Do you want to make a difference and assist scientists, land managers and policy makers in decision making? Consider becoming a citizen scientist. The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge has three projects you can get involved with, ranging from recording bird use on a re-vegetated trail, uploading photographs of King Tide events, to helping document effects of climate change. These projects are ideal for individuals who come to the refuge regularly to hike, and for families and school groups who want to make a difference and take part in the scientific process. Join in one, or all of the projects listed below. No experience necessary.
Science of the SeasonsPhenology is the term used to study seasons. At the Don Edwards Refuge, two monitoring areas (Alviso and Fremont) have been chosen for those interested in observing plants and documenting how climate change may affect them. The timing of when plants leaf out, flower, and form fruit may have consequences for wildlife migrating through the area. Recording these changes over time can help refuge managers and others manage lands in a more effective manner. Training will be provided.
Our Fremont location will be conducting a presentation and training once a quarter. Check our Activity Schedule for dates and times. Learn more.
Our Alviso location will be combining trainings with community service projects. These programs will be listed as Team Citizen Scientists! in the Activity Schedule. Learn more.
Monitoring Bird Use at the Environmental Education Center in AlvisoIn 2008, the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge received several grants to restore the upland areas along the Marsh View Trail at the Environmental Education Center in Alviso. The restoration project involved hundreds of hours of non-native vegetation removal by staff and volunteers, and the planting of native grasses and forbs.
We would like to gather data on what birds use this habitat. The data collected will provide managers with valuable information on what species use this restored habitat. The data could also show changes in bird use over time, and may provide insight into why this may be the case.
The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory has developed a bird monitoring protocol for the data collection Individuals will submit their observations on-line to http://www.eBird.org from home. Or, if you have a smart phone, you can enter the data from the refuge by using the Wi-Fi service offered by the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society. Directions on where and how to make your observations, and instructions on how to upload the information can be downloaded here (689 KB, pdf), or picked up at the Environmental Education Center.
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The migration is in full swing. This little brown job can be distinguished from other sparrows in the Bay Area by its dark back, spotted breast and one conspicuous spot on its breast. Look for them on the ground scratching for seeds.