Location
Big Chico Creek Watershed

BioCurious

Organization Name
BioCurious
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Provide a complete working laboratory and technical library for entrepreneurs to cheaply access equipment, materials, and co-working space; a training center for biotechniques; a meeting place for citizen scientists, hobbyists, activists, and students

Region
Santa Clara
Location
Sunnyvale, CA

Bumblee Bee Watch

Organization Name
The Xerces Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Track the status of five bumble bee species and finding out where current populations are situated; project focuses on Five of bumble bee species (western bumble beerusty patched bumble bee,yellowbanded bumble bee and the American bumble bee)

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Where bumble bee species of interest are found

Calflora

Organization Name
Calflora
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Calflora is structured as a digital library to fulfill the following objectives:

  1. to serve as a repository for information on California wild plants in electronic formats from diverse sources, including public agencies, academic institutions, private organizations, and individuals.
  2. to provide this information in readily usable, electronic formats for scientific, conservation, and educational purposes.
  3. to serve public information needs related to scientific study, land management, environmental analysis, education, and appreciation of California plant life.
  4. to coordinate and integrate efforts towards these objectives undertaken by scientists, public agencies, private organizations, and members of the public.
Calflora offers resources for an informed, timely approach to biodiversity protection. Through Calflora, scientists, citizens, and policymakers have quick and easy access to data they need for analyzing species distributions, modeling spread of invasive species, or identifying consequences of habitat loss.  Furthermore, Calflora provides a mechanism for citizens to participate directly in building the information resources they need, and gives all users an opportunity to learn about the beauty and diversity of California plant life.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
wherever observations of California flora are made

California King Tides Initiative

Organization Name
California King Tides Initiative
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To create a rich and diverse archive of photographs that highlight the changes in California’s shoreline communities and ecosystems.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
California Coastline

California Phenology Project

Organization Name
USA National Phenology Network
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Study how living systems are functioning in response to climate variability and, over the long-term, to climate change.
This project is in the pilot phase and is currently developing and testing phenology observation protocols to study resource (e.g. vegetation) response to climate change with engagement of citizen scientists. Approximately 25 plant taxa have been selected statewide for initial monitoring. In addition, associated education and outreach programs and materials are being developed that use phenology as a theme for interpreting resources response to changing climatic conditions. The pilot project is being conducted at 7 National Parks in California. 

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
7 National Parks: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; Golden Gate National Recreation Area; Redwood National Park; Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks; Lassen Volcanic National Park; J

California Roadkill Observation System

Organization Name
Wildlifecrossing.net
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Inform policy, management, and financial investment in reducing road-kill with information about where wildlife vehicle collisions occur, what animals are involved, on what kinds of roads are collisions frequent, and other data.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
California Roads

Carneros Creek Agricultural Run-off Monitoring

Organization Name
Coastal Watershed Council
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Evaluate the effectiveness of organic farming practices and wetland restoration in improving habitat and sediment and water quality in the slough, by monitoring changes in sediment, orthophosphate, nitrate and ammonia levels as water enters, moves through, and exits the wetland area of Triple-M Ranch.

Region
Monterey
Location
ALBA's Triple-M Ranch in North Monterey County

Celebrate Urban Birds

Organization Name
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Collect information aboutsixteen key species of urban birds. The scientists have created a project that will use data collected from participants in the celebration to study these resident and migratory birds - their numbers, their behavior, their interaction with the urban habitat.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Your backyard or garden

Central Coast Vineyard Team

Organization Name
Central Coast Vineyard Team
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Determine the effectiveness of new practices for improving environmental quality. The following issues are addressed in CCVT demonstrations and research:

  • Protecting surface and groundwater quality
  • Conserving wildlife habitat
  • Minimizing soil erosion
  • Reduced risk insect and disease control
  • Biological control techniques
Region
Northern California
Location
Central Coast Vineyards

Christmas Bird Count

Organization Name
National Audubon Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
This program was originally started as an alternative to a Christmas bird hunt in the 1900’s.  The program is now an international bird census from which the data has been used to document bird population declines and establish conservation measures.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
The bird count takes place all over the US, Canada and several other locations in the western hemisphere.

Citizen Weather Observer Program

Organization Name
Automatic Position Reporting System as a WX NETwork
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
1) to collect weather data contributed by citizens; 2) to make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) to provide feedback to the data contributors so that they have the tools to check and improve their data quality.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
home - citizen weather station

COASST - Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team

Organization Name
University of Washington
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Gather baseline data against which any impact—from human or natural origins—can be assessed so that nearshore ecosystems worldwide will be actively known, managed, and protected.

Region
Humboldt
Location
Beaches in Humbolt & Del Norte Counties

CoCoRaHS California

Organization Name
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, CoCoRaHS aims to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research application

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Anywhere in California

Colonial Waterbird Surveys

Organization Name
Point Blue
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Conduct comprehensive surveys of nesting colonies of herons, egrets, night-herons, and cormorants in the southern Central Valley (San Joaquin Valley & Tulare Basin) of California. Immediate goals are to:
  1. Document the size and location of all breeding colonies 
  2. Estimate the minimum regional population size of each species
  3. Contribute to an atlas of breeding waterbird colonies by 2013 
These surveys will also provide a baseline needed to develop a long-term monitoring program to track regional population sizes, trends, and patterns of distribution of colonial waterbirds. All of these goals are in service of the conservation of these wetland birds.
 
