Community Science Day at Otter Rock

June 25, 2016 - 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Otter Rock, OR

Karen Driscoll, tabling at a recent Otter Rock event.  Photo by Briton Ogden.
Karen Driscoll, tabling at a recent Otter Rock event. Photo by Briton Ogden.

Join us on June 25 for a special day devoted to the Otter Rock Marine Reserve and the citizen science work that CoastWatch conducts there.  This occasion will also be the debut of our newly organizing CoastWatch Community Science Team for Otter Rock.  Everyone is welcome to this free event. 

The Otter Rock Marine Reserve Community Science Day activities will take place in the marine garden area to the north of the community of Otter Rock (CoastWatch Mile 225).  Watch for the signs at the public restrooms, pointing you toward the trail.

Things kick off at 9 a.m., when Fawn Custer, CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator, will lead a walk exploring both tidepools and beach wrack.  Then, assisted by Karen Driscoll, a CoastWatcher who will serve as coordinator of the new community science team, she will offer demonstrations of two of our citizen science projects, the marine debris and sea star surveys.

At about 10:30 a.m., Jane Dolliver, former program director for COASST (the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team), and now a graduate student at Oregon State University, will talk about beached birds and discuss techniques for monitoring them.  Fawn will give a short talk on the other citizen science projects CoastWatch organizes.  Then it will be time for a picnic with hot dogs and s’mores.  Finally, at about 12:30 p.m., Fawn will lead another walk, this one focusing on the driftline, since high tide will be in by that time.

The Community Science Day offers an opportunity to learn more about coastal natural history and citizen science, as well as to socialize with fellow beach lovers.  The hope is that some participants will be inspired to get engaged in citizen science projects (whether at Otter Rock or elsewhere).  We’re also looking for enthusiastic citizen scientists who might be interested in serving as leaders for the new CoastWatch Community Science Team, which will serve to coordinate our seven citizen science projects in the Otter Rock Marine Reserve area and assist Fawn Custer in providing public education about shoreline science and engaging the local community with the marine reserve.

For information about the Community Science Day, contact Fawn Custer at (541) 270-0027, [email protected].  If interested in helping with the Community Science Team, contact Karen Driscoll at (503) 435-8229, [email protected].