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Adirondack Wetland Monitoring Program for Citizen Scientists

Where should I go for more information?

Welcome! Have you ever wanted to learn more about the unique animals and plants that live in Adirondack wetlands? Have you ever wondered what it really means to be a citizen scientist? Then this program is for you.

This new opportunity provides a way for Adirondack enthusiasts of all ages to get outside and explore some of the most unique wetlands in the northeast while also learning how to collect critical information on the animals and plants found in these special places.

What is this program about?

The central goal of this program is to implement a citizen science monitoring program to gather phenology data for wetlands in the Adirondack Park.

Phenology refers to the study of the timing and seasonality of biological events. Phenology information helps us determine how wetlands are changing over time and figure out how animals and plants grow, reproduce, or behave differently during different times of the year.

Wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

Citizen science is a rapidly expanding field where community volunteers join in the process of collecting biological or environmental data. Citizen science projects allow for rich dialogues and sharing of information between professional scientists and community volunteers. This helps generate better strategies to understand and preserve the natural resources and ecosystems that we all rely on and cherish.

How do I get involved?

The first step is to contact one of the program partners and sign up for upcoming Wetland Detectives Training Workshops. These training days will be held at the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) in Newcomb, NY and the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Paul Smiths, NY:

  • Wetland Detectives Training Workshop I – Frogs & Toads
    Saturday, April 19, 2014
    9:00 – 12:00 PM (at Newcomb AIC)
    2:00 – 5:00 PM (at Paul Smith’s VIC)
  • Wetland Detectives Training Workshop II – Birds & Plants
    Saturday, May 17, 2014
    9:00 – 12:00 PM (at Newcomb AIC)
    2:00 – 5:00 PM (at Paul Smith’s VIC)

In these workshops, we will start with an overview of the project and then proceed with hands-on instruction in field techniques used to record phenological data for wetland amphibians, birds, and plants. Please feel free to attend the workshops closest to you! No prior experience with wetlands or citizen science is necessary.

Trained participants will be able to enroll in the long-term monitoring program and join a community of people and institutions committed to improving our understanding of Adirondack wetlands and conserving these unique places for future generations.

White-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis

To sign up for training workshops, please send an email to one of the program leaders below.

In the meantime, check out the first version of the Citizen Scientist Handbook! (file size 3MB) This document provides details on how the program will work. You can also read more about phenology and boreal birds.  Contacts:

  • David Patrick
    Center for Adirondack Biodiversity
    Paul Smith's College
    Routes 86 and 30, Paul Smiths, New York 12970
    Phone: 518-327-6174  Email: dpatrick@paulsmiths.edu
  • Kristin Pasquino
    Adirondack Interpretive Center
    SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
    6312 Route 28N, Newcomb, NY 12852
    Phone: 518-582-2000  Email: aic@esf.edu

All photos credit: Samouel Beguin (2012-13)


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