Species of Interest:  Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron, Double-crested Cormorant
Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin including the following counties: Stanislaus, w. Tuolumne, Merced, w. Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare

Communities for Better Environment (CBE) Research Team

Organization Name
Communities for a Better Environment
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Examine the environmental and health harms that result from unaddressed injustices and weaknesses, such as:

  • the heavy concentration of polluters in CBE communities;
  • our society’s continuing reliance on fossil fuels;
  • flaws in our regulatory system.
Region
Northern California
Location
Communities in and around Oakland, Richmond and the Bay Area

Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice

Organization Name
Pacific Institute
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Build research capacity and conduct participatory research in partnership with California-based organizations

Region
Northern California
Location
Communities in the Bay Area and Central Valley

Contra Costa Volunteer Creek Monitoring Program

Organization Name
Contra Costa Watershed Forum
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
The information gathered by volunteers is used for a variety of purposes:

  • to assess the current conditions of Contra Costa County streams
  • to compare stream health to state water quality standards
  • to calculate water quality and biological integrity indices
  • to serve as a baseline for comparison in future studies
Region
Contra Costa
Location
Watersheds and creeks in Contra Costa County

Coyote Creek Field Station - Landbird Project

Organization Name
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Study dispersal, migration, behavior, social structure, life span, survival rate, reproductive success, and population growth. At the Bird Observatory, we band to study the seasonal and long term population patterns of migratory, wintering and year-round resident birds. Banding allows us to track individuals, which is important in factoring survival, migratory turnover rates, and longevity. Additionally, banding birds allows us to examine individual response to the riparian restoration at the Coyote Creek Field Station.  These data are important for land managers and those designing future riparian restorations to create habitats that can support healthy, vibrant bird populations.

Region
Contra Costa
Location
Coyote Creek Field Station north of Alviso, CA

Creek Watch

Organization Name
IBM Research - Almaden
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Aggregate volunteer data and share it with water control boards to help them track pollution and manage water resources. This data helps watershed groups, agencies and scientists track pollution, manage water resources, and plan environmental programs.
Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Waterways around California and the world

Don Edwards Bay Area NWR Special Projects

Organization Name
Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Contribute to protection, restoration, education, and management plan efforts for the protected wildlife area.

Region
Alameda
Location
San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Don Edwards SF Bay BioBlitz

Organization Name
Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Help scientists track species behavior on our refuge. Volunteer identification might confirm that a poorly studied population of species still persists, or might make a new discovery outside of the known range.

Region
Alameda
Location
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR

Earth Team

Organization Name
National Resource Conservation Service - California
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Help protect and conserve the earth's natural resources.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Earth Team work is conducted throughout the state; Work with the CSRC&D covers watersheds in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mono, and Tuolumne Counties

EarthWatch Institute Expeditions

Organization Name
EarthWatch Institute
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Examine how the human impacts, such as shipping lanes and pollution are affecting marine mammal populations along the coast.

Region
Orange
Location
Waters between the Los Angeles area and Santa Catalina Island

East Bay Academy for Young Scientists (EBAYS)

Organization Name
Lawrence Hall of Science
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
  • Develop critical thinking skills through scientific research and exploration within low income communities of color in the cities of Oakland, Richmond, Emeryville, and San Francisco, California.
  • Research and curriculum addresses environmental quality - soil, water and air - within the schools and communities where we work and gives young scientists access to information technologies to enhance data collection and understanding of the world around them.
Region
Northern California
Location
Communities in and around the Bay Area

East Bay Body Burden Project

Organization Name
Global Community Monitor
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Assess exposure to heavy metal pollution present in the homes and bodies of children living near industrial facilities in the West Berkeley and West Oakland area.

Region
Alameda
Location
Berkeley near Pacific Steel Castings & West Oakland near Custom Alloy Scrap Sales

eBird

Organization Name
California eBird
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
eBird's goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Anywhere you would like to observe birds.

Elkhorn Slough Nest Box Monitoring

Organization Name
Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Obtain data on nest box occupancy (which boxes are occupied, and by which species), phenology (timing of reproductive events), indicators of reproductive success (clutch size, hatching rate, fledging rate) and parasitism (blowflies in nesting material). Monitoring these parameters serves as one way of keeping track of the health of oak woodland communities over time at the Slough.

In addition to tracking patterns over time, this monitoring may also be useful for examining patterns over space.

Region
Monterey
Location
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Elkhorn Slough Shorebird and Waterfowl Monitoring

Organization Name
Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Quantify the diversity (species richness) and abundance of shorebirds and waterfowl using central Reserve wetland habitats. If dramatic changes are detected, we can contact other organizations and reserves along the Pacific coast and attempt to find the cause of the pattern, if it is widespread. If the change is only local, we can seek explanations in terms small-scale events such as alterations to pollution levels or habitat management strategies.

Region
Monterey
Location
Elkhorn Slough

Fallow Field Shorebird Survey

Organization Name
Point Blue
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Track and coordinate information about shorebird usage of flooded, fallow rice fields in Central California.

Region
Northern California
Location
Yolo Wildlife Area, Cosumnes River Preserve, and other fallow fields in the central valley

First Flush - Monterey Bay

Organization Name
Coastal Watershed Council
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Sample storm drain runoff during the first significant rainfall of the wet season. During the first rainfall, water washes significant levels of pollution off street surfaces, driveways, and curbs and into storm drains. This concentrated mix of often polluted water flows directly from these storm drains into creeks, rivers and the Monterey Bay.

Region
Santa Cruz
Location
Creeks and run-off sites in the Monterey Bay Watershed (see http://50.16.247.99/cwc-data-portal-ver2/ for First Flush sites)

Fresno Bird Count ( FBC) project

Organization Name
Reconciliation Ecology Lab
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
This project addresses the impacts of urbanization on the distribution and abundance of birds species in Fresno, California. Urbanization is among the biggest conservation challenges of this century, for cities increasingly dominate the landscape, with ecological effects reaching well beyond their boundaries. Urbanization affects the distribution and abundance of wildlife throughout the world, with birds being conspicuous examples, but our understanding of the underlying processes remains highly inadequate.

Region
Fresno
Location
Within the city of Fresno, CA.

Friends of Deer Creek

Organization Name
Sierra Streams Institute
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Conduct thorough assessment of ecological condition of the Deer Creek Watershed using an integrated approach and understanding of how chemical, physical, and biological conditions interact and influence one another. Deer Creek has been impacted by human use and abuse since the days of the Gold Rush.

Region
Nevada
Location
Multiple sites in the Deer Creek Watershed in Nevada County

Friends of Sausal Creek Monitoring Teams

Organization Name
Friends of Sausal Creek
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Bird monitoring: to evaluate the impact of the Friends' restoration activities.

Aquatic Insect Montoring: observe and learn about stream fauna within the watershed; watch how the stream is re-colonized with new, or perhaps familiar, insects. 

