"For most of history, science was something people did as amateurs or hobbyists, but in the 20th century, it became a very specialized profession. Today the doors have been thrown open again. Anyone can be the eyes and ears on the ground, collecting data that even the most sophisticated instruments can’t. ... Citizen science appeals to people’s innate curiosity, and also to their desire to make the world a better place. It adds meaning and value to their hobbies, and gives them a way to contribute to social or environmental causes." ~ Rick Bonney, Cornell University
Friends members and volunteers are a curious and hard working group. Whether it's attending lectures or interpretive walks, counting species on the beach or birds in the bay, or explaining monitoring techniques to the public, we are curious and dedicated to learning and sharing our enthusiasm about the wonders of the Skagit County marine ecosystems and watersheds.
Engaging in citizen science is what draws many people to Friends educational programs. By supporting volunteer projects and the Skagit Marine Resource Committee's Salish Sea Steward program, Friends of Skagit Beaches is helping to make science literacy and citizen participation happen in our area.
If you're looking to continue learning, work with scientists on their research, or conduct field monitoring to support an organization or agency, there are many opportunities to get involved and satisfy that "innate curiosity" that's under your skin.
As part of the Salish Sea Stewards training volunteers interested in working on citizen science projects in Skagit County receive introductory classes related to a variety of projects using citizen scientists. Volunteers interested in participating in a specific project have the opportunity to learn more at in-depth training classes both classroom and field training. Check out the following projects and opportunities if this tickles your interest.
Field Monitoring Studies
Volunteers have a wide variety of projects that engage them in collecting data on the beach, in the stream, or through their binoculars and even helping to analyze samples in the laboratory. Some examples of the citizen science projects you can get involved in are: