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Field Assessment Volunteer Page

Field assessor Mark Gawronski gets muddy at Mud Lake Bog in Northfield Township

PROCEDURE TO JOIN FIELD ASSESSMENTS

  1. Have you attended one of our training sessions?  If so, and you are not already on our list, e-mail me to sign up.
  2. If you have not attended a training, sign up for our next training here.
  3. Once on the list, look  for  regular emails describing upcoming assessments. You can sign up for any that interest you.
  4. You can also check out the assessments we have scheduled so far this year on the calendar (this will change daily as we arrange more assessments).  If any pique your interest, email us and we’ll put you on a team.
  5. The assessment site name refer to Township.Bioreserve Site Number. Property Name, so you can look on the Bioreserve Map to find the Bioreserve Site listed on the calendar if you want to know where you’ll be going. Just zoom into to township and then find the site number.
  6. As the date of the assessment you signed up for draws near, we will email you the packet of worksheets, maps, and instructions, and teamates.  You and your teamates can then arrange transportation out to the site.
  7. Each assessment takes about 3-4 hours, depending on travel time.  It works well for teammates to assign roles, like captain (the one who keeps an eye on the time, makes sure all the questions are being answered, etc.), the plant ID expert, and the notetaker.
  8. After the assessment, spend a few minutes finishing up the worksheets, making sure all the questions are answered, and making any overall comments, then decide who will be returning the completed worksheets to HRWC’s offices.
  9. Then go out for beers! (Or ice cream!)
  10. Here’s an example of the  report that we send to property owners, the local community and the local conservancy, using the data you collect.

CHECK OUT OUR NEW ONLINE PLANT GUIDE!

For help in identifying plants out in the field.

TIPS ON DOING THE FIELD ASSESSMENTS

  1. The packet will include a suggested route, but you may decide to take a different one – feel free. Just remember to draw your actual route on the map.
  2. The packet will include a map of preliminary ecosystem boundaries.  This may be different from what you find in the field.  Remember to draw the actual boundaries of wetlands, forests, etc. that you observe.
  3. Be sure to remember to fill in your names and the site name on the top of every worksheet.
  4. Please answer every question.  Some questions we noticed tended to go unanswered last year are “species number” and the ones about percent cover.  These are estimates and, understandibly, it may be difficult to arrive at a final number.  But we need your best guess!
  5. Remember that the people who will eventually input this data have not been out to the property, so they are relying on decisive, clear entries.
  6. Check all boxes that apply for each question.
  7. As you walk through a site, you may walk through small wetland patches, then forest, then wetland again.  If these patches seem similar, you can fill out one worksheet to represent the different patches, as long as they seem similar to you (e.g. a series of vernal ponds within one forest, or two predominantly oak forests on sandy soils divided by a farm field).
  8. If you bring a camera, pictures are great!  Use this Bioreserve Field Assessment Picture Form to keep track of your photos.  There will be 2 kinds of photos you may want to take.  One is a general overview scene of the ecosystem you are assessing.  The other is any “mystery” plant you can’t identify in the field. We don’t want you to have to spend more than a half a minute to identify plants out in the field, so take a picture of it to identify later, or post on our “mystery plants” web site. The form also has a spot to jot down major characteristics of the mystery plant to help you get through a plant ID key at home.
  9. Feel free to fill out the form digitally as well, and email that to me.

Please email Kris with any other comments or questions about doing the survey, submitting the maps, etc.




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