Water Quality Monitoring: to assess the health of that part of the overall watershed. The project collects high quality reliable baseline data that may be used to identify pollution sources.

Region
Alameda
Location
Sausal Creek and its tributaries

Friends of the Alameda Wildlife Refuge (FAWR) Committee

Organization Name
Golden Gate Audubon Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Protect and enhance wildlife at the proposed Alameda National Wildlife Refuge; Build public support for creating the refuge and to ensuring the long-term survival of species that depend upon its habitat, including the endangered California Least Tern and Brown Pelican

Region
Alameda
Location
500+ acres at the former Alameda Naval Air Station

GLOBE - Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment

Organization Name
GLOBE
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Scientific questions vary depending on the location, school, and mentoring scientists. Some programs may have purely education and action focus, others collaborate with scientists to gather data that will contribute to professional research.

Current global Science Projects address: 

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Schools throughout California

Globe at Night Project

Organization Name
The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Anywhere the sky can be seen.

Gray Whales Count

Organization Name
Gray Whales Count
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Research goals: estimate the number of gray whales and gray-whale calves migrating northbound through our corridor and to share our data to complement similar sampling-studies along the California coast.  

Education goals: teach the process of scientific research to Counters and to give them the opportunity to conduct a meaningful study, to experience marine mammals in their environment, and to share this process and their enthusiasm with publics through outreach and various media, especially the internet.

Region
Santa Barbara
Location
Counter Point on the Coal Oil Point Reserve in Goleta, California,

Great Backyard Bird Count

Organization Name
National Audubon Society & Cornell Ornithology Lab
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Create an immense picture of winter birds; The counts can help answer many questions:

  • How will this winter's snow and cold temperatures influence bird populations?

  • Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?

  • How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?

  • How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?

  • What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

  • Are any birds undergoing worrisome declines that point to the need for conservation attention?

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Backyards around the US

Great Sunflower Project

Organization Name
SFSU Department of Biology
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
We know that pollinators are declining in certain wild and many agricultural landscapes. However, little is known about urban pollinators. While the loss of these pollinators is important, it is more important to understand what effect these losses have had on pollinator services.

By finding a way to track and value the goods and services provided by natural ecosystems, we will find a future in which conservation is not a luxury but a guiding principle of daily decision-making throughout the world. The data you collect from your sunflower will be a start. It will provide an insight into how our green spaces in the urban, suburban and rural landscapes are connected as well as shedding light on how to help pollinators. What we need are innovative strategies to maximize the benefits of our wild and semi-wild habitat remnants. The Great Sunflower Project is the first step.

Location
urban backyards

Green Hairstreak Project

Organization Name
Nature in the City
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Restoration within an urban setting of a vanishing butterflies historic ecosystem - connect two disjunctive butterfly populations in the Sunset District with street level plantings of host and nectar sources; year-to-year comparison of the amount of vacant lots within a single neighborhood that have been converted back to original upland dune habitat.

Other goals include: 

  • Reverse inbreeding of isolated populations, a known cause of local extinction.
  • Rally support from the surrounding neighborhood and connect the community to the habitat of this unique and beautiful species.
  • Restore fragments of native dune habitat, the natural home of the butt
Region
San Francisco
Location
Sunset District of San Francisco

GreenprintMaps

Organization Name
Greenprint Initiative - Sacramento Tree Foundation
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Provide a one-stop repository for tree data in the Greenprint region - Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, Sutter, and Yuba Counties - welcoming information from any agency or group and enabling and celebrating citizen participation; work toward building a complete, dynamic picture of the urban forest so that cities can better manage their trees, planners can protect trees, scientists can combat tree pests and diseases, and homeowners can share their tree stories.

Region
Northern California
Location
Greenprint region - Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, Sutter, and Yuba Counties

Grunion Greeters

Organization Name
Pepperdine University
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Document human impact (especially beach grooming practices) on grunion. 

Region
Southern California
Location
Beaches in California and Baja where Grunion spawn

Hawkwatch & Golden Gate Raptor Monitoring

Organization Name
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To conduct long-term studies of the seasonal movements of birds of prey along the Pacific Coast, particularly over the Marin Headlands, to further the understanding and preservation of raptor populations. 

Hawkwatch: identify and tally 19 species of birds of prey, so that data from different years can be compared.  The count results help GGRO look for trends and patterns in hawk populations over time.

Banding: answer questions about what raptor populations GGRO is tracking in the count studies – what are their geographical ranges?  Recoveries also give us insight into causes of  raptor injuries and deaths.  Banding hawks gives us a rare opportunity to study them in hand, to check its physical health, weight and condition. 

Radiotelemtry: study daily timing of migration, the hawk’s habitat use, and even the human impacts on migration. 

Region
Marin
Location
Marin Headlands and Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Healthy Watersheds Program

Organization Name
The Watershed Project
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Create a legacy of healthy watersheds for future generations

Region
Contra Costa
Location
Watersheds in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties

Humboldt Bay Goose Study

Organization Name
Humbolt State University
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Gather data that will be useful to policy makers when addressing socio-political issues dealing with the geese in the Arcata area. There are four initial operational objectives.

  • assess habitat preferences and diet in all seasons
  • determine habitat characteristics of roosts, nests and brood-rearing sites
  • determine energy budget in relation to disturbance (natural and human mediated)
  • determine carrying capacity of habitats
  • assess response of goose plant-foods to grazing and fertilizing from goose droppings
  • determine fate of broods & lifetime reproduction of marked birds
  • determine movement of marked individuals throughout range
The HSU waterfowl research group will also address questions dealing with traditional use of sites, mate choice, divorce, pair bond tenacity, extra-pair behavior, adoption and parental care.

Region
Humboldt
Location
Fields, marshes and other habitat in the Arcata area

iNaturalist

Organization Name
iNaturalist
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
From hikers to hunters, birders to beach-combers, the world is filled with naturalists, and many of us record what we find. What if all those observations could be shared online? You might discover someone who finds beautiful wildflowers at your favorite birding spot, or learn about the birds you see on the way to work. If enough people recorded their observations, it would be like a living record of life on Earth that scientists and land managers could use to monitor changes in biodiversity, and that anyone could use to learn more about nature.

