The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is offering a series of free training sessions to help protect Adirondack woods and waters from the harmful impacts of invasive species this summer. These workshops are open to the public.
Participants can learn to identify, survey for and manage invasive species currently threatening the Adirondack region, such as Japanese knotweed and Eurasian watermilfoil, as well as those that pose significant risk to the region, but have not yet arrived, such as hydrilla and mile-a-minute weed. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) is recruiting citizens interested in water quality to serve as cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae) monitors for Lake Champlain and select inland Vermont lakes. LCC will host training sessions in early June for new and returning monitors. The program provides critical data on where and when algae blooms are happening and is relied on by health, environmental and recreation agencies to keep people informed about lake conditions.
LCC initiated the citizen-based near-shore monitoring program in 2003 and has steadily expanded the network of trained volunteers and monitoring sites every year. During the 2016 season LCC monitors submit nearly 1,200 reports from over 100 sites on Lake Champlain and several inland lakes. The focus of the cyanobacteria monitoring program is to raise awareness of the issue, build a database of information on bloom frequency, and identify and publicize potential health hazards. » Continue Reading.
Here’s an opportunity to be a scientific researcher, even if you have an English degree. New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit at Cornell University and the Department of Environmental Conservation are launching a project that enlists citizen scientists to collect data about black bears.
Using the iSeeMammals app, which you can download here, participants go on hikes and record signs of bears through photos, by setting up a fixed camera and recording information. You can create an account online or on your Apple or Android phone. » Continue Reading.
Participating in various Citizen Science projects allows my family to learn about our local landscape while contributing data to long-term science research. We’ve helped with FrogWatch USA, part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, to help familiarize us with our local wetlands through the identification of frog and toad calls. We contribute to Monarch Watch, which is currently focusing on the Spring First-of-Year Sightings. This year we started tracking various plants around our area.
Started in 2007, Project BudBurst is a Citizen Science project relying on volunteers across the United States to monitor native plants at various times throughout the seasons. Participants observe and record data based on leafing, flowering, and fruiting of various plants. Those stages are called the plant phenophases, the observable stages in the plant’s annual life cycle. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Land Trust Alliance have announced the award of a $20,000 New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) Capacity and Excellence grant to the Lake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC) for the implementation of a conservation monitoring and outreach program. This grant follows an award in 2016 of $25,000 to develop the program.
The NYSCPP grant will enable LPLC to conduct outreach activities with its conservation partners and identify and enroll interested and qualified landowners into its citizen science monitoring program. LPLC hopes to initially enroll 8-12 landowners in the Lake Placid region over the next two years. The program will teach landowners how to monitor their property for pollinators, mammals, invasive species, birds or phenology using mobile devices. » Continue Reading.
The third annual Global Big Day takes place on May 13, 2017. The term traditionally applies to any effort to identify as many bird species as possible in a single day. Bird watchers around the world are invited to watch and count birds for any length of time on that day and enter their observations online at eBird.org.
“The past two Global Big Days have set back-to-back world records for the most bird species seen in a single day,” says Chris Wood at the Cornell Lab. “During last year’s Global Big Day bird watchers from more than 150 countries tallied more than 60 percent of the world’s bird species.” » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is recruiting volunteers for the 2017 summer sampling season to conduct water quality assessments in nearby streams and rivers as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project.
WAVE data are used to augment the work of DEC’s Stream Biomonitoring Unit, which samples streams and rivers across the state to create an inventory of stream water quality. Volunteer monitors provide valuable information to assist in identifying healthy streams and flagging streams with potential water quality concerns. These data are included in federal and state water quality reports and help to target professional assessments and local restoration or conservation efforts where they are most needed. » Continue Reading.
Elizabeth Lombardi, a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, is collecting field data on plant pathogens in natural ecosystems throughout the Adirondack region, and has identified a virus in the non-native species Dame’s Rocket at several locations. Lombardi is asking the public if they cultivate this flower, or have seen it in the Adirondacks.
