California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Community 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A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date.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.

 Project Name River Otter Network
 Organization Name Otter Records Research Group, Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University
 Project Website http://www.humboldt.edu/wildlife/faculty/black/research/otters.html
 Organization Website http://humboldt.edu/wildlife/index.html
 Contact Name Jeff Black, PhD, DSc
 Contact Email Jeff.Black@humboldt.edu
 Contact Phone (707)826-3439
 Other Contact Information

otters@humboldt.edu

 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
 Participant Activities Watch otters and detect signs of their activities along rivers and lagoons in Humbolt County and report observations

 Data Entry Website, Data Sheets
 System Studied Mammals, Wetlands - Freshwater Streams and Marshes
 Geographic Scope Local
 Region Humboldt
 Location Coasts, wetlands and watersheds of Humboldt and Del Norte counties
 Location - Map 1 Harpst St., Arcata, CA 95521
 Time Commitment Unknown
 Volunteer Training Resources to learn to identify river otters and signs of activity are available online. A number of Humboldt State University courses are also associated with the project. 

 How will the findings be used? Data will be processed by Otter Records Research Group, Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University. 

Publications resulting from data collected by volunteers is listed and accessible through the project website.

 Other Information

The Otter Records submission page: http://www.humboldt.edu/wildlife/faculty/black/research/ottersentry.html

If you work with this project and would like to add to or update the information below, please email cghdixon@ucdavis.edu.

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!

This database is focused on projects in California focused on the environment. For opportunities outside California, as well as national projects that don't have a California-specific components, check http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citscitoolkit/projects.

Webmaster Email: canaturalist@ucanr.edu