A platform for citizen scientists and projects to upload and share information about observations.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Anywhere

Insects of the San Francisco Bay Area

Organization Name
Bug People - The Insect Sciences Museum of California
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Entomology outreach and publication of the web-based 'Insects of the San Francisco Bay Area field guide' based on insect observations and specimens taken by project collaborators.

Region
Northern California
Location
Workshops and field events will take place in parks and open space throughout the Bay Area. A table is set up every Saturday at the Oakland Rotary Nature Center.

Invasive Tunicate Network (iTunicate)

Organization Name
Plate Watch
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Engage citizen volunteers in the collection of critical background data on invertebrates in coastal ecosystems, to facilitate the early detection of invasive marine species. Species targeted for monitoring include 8 marine species invasive in California with the potential for transport and significant impacts in more pristine habitats to the north, such as Alaska.

The Adopt-A-Plate program is being established to (a) detect biological
invasions by non-native marine species; (b) measure changes in the distribution and abundance of marine invertebrates more broadly, and (c) measure important water quality parameters.

 

Region
Northern California
Location
Morro Bay, Berkeley, and other sites in coastal California, as well as many sites in Alaska

Jellywatch

Organization Name
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Develop a better understanding of the ocean through creation of a long-term dataset about the animals and the conditions of the beach.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Beaches throughout California

LA Spider Survey

Organization Name
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Learn more about how widespread introduced species of spiders have become, and how they have interacted with the native spiders; learn more about how urbanization and the loss of natural habitat has affected populations and distributions of naturally occurring spiders.

Region
Los Angeles
Location
Los Angeles County

Leatherback Watch

Organization Name
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
to work collaboratively with charter vessels, research expeditions, and local yacht clubs to compile, to record and communicate any and all sightings of leatherback sea turtles off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Ocean waters off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington

Livestock & Land Monitoring - Monterey Bay

Organization Name
Coastal Watershed Council
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Conduct water quality monitoring in three watersheds in Monterey and San Mateo counties between January and December 2012; achieve immediate and lasting water quality improvements by educating livestock owners on Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Region
Northern California
Location
Locations upstream and downstream of areas with livestock facilities in Monterey and San Mateo counties

Living Shoreline Initiative - Oyster Monitoring & Restoration Project

Organization Name
The Watershed Project
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Data that students and teachers collect helps scientists understand how best to restore native oysters to the San Francisco Bay and the critical role these bivalves play in the underwater web of life.

Overall, the Living Shores initiative aims to help people appreciate the rich potential for healthy underwater habitats in the Bay and along its shoreline, and to restore that lost habitat; 

Region
Northern California
Location
San Francisco Bay

Long-billed Curlew Volunteer Project

Organization Name
Point Blue
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To answer the question: Where do all the Curlew's go? The goal is to determine how important California's Central Valley is for wintering Long-billed Curlews. The purpose of the survey is to estimate the total number of migrating and wintering curlews in the interior valleys of California, to identify hot spots of occurrence, and learn more about which types of croplands they prefer. The Central Valley, Imperial Valley and Carrizo Plain are the initial foci of our interest.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Central, Carrizo & Imperial Valleys of California

Lost Ladybug Project

Organization Name
The Department of Entomology at Cornell University
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
We're asking you to join us in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Gardens, fields, flower beds anywhere you might find them.

Marine Debris Action Teams

Organization Name
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Marine Debris Action Teams lead beach cleanups, scientific evaluations of debris density, and take action to save sea turtles by reducing the plastic pollution responsible for harming and killing endangered sea turtles.

Region
Northern California
Location
Coastal sites along the West Coast

Marine Invasions Research Lab

Organization Name
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Document and help prevent the spread of Undaria pinnatifida, a quick-growing non-native kelp, also known as Asian kelp, which arrived to Southern California in 2000 and quickly spread north to Monterey. 

Region
Northern California
Location
San Francisco Bay and Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay

Mission Bay IBA (Important Bird Area) - Citizen Science Program

Organization Name
San Diego Audubon Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Enhance protection and conservation activities around Mission Bay: observe and record the three bird species (stilts, avocets and terns); monitor invasive and native vegetation cover at the South Shores area of Mission Bay and help implement an adaptive management plan to reduce the nearly eight acres of ice plant that is currently dominating the site

Region
San Diego
Location
Sites around Mission Bay, San Diego

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project

Organization Name
University of Minnesota
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
The overarching goal of the project is to better understand how and why monarch populations vary in time and space, with a focus on monarch distribution and abundance during the breeding season in North America.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Where ever Milkweed can be found.

Morro Bay Shorebird Survey

Organization Name
Morro Coast Audubon
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Keep track of numbers of shorebirds using Morro Bay and contribute to data on shorebird abundance throughout the pacific flyway. Collecting these data will provide a view of the variability of shorebird numbers seasonally and annually, with the overall goal of tracking long-term trends. 

Region
San Luis Obispo
Location
Morro Bay

MPA Watch - Heal the Bay

Organization Name
Heal the Bay
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Collect unbiased data on coastal and marine resource use, which will provide important information to understand how people are using the newly established marine protected areas (MPAs), and to help inform MPA management.

Region
Los Angeles
Location
Marine Protected Areas in Malibu and Palos Verdes

MPA Watch - Otter Project

Organization Name
Otter Project
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
1) Foster compliance and inform management decisions for Central Coast MPAs by providing useful information to enforcement and management agencies - monitoring for compliance can ensure that scientific monitoring is reflecting the dynamics of the ecosystem and not persistent human impact;
2) Inform management decisions by providing useful information to enforcement and management agencies, some of which acknowledge feeling overburdened by new regulations.  

MPA Watch will address questions such as: 

  • Are certain activities increasing around MPAs (i.e. increased wildlife viewing, diving, etc.)
  • Are regulations being followed? 
  • What are the threats and benefits of MPA use?
 

