Presenter/Author Information

Lucas Hart, Northwest Straits CommissionFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Tools and Strategies for Growing Citizen Science

Description

The citizen based San Juan County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) implemented kayak based bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) surveys in the summer of 2015. Survey efforts were a component of regional collaborations among six MRC’s located throughout Puget Sound, WA. Protocol endpoints included kelp bed perimeter measurements by handheld GPS and density estimations through quadrat bulb counts. Due to geographic variation between MRC’s, successes were divergent and each committee was faced with specific challenges. In particular, San Juan MRC was charged with surveying 408 miles of shoreline, much of which can expose kayakers to harsh conditions. Conversely, the proposed Deer Harbor Estuary restoration project, largely protected from adverse weather conditions, provides a unique and safe opportunity to apply established protocols to pre and post restoration monitoring. Protocol development, site selection and safety will be discussed using San Juan MRC as a case study in citizen science contributions to kelp examinations in the field. Furthermore, the potential utility of such methodologies in understanding kelp life history and response to habitat restoration will be considered.

Keywords: citizen science, bull kelp, marine resources committee, Puget Sound

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Citizen contributions to the science and monitoring of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) in Puget Sound, WA

2016SSEC

The citizen based San Juan County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) implemented kayak based bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) surveys in the summer of 2015. Survey efforts were a component of regional collaborations among six MRC’s located throughout Puget Sound, WA. Protocol endpoints included kelp bed perimeter measurements by handheld GPS and density estimations through quadrat bulb counts. Due to geographic variation between MRC’s, successes were divergent and each committee was faced with specific challenges. In particular, San Juan MRC was charged with surveying 408 miles of shoreline, much of which can expose kayakers to harsh conditions. Conversely, the proposed Deer Harbor Estuary restoration project, largely protected from adverse weather conditions, provides a unique and safe opportunity to apply established protocols to pre and post restoration monitoring. Protocol development, site selection and safety will be discussed using San Juan MRC as a case study in citizen science contributions to kelp examinations in the field. Furthermore, the potential utility of such methodologies in understanding kelp life history and response to habitat restoration will be considered.

Keywords: citizen science, bull kelp, marine resources committee, Puget Sound