Wild plants, like their cultivated relatives, are susceptible to a diversity of pathogenic antagonists. Unlike crops, however, wild plants live or die by their own defenses when confronted by adversity. In recent years, there has been an uptick in scientific interest in plant epidemiology of natural systems and how environmental changes such as urbanization and global warming may alter pathogen presence wild plants. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Association (LGA) continues its on-water educational programing through the summer with public tours each Wednesday in July and August.
In 2009, the 40-ft catamaran-style Rosalia Anna Ashby, named for LGA member Bruce Ashby’s mother, was built specifically to further the on-water aspect of the Lake George Association’s educational programming. The Floating classroom’s two-hour tour covers a variety of topics from earthquakes and glaciers to storm water and invasive species. » Continue Reading.
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Adirondack Program has announced a call for volunteers to help census loons on Adirondack lakes as part of the 16th Annual Adirondack Loon Census taking place from 8 – 9 am on Saturday, July 16.
With the help of local Adirondack residents and visitor volunteers, the census enables WCS to collect important data on the status of the breeding loon population in and around the Adirondack Park and across New York State. The results help guide management decisions and policies affecting loons.
Census volunteers report on the number of adult and immature loons and loon chicks that they observe during the hour-long census. Similar loon censuses will be conducted in other states throughout the Northeast simultaneously, and inform a regional overview of the population’s current status. » Continue Reading.
For the past 50 years the New York State Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) Region 6 has been gathering a team of volunteers and staff to collect data on the resident Canada Geese population. According to Regional Habitat Manager Christopher J. Balk, the data collected helps manage the flock and provide pertinent information to tailor bag limits during hunting season. This June 30, 8 am – 2 pm, is another opportunity to corral and handle some geese.
“The volunteers get to reach over the top of the enclosure and help hand the goose to a staff member,” says Balk. “We are usually banding at least 400-500 geese at this event and use the information to primarily report on the bird’s location at two points of time.”
These geese are resident, not migratory, Canada Geese so the distance between their wintering and summering habitat is usually only a few hundred miles. Hunters report the band numbers when they harvest the birds in the fall. The data allows Balk and his colleagues to track to see if a flock is intermingling or not, track growth and movements of the resident population and and to establish annual hunting regulations. » Continue Reading.
The journey of the monarch butterfly from the northeastern United States to the tropical forests in Mexico every fall is considered a magical one. How could such a lightweight, delicate looking insect survive a journey of more than 3,000 miles?
The feat has drawn the admiration of naturalists and others, including Dan Jenkins, who lives on the shores of Upper Saranac Lake. Jenkins’s property is located on what, he says, is a monarch flyway between Upper Saranac Lake and Raquette River. Because of that, he consistently sees monarchs passing through his yard in the fall as the insects head south. » Continue Reading.
On Father’s Day Weekend, June 16-19, 2016, catch-and-release anglers and conservationists can assist in a two-day creel study and three-day celebration of wild trout and historic conservation and protection at Great Camp Sagamore near Raquette Lake.
Anglers participating in this Trout Power event will be able to choose from over 10 miles of secluded and rarely-fished sections of the South Inlet Watershed to fish, part of a weekend-long data collection survey of wild fish. Anglers will receive training on how to catch, photograph, and record their catch. » Continue Reading.
With Niño having warmed Pacific waters to temperatures matching the highest ever recorded, participants in the 2016 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) may be in for a few surprises.
The 19th annual Bird Count is taking place worldwide February 12 through 15. Information gathered and reported online at birdcount.org will help scientists track changes in bird distribution, some of which may be traced to El Niño storms and the unusual weather patterns the Adirondacks have been seeing lately.
“The most recent big El Niño took place during the winter of 1997-98,” according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program which collects worldwide bird counts year-round and also provides the backbone for the GBBC. “The GBBC was launched in February 1998 and was pretty small at first. This will be the first time we’ll have tens of thousands of people doing the count during a whopper El Niño.” » Continue Reading.
A multi-year research project is underway to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate.
The goal of the Adirondack moose study is to gather data that will be used to create a moose management plan for New York State. The researchers are seeking the public’s help in reporting moose sightings in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
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