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Mount Tamalpais plant bio-blitz

  • May 5, 2012 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members


On May 5 the Marin Municipal Water District and the California Academy of Sciences are holding our second plant bio-blitz of the Mount Tamalpais watershed. We're looking for photographers who would like to document the process, the plants, and the landscape. The day will begin at 9 a.m. and will end at approximately 4 p.m.

***If you would like to be trained to be part of a collection team, there will be training sessions on Saturday, April 28 and Wednesday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. These two sessions will cover the same material, so we are hoping volunteers can make one of them to review our protocols, methods, and tools prior to the May 5 bio-blitz. We will be meeting at the Throckmorton Fire Station on Panoramic Highway for some indoor training and then will go out into the field. If you are planning on coming to a training session, or for more information, please email [masked].***

Researchers involved:

Joining us on Apr. 28 and May 5 will be Dr. Terry Gosliner, Senior Curator and Dean of Science and Research Collections, and Harry W. and Diana V. Hind Chair in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology. His research focuses on the evolution of nudibranchs and other sea slugs. Since 1992, he has focused his research on the nudibranch fauna of the reefs of the Philippines, documenting the most diverse marine ecosystems of the world. He was instrumental in developing the Philippine coral reef exhibit at the Academy. He also has extensive experience in building collaborations to support sustainable management and conservation of the rich reefs of the Philippines. Though Dr. Gosliner is a marine biologist, he lives in Marin and not only has a deep love of Mount Tamalpais and its flora, but is also a skilled botanist in his own right.

Also joining us will be botanists from the California Native Plant Society, the National Park Service, and local universities.

More information about the project:

April 25, 2012 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Marin Municipal Water District, the first municipal water district in California. Many of the unique features that define Marin today can be attributed to the efforts of MMWD’s founders in 1912, including the preservation of Mt. Tamalpais, a revered Bay Area landmark.

As part of the Marin Municipal Water District’s centennial celebration, MMWD and the California Academy of Sciences are partnering to conduct a series of bio-blitzes on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed in 2012. We are looking for volunteers to join field teams for the bio-blitzes. Dates that we are looking for volunteers are May 5, June 23-24, and August 25.

A bio-blitz is a focused survey in a defined location that attempts to document all species present. With more than 20,000 acres and thousands of species on the Mt. Tamalpais watershed, we know we cannot document everything at once. This year we will focus on surveying the plant species in several predefined areas on the watershed. These surveys will also include systematic specimen collection, including photos and GPS coordinates for each specimen. These specimens and associated data will be added to the Academy’s research collections and will serve as the beginnings of a new baseline of Mt. Tamalpais’ botanic diversity. In addition, the new findings will be compared to historical collections in order to document any shifts in ranges or distributions.

The May 5 bio-blitz itself will run from 9 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. We will be in the field for the majority of the day, collecting and documenting specimens. You will be part of a 4-5 person team, lead by a trained mentor who is familiar with the protocols and data collection. In the afternoon we will return to the fire station to transfer specimens into plant presses and to enter data on Calflora.

Being a bio-blitz volunteer is a great way to contribute to an important research project, share your knowledge about botany and Marin flora while potentially learning more in the process, and help in the protection of habitat on which our native plants and animals depend. We hope you will join us for this unique opportunity.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    It looks like we'll have enough "citizen scientists" volunteering with us that they'll be using the GPS cameras, so you will be the 2nd photographer in the group and should be able to use your camera entirely. Enjoy being out there, don't stress to much about gathering "data," instead just help us get great photos of whatever looks interesting to you!

    I'll be happy to answer more questions tomorrow morning as well!

    May 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    You definitely don't have to have a GPS camera, especially since we'd like the conservation photography group to get good photos of the whole process, not just the plants. However, we'd also like great photos of the plants as well, but they don't have to be georeferenced- we can use good photos of the plants no matter what. Plus, your group will be given a certain GPS "point" they're working at anyway, so as long as you're taking photos within 30-40 feet of that point, we'll know where you were!

    May 4, 2012

  • craig m r.

    Re : GPS - In the training class last weekend, each team's initial Bio-Blitz location was determined by a hand-held GPS unit. Camera GPS was not a requirement, but for photos to be included in the data, the desire is to upload all 'data' photographs in the afternoon to a MMWD laptop.

    May 4, 2012

  • Ben

    I can use the cameras you will have, but I also want to use mine. However, mine does not have an attached GPS. Will it still be useful even though it lacks a gps?

    May 4, 2012

  • Ilana

    It's a bit too early in the morning for me to get there from SF (Bernal Heights) on a weekend, sorry. Are there opportunities to start any later?

    April 29, 2012

  • Alfie A.

    Would live to but have school 10am-3pm
    Its Finals month.

    April 26, 2012

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