Pacific lamprey

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. 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:

  1. Volunteers will be trained using standardized protocols for collecting eDNA samples from streams.
  2. Volunteers will be given GPS coordinates, a map and a sampling kit.
  3. Volunteers will locate the site and take the sample.
  4. 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.

Time Commitment:

  • 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.

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