Region
Northern California
Location
Marine Protected Areas in the Central Coast Region - Bean Hollow, north of Año Nuevo in San Mateo County, to Point Buchon SMR, in San Luis Obispo County

Nature's Notebook - National Phenology Project

Organization Name
National Phenology Network
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Provide valuable observations that scientists, educators, policy makers, and resource managers are using to understand how plants and animals are responding to climate change and other environmental changes.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Any site that meets the project guidelines (see training section)

Nest Watch

Organization Name
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Your observations will be added to a continually growing database that is used to monitor population trends, nesting phenology, and the behavior of birds across the country.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Anywhere you can find a nesting pair of birds.

North Bay Heron & Egret Project

Organization Name
Audubon Canyon Ranch
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To protect nesting Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons and other species; To develop information for scientists, researchers, planners, birding enthusiasts and local residents. 

Region
Northern California
Location
Heron & Egret Habitat in preserved wildlands throughout the North Bay

OakMapper

Organization Name
Kelly Research and Outreach Lab & Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF) at UC Berkeley:
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Collect and display known and suspected locations of Sudden Oak Death so that scientists can track the spread of the disease.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Project is focused on California, but volunteers can participate wherever SOD is found.

Ocean Spaces

Organization Name
MPA Monitoring Enterprise, a project of the California Ocean Science Trust
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Brings people together who care about California’s oceans so they can explore and learn about marine life, and how we use and manage our ocean resources;  Connect fishermen, policy-makers, and scientists to find the information needed to contribute an informed voice in decisions; Provide a platform that will add context to available ocean data and encourage constant growth – additional members, new ideas, and new sources of knowledge.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Participants work from personal computers to analyze data from California's Marine Protected Areas

Otter Spotter

Organization Name
The River Otter Ecology Project
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Once we gather hundreds of such observations we will be able to assess all the data and the status and ecology of Bay Area river otters, of which nothing is currently known.  

Region
Northern California
Location
Bay Area waterways where otters are found

Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey

Organization Name
Point Blue
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To learn about species population trends, subsequently which shorebird species are at greatest risk, and which habitats they most depend upon.

This study will help elucidate the importance of San Francisco Bay and Central Valley wetlands as wintering grounds for shorebirds and other waterbirds along the Pacific Flyway. The annual PFSS will help fill existing information gaps and provide guidance to resource managers on how best to conserve shorebird habitats in the face of environmental change, including urbanization, extreme weather and climate variation, agricultural flooding, and wetland restoration and management.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Bay Area and beyond

Pepperwood Vital Signs

Organization Name
Pepperwood Preserve
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Contribute to growing citizen-science datasets on the distribution of the plants and animals of the Pepperwood Preserve; Contribute to the Bay Area BioAtlas, which seeks to build reserve-level species guides of where these plants and animals persist and where they are absent, as a baseline for monitoring changes related related to land use and climate change.

Region
Sonoma
Location
Pepperwood Preserve, between Santa Rosa and Calistoga

Peregrine Falcon Nest Survey

Organization Name
Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To conduct a census of wintering falcons during December so that we may attempt to annually track this population of peregrine falcons, in comparison to breeding birds; To help keep the youngsters safe upon fledging; To learn more about longevity, nest site tenacity, and juvenile dispersal at a sample of the locations.

The Peregrine Falcon continues to be an important indicator of ecological health and careful monitoring of its population will help Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group better understand our ecosystem.

Region
Northern California
Location
San Francisco Bay nesting sites of peregrine falcons

PM (Particulate Matter) Survey

Organization Name
West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
The objective of this study is to evaluate the air quality of residential areas in West Oakland. The study will lead to the design of lower-cost sensors and instruments. This initiative provides an opportunity to:

  1. engage citizens in air quality monitoring and management practices
  2. “fill in the gaps” in state monitoring networks, and
  3. use new data sources for scientific research.
Region
Alameda
Location
West Oakland Neighborhoods

Point Lobos and Surrounds - UC California Naturalist Project

Organization Name
UC California Naturalist
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Contribute to growing citizen-science datasets on the distribution of the plants and animals around Point Lobos State Reserve. Data will help build a species guide and understanding of biodiversity in the watershed.

Region
Monterey
Location
Point Lobos State Reserve and other coastal areas near Monterey, CA

PRIDE Shorebird Surveys (Proud Residents Investing in a Diverse Estuary)

Organization Name
La Purisima Audubon Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Survey shorebirds at the Lower Santa Ynez River (LSYR) to assess whether restoring mudflat habitat will increase the abundance, distribution, and diversity of shorebirds utilizing the Lower Santa Ynez River.  The project uses data gathered by volunteers and professional scientists to test the hypothesis that shorebird abundance, distribution and diversity within the LSYR is limited by the amount of available mudflat habitat.

Region
Santa Barbara
Location
Mudflats at the outlet of the Lower Santa Ynez River

Project Bud Burst

Organization Name
National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
We are a network of people across the United States who monitor plants as the seasons change. We are a national field campaign designed to engage the public in the collection of important ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants (plant phenophases). Project BudBurst participants make careful observations of these plant phenophases. The data are being collected in a consistent manner across the country so that scientists can use the data to learn more about the responsiveness of individual plant species to changes in climate locally, regionally, and nationally.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Anywhere there are plants

Project Feeder Watch

Organization Name
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Data show which bird species visit feeders at thousands of locations across the continent every winter. The data also indicate how many individuals of each species are seen. This information can be used to measure changes in the winter ranges and abundances of bird species over time.

FeederWatch data tell us where birds are as well as where they are not. This crucial information enables scientists to piece together the most accurate population maps.

The massive amounts of data collected by FeederWatchers across the continent help scientists understand

  • long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance
  • the timing and extent of winter irruptions of winter finches and other species.
  • expansions or contractions in the winter ranges of feeder birds
  • the kinds of foods and environmental factors that attract birds
  • how disease is spread among birds that visit feeders
Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Wherever you can set up and observe a bird feeder

Project Noah

Organization Name
Networked Organisms
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To build a tool with which users can explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere. 

