Sat May 5 2012 -- Jun 3 2012 CoastWatch Co-sponsors Beached Bird Training Session
COASST volunteers at work. Photo by Penelope Chilton.Anyone interested in being a “citizen scientist” and helping to monitor the health of the ocean and its seabird populations is invited to a training session for the COASST beached bird survey. The free public event takes place on Saturday, June 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (probable times) at the Bandon Public Library, 1204 11th St., S.W. in Bandon.
The training session is co-sponsored by CoastWatch and COASST (the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, based at the University of Washington).
The COASST beached bird survey takes place in five states and involves more than 500 volunteers. Fresh volunteers are needed to cover some of the survey sites in Oregon or establish new ones. COASST volunteers are trained to collect information about beached birds that is accurate enough to be used by scientists as data. COASST volunteer systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska, and their information is put to use by scientists and resource managers monitoring the health of marine ecosystems.
The Bandon session will be led by Annie Woods, who has been the volunteer coordinator for COASST for a year and a half. Prior to joining COASST, she worked as a field ecologist and educator at the Huntington Wildlife Forest in New York's Adirondack Park. Woods’ research involved using citizen science data to document shifts in bird ranges in response to climate change and to assess the impact of human land use on bird communities.
During the full-day training session, those attending will hear about how COASST started, learn how to use the custom Beached Birds field guide, and try out new identification skills. This event is free and open to the public; volunteers do not need to be experienced with birds. New participants who commit to survey a specific beach (about 3/4 mile) each month pay a $20 deposit on supplies and materials. Training activities take place indoors, and include a break for lunch--pack your own or plan to buy lunch nearby.
For more information or to RSVP, contact Annie Woods at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 221-6893. While you are welcome to simply show up on June 2 if you can’t be sure of your availability until then, it would be very helpful if you could RSVP to assist in planning for the event.