Beachgrass Survey Training

June 29, 2020 - 11:00 AM

Rebecca Mostow doing field research.

CoastWatch will be assisting Oregon State University scientists in tracking the spread of a hybrid beachgrass that may affect Oregon’s shoreline environment.  A webinar on Monday, June 29, at 11 a.m. will introduce this new citizen science project and provide details on how to get involved.

In this hour-long training, you’ll learn about the natural history of the Pacific Northwest coastal sand dunes, the recent discovery of a hybrid beachgrass, and how you can be involved in mapping the range of this newly discovered grass (a hybrid of two introduced, invasive species). Rebecca Mostow, a graduate student from Oregon State University who is researching this phenomenon while pursuing a PhD, will present a brief summary of the science behind sand dunes and their ecological and economic importance in the Pacific Northwest, and then will describe how her lab identified this novel hybrid. You’ll learn how to 1) find and identify the hybrid beachgrass; 2) use iNaturalist to record your beachgrass observations; and 3) why it’s so important to map the range of this novel hybrid.

To register for this webinar, contact Jesse Jones, CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator, at [email protected].  She will send you a link close to the date of the event.  You don’t need to have your own Zoom account to access the webinar online.

An earlier webinar, also featuring Rebecca Mostow, provided an in-depth look at the biology of beachgrasses and the new hybrid, and described the scientific detective story behind the discovery of the new hybrid species.  That webinar will soon be posted on the CoastWatch YouTube channel.  The upcoming webinar will eventually be posted there as well.