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
see Project Noah Map & Missions on their website

Project Squirrel

Organization Name
Project Squirrel
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Answer questions about distribution and behavior of squirrels (see "what we've learned" for scientific publications)

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Wherever you are

Project Tierra

Organization Name
Watsonville Wetlands Watch
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To collect and record environmental data over the long-term to monitor the biodiversity and overall health of the Watsonville wetlands. The overarching goal of Project Tierra is to provide ongoing data regarding water quality, plant populations and bird populations to the scientific community that will inform wetland conservation and land management decisions in the Pajaro Valley. Project Tierra is especially interested in using this data to evaluate the success of Watsonville Wetlands Watch restoration projects and guide the adaptive management of these lands.

Region
Santa Cruz
Location
Watsonville Sloughs and surrounding upland habitats

Rare Plant Treasure Hunt

Organization Name
California Native Plant Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Gather up-to-date information on many of our state’s rare plants, while engaging chapter members and other volunteers in rare plant conservation

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Trips occur all over California.

Redwood Watch

Organization Name
Save the Redwoods League
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Understand where redwoods grow well today in order to better predict how climate change will impact the redwood forest and where the redwood forests of tomorrow will thrive.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Anywhere you find a Redwood - park, backyard, botanical garden, etc.

Reef Check California

Organization Name
Reef Check
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Survey nearshore reefs providing data on the status of key indicator species - assess the relative abundance and size distribution of target species and how these parameters are changing over time. This will permit the evaluation of population and community attributes at sites inside and outside of existing and proposed Marine Protected Areas and will provide insight into how different sites respond to newly imposed management measures.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Reefs along California Coast

REEF Invertebrate and Algae Monitoring Programs

Organization Name
REEF
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
to collect and report information on selected invertebrate and algae species along the West Coast of the US and Canada - invertebrates and algae can serve as valuable indicators of the health and status of local environments.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Coastal California

REEF Volunteer Survey Project

Organization Name
Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Collect and report information on marine fish populations as well as selected invertebrate and algae species along the West Coast of the US and Canada. The data are collected using a fun and easy standardized method, and are housed in a publicly-accessible database on REEF's Website. These data are used by a variety of resource agencies and researchers. 

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Coastal California

River Otter Network

Organization Name
Otter Records Research Group, Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Describe the distribution and demography of otters on the coasts, wetlands and watersheds in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a key bio-indicator of the health of our environment as they sit at the top of this water-based food chain. Initial scientific goals are to:

  • Assess spatial and temporal variation in otter distribution
  • Assess spatial and temporal variation in pup production
  • Conduct observational studies on otter foraging
  • Conduct diet assessments
  • Assess home range and site faithfulness of individuals
Region
Humboldt
Location
Coasts, wetlands and watersheds of Humboldt and Del Norte counties

Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Project

Organization Name
LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students)
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Collect baseline data on intertidal zone condition in order to follow changes over time and better understand impacts of  human activities and climate change; provide students with the opportunity to experience the scientific process firsthand; increase awareness and stewardship of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Region
Northern California
Location
Multiple sites along the Northern California coast

Sacramento Valley Fox Survey & the Contribution of Citizen Science to Conservation

Organization Name
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Determine the current distribution and status of the Sacramento Valley red fox in the Sacramento Valley. The study entails three parts: (1) seeking sightings of red foxes or dens from residents of the Sacramento Valley, (2) collecting road-killed specimens for genetic, reproductive, age, and health indexes, and (3) collection of feces and hair from around dens for genetic material.

The project also addresses (1) how effective public input was on locating the foxes and (2) how the website can be improved for future conservation efforts.

Region
Northern California
Location
Sacramento Valley

Sagehen Creek Basin - UC California Naturalist Project

Organization Name
UC California Naturalist
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Contribute to growing citizen-science datasets on the distribution of the plants and animals in Sagehen Creek Basin. Data will help build a species guide and understanding of biodiversity in the watershed.

Region
Nevada
Location
Sagehen Creek Basin, near Truckee

Sandy Beach Monitoring Project

Organization Name
LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students)
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Monitor the abundance and distribution of the Mole crab - one of the most important herbivores on the beach, and a vital link in the sandy beach food web. Significant changes in mole crab populations can be an indicator of a larger problem in the ecosystem.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Along the coastal sandy beachs

Save Our Shorebirds Surveys - Mendocino

Organization Name
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Find facts and contribute to re-search connected with sharp declines in coastal birds.

Region
Mendocino
Location
Ten Mile Beach, Virgin Creek Beach and Glass Beach in Mendocino County

SEA Explorers

Organization Name
Sailing Education Adventures
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Gain knowledge about plankton's role in the oceans

Region
Marin
Location
San Francisco Bay

SFBBO Waterbird Program

Organization Name
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To document population trends, inform resource management decisions, and contribute to other projects including the "Annotated Atlas and Implications for the Conservation of Heron and Egret Nesting Colonies in the San Francisco Bay Area", a collaboration between SFBBO and Audubon Canyon Ranch. The Colonial Waterbird Monitoring Project also records data on timing of nesting and evidence of predation.

Region
Contra Costa
Location
Alviso, Mallard (Artesian) and Guadalupe Sloughs, and restoration areas in the South Bay

Shark Watch

Organization Name
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
to learn about local sharks, skates and rays, their distribution and range along the California Coastline (and the world too!) and to quantify recreational and commercial fishing

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Waters off the coast of California

Shorebird & Waterbird Monitoring on Tomales Bay

Organization Name
Audubon Canyon Ranch
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To conduct a census of shorebirds and waterbirds on Tomales Bay.

Region
Marin
Location
Tomales Bay

Shorebird and Invertebrate Surveys - Richardson Bay

Organization Name
Richardson Bay Audubon, Center & Sanctuary
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Promote high quality conservation science in Richardson Bay, dedicated to the conservation and restoration of functioning ecosystems that will benefit species ranging from birds that utilize the bay as a food source to benthic marine species and habitats that play a major role in ecosystem health.

Region
Marin
Location
Richardson Bay Center & Sanctuary in southern Marin County

Snapshot Day - Monterey Bay

Organization Name
Coastal Watershed Council
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Provide a one-day “Snapshot” of the health of the rivers and streams that flow into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS).

