Poster 218 – Click on poster below to view presentation from author.
North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Michael Burchell, Kimberly Matthews Rick Savage
The monitoring of undisturbed, natural wetlands is crucial for providing baseline metrics on which to evaluate impacted wetlands. Financial support for monitoring programs is often limited, however, and many programs struggle to sustain themselves in the long-term. Citizen science provides a viable method for supporting long-term data collection while also promoting public education and outreach. By using volunteers for data collection, it is possible that wetland monitoring can be conducted over extensive spatial and temporal scopes at minimal associated costs. The goal of this project is to develop a pilot volunteer-based monitoring program to support long-term wetlands monitoring in North Carolina (NC). Project objectives include: (1) developing a volunteer-based wetland monitoring framework across a network of wetland monitoring sites, (2) developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for volunteer training, (3) creating and populating a data portal for volunteer access, (4) disseminating project results via appropriate outreach media, and (5) evaluating program outcomes to determine if/how to implement a full-scale monitoring program. Monitoring stations will be established at varying types of undisturbed, pristine wetlands across three sites in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Cary, NC. Data collection at these sites will span a variety of parameters, including hydrology, water quality, biota, and soil condition. Once established, program monitoring data will be shared broadly with the intent of supporting state water quality programs, watershed planning, temporal trend analysis, impacted wetland evaluation, community education, and more. If successful, the pilot program will then be used as a basis for expanding a sustainable volunteer-based wetland monitoring network across North Carolina and beyond.
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All posts are publicly visible after review by site administrator. Students’ responses to posted questions is factored into scoring for the poster competition. Finalists announced May 25 and awards presented May 26, 2021.