Tuesday, January 29, 2008

MCAMMP in 2008

We're ready to start off another year of the MCAMMP project. Please join us for an interesting afternoon at the Urban Ecology Center on Sunday, March 2nd, for the third annual MCAMMP Volunteer Workshop. If you've worked with us before, come and see what we've been up to since last fall, and learn about the plans for this year. If you have NOT been previously been part of this project, come and find out about it.

As most of you already know, in fall of 2007 we received the Citizen-based Monitoring Network Project of the Year Award from the CBM Network and Wisconsin DNR. Our volunteers and interns have done exceptional work on mistnetting and banding, transect counts, and vegetation sampling and analysis on our existing 8 study sites in Milwaukee County. We gave presentations at a number of locations and events throughout last year, and this year will be no exception. One exciting piece of news is that MCAMMP partners will present a symposium on Citizen Science at this year's Ecological Society of America annual meeting, which will fortunately for us be held in Milwaukee this year. The ESA is one of the largest professional organizations of ecologists in the world, and this symposium (created, organized and moderated by our research partners Chris Lepczyk, Owen Boyle, and Tim Vargo) will invite experts from around the world to discuss citizen science and its application in ecology. Following the week-long ESA meetings, there will be a follow-up event with symposium attendees at the Urban Ecology Center. We received funding for this symposium as part of a grant provided by the Wisconsin Energy Foundation - this will allow us to help with travel costs for participants coming from outside of the United States.

In 2008 we will continue to gather vegetation data, do transect counts, mist-net and band birds, and take blood samples from a group of bird species. If you are interested in participating in any aspect of this project, please attend this March workshop. If you cannot attend the workshop, please contact any research team member to get answers to any questions you may have about the project.

Our plan is to continue to gather data throughout 2008 and 2009. We have applied for additional funding; we have a PhD student working as a GIS intern with our spatial dataset, and both our avian and botanical data entry and analysis continue as I write this to you. There are many exciting things yet in store for MCAMMP. If you've helped in the past, and would like a new challenge this year, you can switch gears and work on another aspect of the project. If you've enjoyed what you've done and wish to continue working on that, we heartily welcome you to do so. Please contact any of us by e-mail or phone if you have questions. The contact information for the research partners is listed on the MCAMMP webpage, here.

Have a great late-winter, and I hope to see all of you in March at the UEC.

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