Region
Santa Cruz
Location
Rivers and streams throughout Santa Cruz County

Snapshot Day - Tahoe and Truckee River Watershed

Organization Name
Tahoe-Truckee Clean Water team
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
  1. To promote environmental education and stewardship
  2. To collect valuable water quality information about Lake Tahoe and its watershed
Region
Tulare

SOD (Sudden Oak Death) Blitzes

Organization Name
UC Berkeley Forest Pathology Lab
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
SOD-blitzes inform and educate the community about Sudden Oak Death, get locals involved in detecting the disease, and produce detailed local maps of disease distribution. The map can then be used to identify those areas where the infestation may be mild enough to justify proactive management.Sudden Oak Death (SOD), a serious exotic disease, is threatening the survival of tanoak and several oak species in California. Researchers have discovered that the pathogen that causes SOD spreads most often on infected California bay laurel leaves. Some management options are available (sanitation, chemical preventative treatments, bay removal), but they are effective only if implemented before oaks and tanoaks are infected. Timely detection of the disease on bay laurel leaves is key for a successful proactive attempt to slow down the SOD epidemic.  

Region
Northern California
Location
Areas where SOD is currently at a low or intermediate level?

SONAR - School of Natural Resources

Organization Name
Mendocino High School
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Conduct surveys to help manage the salmon resource in the Big River watershed and maintain the overall biodiversity of the watershed.
Other goals include: 
  • Foster student stewardship of natural resources
  • Collaboration among students, teachers, community members and practicing scientists
  • Maintenance of reliable and high quality databases
  • Provide job shadowing and career awareness in Natural Resource management
  • Provide training and equipment for Natural Resource monitoring
Region
Mendocino
Location
Big River watershed

SPAWN Salmon & Creek Monitoring

Organization Name
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Assess the health of fish populations in San Geronimo Valley and protect coho salmon and steelhead trout populations in Lagunitas Watershed

Region
Marin
Location
San Geronimo Valley streams: Arroyo and Larsen Creeks and 10 tributaries

Stream Team & Creek Stewards

Organization Name
Heal the Bay
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Determine where much of the pollution in Malibu creek is coming from, how development has impacted the creek, and where some of the most urgent pollution problems are.

Region
Los Angeles
Location
Malibu Creek Watershed

Sunol-Ohlone Wilderness Bird Nesting & Rare Plant Projects

Organization Name
Sunol-Ohlone Regional Wilderness
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Help with the long-term monitoring and management of this
restored marshland

Region
Alameda
Location
Sunol-Ohlone Wilderness

Surfrider Water Sample Collection

Organization Name
Surfrider - Santa Cruz Chapter
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Assess safety of beaches and ocean water

Region
Santa Cruz
Location
Beaches in and around Santa Cruz and the central Coast

Sword Ferns in the Redwood Ecosystem

Organization Name
Chabot Space & Science Center
Region
Alameda
Location
Redwood Regional Park and Joaquin Miller Park

The Stream Team - Big Chico Creek Watershed Citizen Monitoring

Organization Name
California Urban Streams Alliance - The Stream Team
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
  • Develop and implement a watershed scale volunteer monitoring program,  documenting long-term trends in watershed condition that cumulatively result from restoration activities, land management changes, and natural processes.
  • Involve student and community volunteers in monitoring efforts to encourage stewardship and foster an understanding of the complexities of natural resource protection.
  • Build on prior monitoring efforts to facilitate data sharing and improve data analysis.
Region
Butte
Location
Volunteers meet at the Five Mile Recreation Area near Chico, CA

Thursday Birding: Raptor Baseline

Organization Name
East Bay Regional Park District
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Document the variety and numbers of an array of birds of prey: hawks, falcons, eagles

Region
Contra Costa
Location
Parks and trails in the East Bay Regional Park District

TraCkS - Traverse Creek Stewardship

Organization Name
Traverse Creek Stewardship
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Establish baseline data for water quality conditions in our watershed, to create educational opportunities, to increase stewardship awareness, and to determine if our watershed is healthy

Region
El Dorado
Location
Traverse Creek

Travel Trawl

Organization Name
5 Gyres
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Understand if plastic pollution exists in the 5 gyres

Region
Northern California
Location
North Pacific Gyre (off the coast of California)

Trees to Seas Camp

Organization Name
Coastal Watershed Council
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Motivate them to influence their families about the proper use of fertilizers, cleansers, oil, and other household chemicals.

Region
Santa Cruz
Location
San Lorenzo and Pajaro River Watersheds

Tri-County Watchdogs Air Monitoring

Organization Name
Tri-County Watchdogs
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Support community air monitoring in the TriCountry and Southern Kern area

Region
Kern
Location
TriCountry and Southern Kern area

Tricolored Blackbird Colonies - Monitoring and Protecting in San Luis Obispo County

Organization Name
Morro Coast Audubon Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Identify and keep track of the location, status, and changes of Tricolored Blackbirds. This information is critical for understanding how things are changing and making sure that colonies that can be enhanced or protected are identified.

Region
San Luis Obispo
Location
Tricolored Blackbird habitat in SLO county

Tricolored Blackbird Portal & Triennial Statewide Survey

Organization Name
UC Davis Information Center for the Environment (ICE)
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Monitor trends in the distribution and abundance of tricolored blackbirds. The statewide survey provides current, reliable information on the numbers and distribution of tricolored blackbirds throughout California and a means to document trends in the population over time. The survey complements more intensive field efforts that provide insights into the factors causing observed population increases or declines.

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Tricolor blackbird colony sites through California

Turtle Watchers - Marin Municipal Water District

Organization Name
Marin Municipal Water District
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Protect the vulnerable Western Pond Turtle and collect valuable data on native and non-native turtles to direct the management of these species.

Region
Marin
Location
Phoenix, Lagunitas and Alpine Lakes in the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed

UC Davis SEEDS BioBlitz

Organization Name
ESA - Seeds
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)

Draw attention to the biodiversity of plants, and animals that live in Putah Creek Reserve. 

