Ruth has been a volunteer with Maine Audubon for more than five years. She helps out at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center (SMAC) every Tuesday in the summer. In the colder months, she assists at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center by greeting visitors, answering the phones and responding to wildlife inquiries that come our way. A former physical education teacher, Ruth also volunteers at Spring Ledge Light House in South Portland (SMCC campus) and Maine Medical Center. (more…)
Western Maine Wildlife Road Watch Training Video Available
Monday, June 24th, 2013
In April our team held training sessions for Western Maine Road Watch volunteers via webinar. The training provides an overview of the Road Watch program, along with detailed information on how to identify, record, and submit signs of wildlife road crossing in western Maine.
You can view the recorded webinar below.
Desperately Seeking Birders
Well, maybe not quite desperately, but we would love to have your help! Maine Audubon is looking for birders willing to travel to bird habitat “hotspots” throughout the state, and report back their findings via eBird, the on-line checklist program from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The goal of this effort is to expand Maine’s Important Bird Area program to include some of the many places we believe are important for species of high conservation concern, but for which we lack quantitative data.
With every new checklist added by birders, we’ll be able to build the case for the more than 20 sites that have been identified by the Important Bird Area Technical Committee as needing more information before they can be approved as Maine IBAs. See the map below for the sites we are focusing on this spring. If you have additional sites you’d like considered as IBAs, or if you have questions about the locations or using e-Bird to report your sitings, e-mail Susan Gallo at [email protected].
Volunteers Needed – Western Maine Mountains Road Watch
The western mountains region of Maine has been identified by many local, regional, and international conservation efforts as an important natural area for people and wildlife. We want to learn more about wildlife movement in this special region, but we need your help! We are seeking volunteers to help with a new Wildlife Road Watch initiative in Western Maine.
What we need you do: Road Watch volunteers survey a designated section of road, by car or by foot, while recording any alive or dead evidence of wildlife road crossing.
Where you survey: Routes are 5 to 10 mile-long segments of road located along Routes 2, 4, 16, 26, 27 and 201. We want to concentrate observations on these routes as we need high numbers of wildlife observations to find patterns in wildlife movement. Volunteers are needed to complete a minimum of 6 surveys from April through September 2013.
You’re invited to participate in the Sunday, April 7th Wildlife Road Watch volunteer training webinar from 10-11:30 a.m. While a computer and internet connection is required to view the webinar you also may phone in to this volunteer training session. Finally, if you want to participate but cannot attend the webinar, we can arrange an alternate training session.
To sign up to volunteer or RSVP for the Wildlife Road Watch webinar, please contact Amanda Moeser at [email protected] or (207) 781-6180 x207.
We hope you can participate in this effort to help us learn more about wildlife patterns in your region.
The Demonstrated Value of Citizen Scientists
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
Winter is near and our citizen science project activity is in the reporting phase, and once again we thank the many, many volunteers, partners, interns, and patrons who make our science based conservation efforts possible throughout the seasons. We found a story worth highlighting which further illustrates the importance and power of citizen science.
Have you heard of oldWeather.org? This is an online citizen science project to transcribe the log books from about 280 Royal Navy ships from around WWI. The captains of these ships logged weather observations six times a day by hand in their ship’s log book. From the efforts of thousands of people there are now 1.6 million verified transcriptions of six daily weather observations recorded into a database. You can learn more about the sheer volume and value of the numbers from this oldweather.org post.
At Maine Audubon we rely on citizen scientists in the field, across the state, to complete annual observations of amphibian, bat, loon, and trout populations, as well as road-side and road-killed wildlife to help us conserve the wildlife and wildlife habitat of Maine. The value of this is simple: we couldn’t do our work without the help of many, many volunteers. Building data sets from this participatory ecology is key to informing and supporting our science based conservation. To learn more about the range of wildlife and habitat conservation visit our site. Each conservation page has recent news posts and calls to action, and, you can check our volunteering and internships page for participation opportunities as they arise (also available from our Facebook page).
Although during late fall and winter we are busy analyzing and building reports from the data and preparing for the next season of data collection, we look forward to working with returning volunteers and welcoming new volunteers who are interested in helping us with our efforts!
In the meantime if you want to assist the oldWeather cause, they have a new project: “Help scientists recover Arctic and worldwide weather observations made by United States’ ships since the mid-19th century. These transcriptions contribute to climate model projections and will improve our knowledge of past environmental conditions. Historians will use your work to track past ship movements and tell the stories of the people on board.” This is a great effort to help out with during your down time from data collection for Maine Audubon! http://www.oldweather.org
Fishin’ with a Mission in Rangeley
Monday, June 25th, 2012
Maine Audubon’s Brook Trout Pond Survey Coordinator, Amanda Moeser joined Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited in Rangeley this past weekend for the annual Fly Fishing in Maine Conclave. They are recruiting anglers to survey ponds in the Rangeley area for brook trout, part of a larger effort to identify previously-undocumented wild brook trout populations across the state.
The first angler to survey one of the elusive, remote ponds near Rangeley won a homemade Upside-Down Rhubarb cake (hand-picked rhubarb from Gilsland Farm, combined with lots of butter and sugar, and baked in a cast iron skillet)—YUM!
If you haven’t had the chance to meet him in person, you might recognize Gary Roberts’ name from its high frequency in the Habitat Activities Guide. This Registered Maine Guide has led countless trips for Maine Audubon over the years.
We caught up with this Peony Circle member to find out what drives his tireless passion for volunteerism.
How did you learn about Maine Audubon?
Maine Audubon (MA) has been a part of my life for such a long time that it’s difficult to remember when I first learned about it. But I definitely think it was in the late 70s that my wife and I discovered Gilsland Farm. We decided to become members to support the many excellent local programs that MA offered.
Why have you stuck with it for so long?
I believe in the advocacy work and environmental education that Maine Audubon does. MA has also provided me with a venue to be actively involved in one of my passions—natural history education.
Join Us in Honoring Our Long Term Supporters
Wednesday, June 13 2012, 6:30 – 8:00pm
Free ice cream courtesy of Toots Ice Cream in N. Yarmouth
Music by Flight 317 (acoustic teenage ensemble)
Craft book author Heidi Boyd—who will be on hand to help visitors create their own Peony Pixies
A drawing for select peony plants from Gilsland Farm’s renowned garden
What’s your favorite benefit of Maine Audubon membership?
This is an interesting question, because I don’t really think about what I can get from Maine Audubon. I think more about what I can give in volunteering. What I get back is the opportunity to visit MA’s many sanctuaries and become friends with many like-minded people.
What volunteering have you done over the years? I started volunteering in the early 80s and haven’t stopped. I started with Winter Ecology Walks, then programs at Scarborough Marsh and Mast Landing. Then I joined the Speakers’ Bureau and took the Maine Audubon programming to the public. When I was asked to lead an overnight program to Swan Island in Merrymeeting Bay, I got hooked on being a trip leader. Soon I joined with MA volunteer George Libby and we started leading overnight and day trip programs across the state. In 2000, I was named Audubon Volunteer of the Year.
Any quotes come to mind to sum up your volunteer experience?
A friend gave me this quote, which I have adopted as part of my guiding philosophy: ‘It’s not the getting there that counts, but what you discover along the way. Enjoy the journey…’