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Video: Citizen Scientists in Search of Olympic Pine Marten

Posted by Loren D at Jun 11, 2014 06:00 PM |

This winter, adventure science volunteers donated three months of their time to help Olympic National Forest biologists study pine marten. Watch the video and hear from WTA volunteers about what its like to become citizen scientists.

Over the winter, hiking volunteers helped the Olympic Forest Service and Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (a non-profit organization that partners outdoor adventurers with scientific projects) collect key data in the ongoing search for the Coastal Olympic Pine Marten on the Peninsula.

Volunteers from the WTA community, including board member and regular trail maintenance volunteer, Mason White, were among the volunteers signed up to help Forest Service biologist Betsy Howell complete her research, despite dwindling national forest budgets.

"I enjoyed volunteering with the Pine Marten study and hope to join another Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation project," says White. "They and Betsy Howell did a great job of educating the volunteers on why the Marten project is valuable and then training us on how to set up and maintain the monitoring sites."

What was it like to spend a season watching out for wildlife?

"The biggest challenge was the need to stick to a regular maintenance schedule," says White. "This meant heading up into the mountains no matter what the conditions. This led to a few 'character building' days."

Below is the story of their work over the winter, along with some images of the Olympic Peninsula that will make you want to grab your hiking boots and hit the trail!

> Learn more or volunteer for the project now.

A Marten Short: Searching for Pacific Marten on the Olympic Peninsula from Adventure Science on Vimeo.

More citizen science opportunities:

From butterflies to birds, several other organizations also have citizen science programs for hikers:

> Conservation Northwest has a citizen science volunteer program.

> Check out the North Cascades Institute citizen science program.

> Find a bird project with Audubon.

> Get involved with Meadowatch, a project of the University of Washington's Biology Department.