Power in citizen science

The 2018 field season for many local organizations focused on natural resources is nearly here. With this in mind, Land Trust staff and Project Coordinator Helle Andersen with the Clallam County Marine Resources Committee (Clallam MRC) recently discussed the benefits of a volunteer network, which would connect volunteers with suitable projects offered by organizations operating on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The WSU Extension in Jefferson County and the North Olympic Salmon Coalition have recently received funding for a project that for the next couple of years, among other tasks, will support the initiation of such a network. In the meantime, we’re aiming to improve communication between various, like-minded organizations about volunteer/citizen science opportunities, and better share that information among interested volunteers.

There are numerous organizations offering citizen science opportunities on the North Olympic Peninsula. For starters, here’s a short list of organizations for potential volunteers to contact the Dungeness River Audubon Center, Clallam MRC,  Feiro Marine Life CenterJefferson MRC, North Olympic Land Trust, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, Olympic Coast National Marine SanctuaryStreamKeepers, Jefferson Land Trust, and WSU Extension in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Citizen science opportunities with Clallam MRC:

If you are interested in volunteering on any of these projects please contact Helle Andersen,  Clallam MRC project coordinator at handersen@co.clallam.wa.us or 360-417-2416.

Pigeon Guillemot – Be part of a team surveying breeding colonies in the Sequim and Port Angeles area. Each survey consists of one hour monitoring of the breeding colony before 9 AM, one day a week from June through September.

Shellfish Surveys at Pillar Point – Join Clallam MRC helping Washington Department of Health and Clallam County Environmental Health with shellfish sampling for biotoxins every two weeks during the spring and summer months. Each sampling effort takes about 3 hours including the drive. Transportation will be provided.

Forage Fish – Join the Clallam MRC team conducting monthly sampling at Pitship Point, Old Town in Dungeness Bay, and Ediz Hook. You will be taking sediment samples on the beach and processing the samples at either John Wayne or Boat Heaven Marina.

Kelp Bed Monitoring – 3 or 4 times during the summer months Clallam MRC will survey 3 kelp beds in Clallam County. The surveys will be conducted using kayaks. Depending on the size of the bed the surveys take between 1 and 3 hours in addition to a 30 minute or 1.5 hour drive to Freshwater Bay and Clallam Bay, respectively. Transportation will be provided.