Friday, May 24, 2013

Melibee Project and Citizen Science Continues in 2013

Last year, the Chugach National Forest had the good fortune to help Dr. Christa Mulder and Katie Spellman from University of Alaska Fairbanks with their invasive plants and native berries - Melibee Project. The Project examines what happens when a new plant species comes into an area. Is it more attractive to pollinators than anything else around? Does it improve pollination of the native plants that are already there? Or does it lure away pollinators, or lead to the delivery of the wrong kind of pollen?

Part of the Melibee Project is concerned with gathering phenology data from citizen scientists in Alaska and the northern part of North America to help better understand how invasive plants, pollinators, and how important food plants might interact in a changing climate.  Christa and Katie have developed a monitoring protocol and information sheets on the species.

This year, Katie is looking for volunteers to make phenology observations of sweetclover (Melilotus albus) bird vetch (Vicia cracca), lowbush cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and bog blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum). If you are doing any sweetclover or vetch work this summer, or you have these species near your house, or you are going to any remote places for field work or pleasure, she could really use your help. If the idea of being a Citizen Scientist appeals to you, can get all the information on the Melibee Project on their website and Katie is offering some trainings for anyone interested in participating in the Melibee Project citizen science monitioring program this summer.

A training webinar will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, May 29.
Details on how to join the webinar will be provided after you sign up for the training at the link . 
If you are in Fairbanks, an in-person training will be held Saturday, May 25 at 11am meeting at the UAF ski hut on West Ridge.

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