A monthly educational webinar series that highlights various community science opportunities has been launched by Long Island environmental groups in support of local wildlife conservation efforts.
Anyone interested in helping scientists with their projects and learning about what is being done for water quality, horseshoe crabs, bats and an emerging coyote population – among other Long Island centered research — can tune in to the coming 2021 webinars. Seatuck Environmental Association, Long Island Sound Study, and New York Sea Grant is hosting the series.
“Community Science LI” spans the next seven months, coinciding with the volunteer monitoring season for each project. The webinars include monitoring projects focused on water quality, horseshoe crabs, bats, eastern coyotes, and diamondback terrapins – and incorporate presentations from local researchers, environmental management leaders, and community science project coordinators.
“Community Science LI” featured its first webinar in the series titled, “River Otter Monitoring”, on January 27th from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM. The webinar drew over 300 attendees from various backgrounds, including members of the general public, students, professors, teachers, and environmental professionals. Most were from Long Island, but a few tuned in from New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, and even California. During the webinar, Wildlife Biologist Mike Bottini and Seatuck’s Policy Program Coordinator Arielle Santos discussed the natural history of River Otters on Long Island, their current distribution, tips on identification, and how to survey them in the field using the free Survey 1-2-3 platform. The recorded webinar and associated resources can be found on Seatuck’s website at https://seatuck.org/otter-watch.
The next webinar will cover River Herring & American Eel monitoring on Long Island. The annual volunteer River Herring & American Eel Survey is one of Long Island’s longest running community science projects. Started in 2006, the survey engages volunteer community scientists to monitor runs of migratory river herring and American eels in rivers and streams across Long Island. The survey, organized by Seatuck and partners at the Long Island Sound Study, Peconic Estuary Program and South Shore Estuary Reserve – aims to find the waterways where “remnant” runs of river herring still exist and then to monitor the size and timing of those runs. This information is vital to improve access and restore local populations of these ecologically important fish. All webinar attendees will be able to participate in in-depth discussions with local project coordinators on how to survey for river herring and American eel in their communities. The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, February 25th, from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM. Registration is required.
For more information on future webinars, the full event schedule, and registration information, visit https://seatuck.org/community-science-webinars.