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A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date.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

 Project Name Coyote Creek Field Station - Landbird Project
 Organization Name San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
 Project Website http://www.sfbbo.org/volunteer/opportunities.php
 Organization Website http://www.sfbbo.org/index.php
 Contact Name Josh Sculler, biologist
 Contact Email JScullen@sfbbo.org
 Contact Phone (408)946-6548
 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.

 Participant Activities Activities with the Coyote Creek Field Station Bird Banding program:

Data Entry Volunteer: We capture hundreds of birds each year at the Coyote Creek Field Station. Extensive data is collected for each individual we catch, Bird Observatory biologists need these data entered into our database before they can analyze them.

Predator Patroller: Join our team of long-term volunteers and help patrol the mist nets for predators (mostly foxes, cats, and occasionally raptors). You will also be responsible for alerting other volunteers when birds are captured in the nets, transporting birds back to the banding trailer, and helping record data as needed. Individuals able for volunteer for an extended period of time (two or more years) will be offered training opportunities to progress to the Extractor position after the minimum Predator Patroller time commitment has been fulfilled.

Extractor: We are looking for volunteers with previous mist-net extraction experience to join our team of long-term volunteers and help patrol the net lanes for predators (mostly foxes, cats and occasionally raptors) and extract birds from mist-nets. You will also be responsible for transporting birds back to the banding trailer and helping record data as needed. Individuals able to volunteer for an extended period of time (three or more years) will be offered training opportunities to progress to Bander position after the minimum time commitment has been fulfilled.

Bird Bander: We are looking for experienced bird banders to join our team of long-term volunteers. You must have experience ageing and sexing passerines, extracting birds from mist nests, operating a banding station, and recording data. Individuals able to volunteer for an extended period of time (five or more years) will be offered training opportunities to progress to a Trainer-level position, which would involve training fellow volunteers in Patrolling, Extracting, and Banding.

 Data Entry Unknown
 Other Participant Activities Volunteers can join other SFBBO citizen science projects and can attend trainings about bird banding.

Volunteers can also work in positions such as Prize Procurement Volunteer, Photo Library Organizer, and Bird Observatory Archivist and Librarian.

 System Studied Birds
 Geographic Scope Local
 Region Contra Costa
 Location Coyote Creek Field Station north of Alviso, CA
 Location - Map Coyote Creek Trail, Milpitas, CA, 95035
 Time Commitment Other (see Other Information below)
 Volunteer Qualifications Data Entry Volunteer - Experience Required: Familiarity with Microsoft Windows OS and the Microsoft Office environment. Other Qualifications: Familiarity with banding data and Microsoft Access a plus.

Predator Patroller - Experience Required: None. Other Qualifications: Ability to work well during early mornings and in a team environment, stand for several hours and walk on uneven trails. Must be able to identify local predators, including differentiating between Red and Gray Fox.

Station Extractor  - Experience Required: All applicants, regardless of previous experience, will perform the duties of a Predator Patroller for an introductory period (may be up to the full six months required under the Predator Patroller description), until the CCFS Manager or a qualified trainer is able to perform a field evaluation of the applicant's skills and experience. In order to qualify for the field evaluation and expedited Extractor training, applicants must have previous mist-net extraction experience. Previous experience with western Passerines is a plus. Other Qualifications: Ability to work well during early mornings and in a team environment, stand for several hours and walk on uneven trails. Must be able to identify local predators, including differentiating between Red and Gray Fox.

Bird Bander - Experience Required: All applicants, regardless of previous experience, will perform the duties of a Predator Patroller for an introductory period (may be up to the full six months required under the Predator Patroller description), until the CCFS Manager or a qualified trainer is able to perform a field evaluation of the applicant's skills and experience. Applicants will be evaluated and trained for the Extractor position before being trained for the Bander position. In order to qualify for the field evaluation and expedited Bander training, applicants must have previous extraction and banding experienec, including familiarity with the Pyle Guide, and must be able to identify western Passerines. NABC bander-certified applicants are highly desirable. Other Qualifications: Ability to work well during early mornings and in a team environment. Ability to stand for several hours and walk on uneven trails. Ability to identify local predators, including differentiating between

 Volunteer Training Data Entry Volunteer - Orientation: As Needed.

Predator PatrollerOrientation: As Needed. Individuals able for volunteer for an extended period of time (two or more years) will be offered training opportunities to progress to the Extractor position after the minimum Predator Patroller time commitment has been fulfilled.

Extractor - Orientation: Volunteers will perform the duties of a Predator Patroller while their skills are evaluated by a qualified trainer. Individuals able to volunteer for an extended period of time (three or more years) will be offered training opportunitieis to progress to Bander position after the minimum time commitment has been fulfilled.

Bird Bander - Orientation: Volunteers will serve the duties of a Predator Patroller while their skills are being evaluated. Individuals able to volunteer for an extended period of time (five or more years) will be offered training opportunities to progress to a Trainer-level position, which would involve training fellow volunteers in Patrolling, Extracting, and Banding.

 

 How will the findings be used?

Reports and scientific papers published from bird banding activities are published in the "science" section of the organization's website: http://www.sfbbo.org/science/ccfs.php

The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, along with most other banding facilities in North America, sends our banding data to the Bird Banding Laboratory (of USGS), which stores all of this information. This collective of information tells us how far a bird may travel during migration and which path it chooses to take. 

 Other Information Additional information on time commitment:

Data Entry Volunteer - Season: Year-Round. Time Commitment: Four months, two days per month

Predator Patroller - Season: Year-Round. Time Commitment: Six months, one day per month. The Predator Patroller shift begins 10 minutes prior to local sunrise (San Jose) and ends 5 hours later.

Extractor - Season: Year-Round. Time Commitment: Twelve months (one year), two days per month. Banding operations begin 45 minutes prior to local sunrise (San Jose), and end 6 hours later.

Bird Bander - Season: Year-Round. Time Commitment: Eighteen months (one and one-half years), two days per month. Banding operations begin 45 minutes prior to local sunrise (San Jose), and end 6 hours later.

 Photo
ppsr_coyote_creek

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