The South Slough Reserve is seeking volunteers to participate in a Citizen Science project.
If you want to be involved, contact the Reserve Outreach Coordinator, Deborah Rudd (deborah.rudd@dsl. state.or.us) to schedule an introductory meeting and training.
Purpose: to study the use of environmental DNA monitoring methods to determine the distribution of western brook and Pacific lamprey in the Coos, Coquille and Siuslaw Watersheds.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Volunteers will be trained using standardized protocols for collecting eDNA samples from streams.
- Volunteers will be given GPS coordinates, a map and a sampling kit.
- Volunteers will locate the site and take the sample.
- Volunteers will return the kit and samples to staff at the reserve science lab in Charleston.
- Interest in environmental science, biological conservation and/or lamprey ecology.
- Ability to read a map and/or use a GPS mapping device to locate coordinates to get to the sampling site.
- Have access to a vehicle to drive to the locations.
- Willingness to be outdoors at 30-minute intervals while the water samples are filtered.
- Ability to lift-up to 50 pounds for short distances.
- Strong attention to detail.
- Be able to complete 5-10 sampling locations between June-September. (Drive times vary from 10 minutes to one hour. Each sample takes 20-30 minutes to process)
- There will be a virtual group information session followed up by more in-depth protocol training with pairs of volunteers.
Working conditions/physical effort:
- Volunteers are provided with kits that contain all the materials needed to collect the eDNA and a GPS unit or an app for their phone to find the sampling site.
- Most of the sites can be driven to with some minimal walking from the vehicle with the sampling equipment to the streambed.
- Expect to walk on uneven terrain in outdoor weather conditions with the possibility of exposure to insects and other wildlife.
- Citizen scientists will gain a better understanding of environmental science and acquire training and experience in a new scientific method.
- Volunteers will also receive lamprey themed souvenirs, receive regular updates on the progress of the research, get to know other people while working together towards a common goal.
- The U.S. Forest Service provides additional benefits that volunteers are eligible to receive.