Region
Yolo
Location
Putah Creek

Urban Ant Collector

Organization Name
AntWeb - California Academy of Science
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Record data that will help researchers advance our understanding of biodiversity and our planet. Ants are incredible, especially because they act as a special "keystone" species that can indicate just how healthy and diverse all the plants and animals are. 

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Anywhere you see an ant

Urban Forest Map - San Francisco

Organization Name
Urban Forest Map
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Map every tree in San Francisco. We'll calculate the environmental benefits the trees are providing -- how many gallons of stormwater they are helping to filter, how many pounds of air pollutants they are capturing, how many kilowatt-hours of energy they are conserving, and how many tons of carbon dioxide they are removing from the atmosphere. The information volunteers gather will help urban foresters and city planners to better manage trees in specific areas, track and combat tree pests and diseases, and plan future tree plantings. Climatologists can use it to better understand the effects of urban forests on climates, and students and citizen scientists can use it to learn about the role trees play in the urban ecosystem.

Region
San Francisco
Location
San Francisco

Urban Watch - Monterey Bay

Organization Name
Coastal Watershed Council
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Answer questions about what kinds of urban runoff pollution are entering our storm drains, creeks and streams, and the Monterey Bay during the dry weather season (June – September). See http://coastal-watershed.org/what-do-we-monitor/ for description of water quality measures.

Region
Santa Cruz
Location
Creeks and run-off sites near Capitola, CA

Waterbird Surveys - Richardson Bay

Organization Name
Richardson Bay Audubon, Center & Sanctuary
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Promote high quality conservation science in Richardson Bay, dedicated to the conservation and restoration of functioning ecosystems that will benefit species ranging from birds that utilize the bay as a food source to benthic marine species and habitats that play a major role in ecosystem health.

Region
Marin
Location
Richardson Bay Center & Sanctuary in southern Marin County

Weed Watcher - Martin Griffin Preserve

Organization Name
Audubon Canyon Ranch
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
To discover weeds before they become well-established and thereby protect Audubon Canyon Ranch’s unique natural resources; To deepen volunteer understanding of the natural world. 

Region
Marin
Location
Martin Griffin Preserve near Stinson Beach

Weed Watchers - Golden Gate

Organization Name
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Discover weeds before they become well-established to reduce damage to ecosystem integrity, prevent the loss of habitat for rare plants and animals, and prevent costly natural resource management. 

Region
Northern California
Location
Golden Gate National Parks throughout San Mateo, San Francisco, and Marin counties.

Weed Watchers - Marin Municipal Water District

Organization Name
Marin Municipal Water District
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Survey trails and roadsides for new weed populations, discovering invasive plants before they become well established. Data collected from vegetation monitoring informs the resource management and conservation activities on the watershed.

Region
Marin
Location
Trails around Mt. Tam

West Oakland Bucket Brigade

Organization Name
Global Community Monitor
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Document industrial pollution and associated human health exposures and risks and advocate land use and other policy reform at the city and regional level. Currently, we are working with community members to create a buffer zone between families and polluting industries by relocating metal recyclers to the abandoned Oakland Army base.

Region
Alameda
Location
West Oakland

Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count

Organization Name
Xerces Society
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Census Western Monarch colonies at a number of locations along the California coast and help address questions about natal grounds for the migratory generation in the west and other factors relevant to monarch butterfly migration

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Western Monarch wintering sites along the California Coast

Whale FM - the Whale Song Project

Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Learn more about why and when whales make specific calls in order to properly understand the implications of these responses, we need to know 

The dataset generated by this project will allow us to address interesting questions, such as:

  • How well do different judgements of volunteers agree, and how well can we categorize calls of vocal species such as pilot whales?
  • How large is the call repertoire of pilot whales? (is size repertoire sign of intelligence?)
  • Do the long and short finned pilot whales have different call repertoires (or ‘dialects’?)
Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Your home

What lives on Albany Hill, Cerrito Creek, and El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area?

Organization Name
Friends of Five Creeks
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Build up knowledge that will help in managing the area, and contribute a worldwide database on biodiversity

  • Learn more about how animals use these urban oasis. 
  • Identify and map native plants and plant communities that should be protected and encouraged, 
  • Identify and map invasives that should be controlled or eradicated -- especially to avoid wildfire. 
Region
Contra Costa
Location
El Cerrito & Albany Hills

What's Invasive

Organization Name
What's Invasive
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Locate invasive species by making geo-tagged observations and taking photos to alert us of the spread of habitat-destroying invasive plants and animals

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Parks throughout California and the country, with a particular focus on Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

YardMap

Organization Name
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Project Website
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both professional scientists and people concerned with their local environments.
  1. What practices improve the wildlife value of residential landscapes?
  2. Which of these practices have the greatest impact?
  3. Over how large an area do we have to implement these practices to really make a difference?
  4. What impact do urban and suburban wildlife corridors and stopover habitats have on birds?
  5. Which measures (bird counts? nesting success?) show the greatest impacts of our practices?
Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
your backyard

Your Wild Life Projects

Organization Name
Your Wildlife
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Learn more about the wildlife living in our midst and help identify what scientists have not yet seen or are not yet looking at

Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Your home

Youth Winter Bird Count

Organization Name
Richardson Bay Audubon
Region
Marin
Location
Marsh, bay, and land areas surrounding the Pickleweed Community Center and Canal District of San Rafael

Yuba River Water Quality Monitoring

Organization Name
South Yuba River Citizens League
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
Monitor and assess water quality conditions in the Yuba River to contribute to the protection and restoration of waterways for healthy wildlife, safe recreation, and reliable water supplies.

Region
Nevada
Location
Designated sites along the Yuba River in Yuba and Nevada Counties

ZomBee Watch

Organization Name
San Francisco State University Department of Biology
Project Purpose (taken from project materials)
  1. To determine where in North America the Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis is parasitizing honey bees.
  2. To determine how often honey bees leave their hives at night, even if they are not parasitized by the Zombie Fly.
  3. To engage citizen scientists in making a significant contribution to knowledge about honey bees and to become better observers of nature.
Region
All (see 'geographic scope')
Location
Wherever honey bees are found - parasitized bees have been found in Northern California and South Dakota

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