We are living in the era of Citizen Science, where the average person can contribute to our understanding of the world around them in meaningful ways. Projects that embrace citizen science volunteers are able to collect larger amounts of data, across important landscapes, with greater efficiency. The Conservancy has been working with Citizen Scientists on the Preserve since 2008 with great success. If you are interested in joining the Conservancy-Preserve Citizen Science partnership there are two ongoing research projects: Where the Wildlife Wander (WWW) and the annual SOD Blitz.
Where the Wildlife Wander is an ongoing survey using wildlife cameras to document animal movement and behavior around The Preserve. Images captured through this project have revealed the secret lives of wildlife, showing bobcats carrying a woodrat dinner, tender moments between does and fawns, and mountain lion siblings playing with each other. The data we collect from the photos helps us keep a pulse on our wild populations, understand how they are using the lands of the Preserve and keep the human members of The Preserve community connected with their furry neighbors.
The annual SOD Blitz is an annual event in which participants collect leaf samples from the woodlands of The Preserve to help track the patterns and spread of the Sudden Oak Death pathogen. California bay laurel trees are the host for this aggressive pathogen; Preserve members collect leave samples around The Preserve for SOD pathogen testing by our partners at the Garbelotto Lab at UC Berkeley. Data from the Annual SOD Blitz has been instructive to both Conservancy management decisions and statewide disease models developed by the Garbelotto Lab.