Blogs

Spring 2016 Fieldwork Activity

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From coastal to upland, and into freshwater habitats, the Vital Signs community has had a productive spring. We had participation from grades 3-12 and also had some amazing work done by citizen scientists/students in their spare time!

Teachers Inspire Our Future Scientists

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Pat Parent, an amazing teacher from Massabesic Middle School, works each year to engage his students in authentic science that is relevant to their lives and their community. A piece of that work is doing citizen science with Vital Signs throughout the year.

Vital Signs Citizen Scientists - Future Maine Conservation Leaders

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It's easy to get discouraged in the face of the many challenges we observe in the Gulf of Maine and beyond. Whether it's a warming Gulf of Maine, or the spread of invasive species throughout our watershed, I'm thinking about these challenges on a daily basis.

Hot Topic! Emerald ash borer – Invasives on Maine’s doorstep

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Picasa, DAB3218

First detected in Michigan in 2002, the emerald ash borer (EAB) has now spread to at least 24 states and two Canadian provinces. EAB infestations have been reported in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. So, although Maine has not had any recorded infestations, EAB is only 20-30 miles away and the Maine Forest Service says they are preparing for the inevitable. Maine citizen scientists can help by monitoring with Mission: Emerald ash borer.

Help Maine Forest Service Cooperators Track the Spruce Budworm in Maine

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Guest blog post by: Emily Owens, Healthy Forest Partnership

The Budworm Tracker Program, a component of the Healthy Forest Partnership, is looking for additional volunteers to join its Budworm Tracker citizen science program in Northern Maine.

Messalonskee Middle School Mission: Are the crayfish in our pond invasive?

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Guest blog post by Amanda Ripa's students from Messalonskee Middle School:
At Messalonskee Middle School, we have a stormwater pond behind our school. Despite collecting polluted water, there are many living things. During nature journaling, we noticed that there were a lot of crayfish! We put out a trap and the next day, the trap was full! From this observation, we wanted to answer our research question, “Are the crayfish in our pond invasive?”

A Field Day with New England Cottontails!

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Despite the cold and wet weather this past Saturday, 17 hearty souls left the comfort of their warm beds to learn about the new Vital Signs Mission: New England Cottontail.

Fall Field season 2015 - our largest ever!

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We’re sending out our fall field season update later than we ever have before as fall data continues to roll in. That’s right, we still have people contributing data! Beautiful fall weather, curious researchers and classrooms, and active communities resulted in the most active Vital Signs field season ever!

Hot Topic! Where do YOU see signs of New England Cottontail?

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Take a look at the map below. This map indicates the historic (below the red dotted line) and current (in blue) range of the New England Cottontail (NEC). If you or your students live within the current or historic range outlined in this map then Kelly, Kate, and Katelyn from the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge need your help looking for signs of the NEC. Help them out by participating in Mission: New England Cottontail.

Record breaking news!

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    Greetings Vital Signs Community!

    From September 1st – December 21st, there have been 963 new species observations posted on the Vital Signs website. This has been the most data in a field season ever, and it is not over! New data is still rolling in.

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