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MMWD Kicks Off 'Bioblitz' Training Saturday

District seeks volunteers to document the 900-plus plant species found on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed.

To mark its 2012 centennial, the Marin Municipal Water District is partnering with the California Academy of Sciences on a series of botanical “bioblitzes” to document the 900-plus plant species found on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed. The three-year effort relies on teams of citizen science volunteers working alongside professionals.

Last year, “bioblitzers” made more than 700 observations during the course of a half-dozen days spread over the spring and summer at select sites on the south side of Mt. Tamalpais. These observations represent more than 300 kinds of plants, including 42 not represented in prior collections from the watershed. In addition, the teams collected more than 200 specimens now curated in the California Academy of Sciences' herbarium, entered hundreds of records on Calflora (an online public repository of California native and non-native plants) and took thousands of photographs.

The district and Cal Academy are optimistic that 2013 will be another productive year for this unique project with the public’s help. Bioblitz organizers are seeking people who have an interest in botany, photography, and/or data collection to commit to at least 20 hours over the course of a few training and survey dates from February through August. The training starts with an evening orientation on Wednesday, February 20 at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. A mandatory field training session will be held on Saturday, February 23 on the watershed. Survey sites will be near the Sky Oaks Ranger Station in Fairfax.

To view videos of last year’s program and see what it’s like to be a citizen scientist, go to the California Academy of Sciences website and MMWD’s Citizen Science web page.

To register for the training, contact the Marin Municipal Water District at volunteerprogram@marinwater.org or 415-945-1128. Pre-registration is required.

2013 Schedule

Evening orientation at California Academy of Sciences: Wed., February 20
Training (mandatory): Sat., February 23
Evening keying workshop: Wed., February 27
Bioblitz survey dates (Saturdays unless noted otherwise): March 9, April 12 (Friday), May 4, June 8 and August 10

valeri hood February 24, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Looks like they're trying to 'Green' their image, while pushing forward to start spraying their illegal herbicides that they were caught and stopped from spraying several years ago- way to go MMWD- but it's not enough!

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