California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Map of Local & Regional Projects

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A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date.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 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 Grunion Greeters
 Organization Name Pepperdine University
 Project Website
 Organization Website
 Contact Name Melissa Studer, Project Director; Dr. Karen Martin, Executive Director
 Contact Email;
 Project Purpose (taken from project materials) Document human impact (especially beach grooming practices) on grunion. 

 Participant Activities Grunion Greeters observe small stretches of beach on nights of grunion runs during peak spawning season from April through early June. Grunion runs occur at night, twice a month, after the highest tides associated with a full or new moon. Greeters submit their observations via an interactive web site at http://www.Grunion.Org (this web site) and through a "hotline" phone number.

 Data Entry Website, Cell Phone
 System Studied Marine
 Geographic Scope Regional
 Region Southern California
 Location Beaches in California and Baja where Grunion spawn
 Location - Map 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263
 Time Commitment Other (see Other Information below)
 Volunteer Qualifications Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

 Volunteer Training No trainings are scheduled for 2012.
Brief workshops prepare you to monitor beach-spawning populations of the California grunion Leuresthes tenuis. Several workshops are scheduled between March and May at various locations in California. Please see the “Volunteer to Greet the Grunion” page on the website for a list of workshop dates and locations and instructions for reserving a space. Advance RSVPs are required for the workshop of your choice. Workshops are fun, fast-paced, and free for participants. All workshops cover the same basic information but each is tailored to its specific location.

 How will the findings be used? Observations, sightings, and comments become part of a database using interactive web-based questionnaires and e-mail. This multi-year state-wide assessment program increases public awareness and improved management efforts to protect and conserve wildlife and beach habitats. The results effected significant and lasting change in official beach grooming procedures in San Diego and other municipalities throughout California.

Research studies include population assessment of the grunion throughout their range in California, staging tables for embryonic development, effects of altered salinity, comparisons of microsatellite DNA between populations, hatching mechanisms, and evaluation of grunion spawning runs as potential indicators for the ecological health of sandy beaches.


 Other Information No trainings for new volunteers are scheduled for 2012. However, volunteers can continue to submit observations.

Observations happen when grunion runs occur: at night, twice a month, after the highest tides associated with a full or new moon. 

Project partners: the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Surfrider Foundation, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Heal The Bay (Santa Monica), Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, California Department of Fish and Game, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Sea Grant College, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

If you work with this project and would like to add to or update the information below, please email

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

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