by Suzanne Whelan
To mark our centennial anniversary this year, MMWD is partnering with the California Academy of Sciences on a series of bioblitzes to document the flora of the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed.
At our most recent bioblitz on June 23, our six teams:
- Made 162 observations total (collections and/or photographs of individual plants)
- Collected 107 specimens
To date, from several outings this year, we have:
- Made 502 observations total (collections and/or photographs of individual plants), comprising approximately 300 different species
- Collected 323 specimens total, comprising approximately 225 different species
These are great numbers: Since there are roughly 900 species of plants on the watershed, we’ve already documented close to a third of them! The MMWD watershed lands comprise just 0.01 percent of the state but are home to 15 percent of the state’s plant species. If we are talking Marin, 50 percent of the county’s plant species are found on the watershed.
Our citizen science model aims to mobilize a cadre of volunteers to collect data to answer a scientific question. By training volunteers we build a sense of stewardship among participants, initiate folks to the process of science and provide meaningful scientific data which can build support for local sustainability initiatives. We offer a tiered approach to involvement—botany or field science professionals mentor those who are students or amateurs. Members of the general public participated in guided hikes and presentations during our all-day centennial celebration June 23. We are thrilled with our successful forays working with Cal Academy and so many enthusiastic and knowledgeable plant lovers!
Our next bioblitz is August 25. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.