Citizen Science

Interested in the natural world and its inhabitants?  Want to contribute to meaningful science or hone your naturalist skills?  Simply looking for a different excuse to get outside?

If your answer is “YES” to any or all of the above, please consider volunteering for one of Steep Rock Association’s citizen science projects.  The data you collect improves our knowledge as well as yours of biodiversity in the area.  If the joy of actively conducting research and becoming intimate with the local environment isn’t enough, take pleasure in your findings being analyzed by professional scientists working to address large scale, crucial issues.  Nationwide programs like the Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey, FrogWatch USA, NestWatch, and the Christmas Bird Count are incredible opportunities to become engaged and do something meaningful in your community this year!  SRA initiated an annual macroinvertebrate sampling effort in fall 2017 and a bustling winter of science included our first cottontail pellet survey.  Before long, in spring/summer 2018, we will be looking for volunteers to conduct our first marsh bird survey.  Please frequent the “Programs and Events” tab to view and register for upcoming projects with us.

2019 Internships: A Summer of Inspiration

Are you a high school or college student who loves the outdoors and want to gain experience in gardening or conservation work, all while getting paid? Build your resume and gain real-world skills in agriculture or outdoor recreation and conservation by applying for one of Steep Rock Association’s 2019 summer internship programs: Judea Garden Intern …

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Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV) Program

Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV) Program

Macroinvertebrates are great indicators of water quality.  Certain species are very tolerant of degraded water while others like many stoneflies and some mayflies have a low tolerance for poor water quality.  The presence of low-tolerance species indicates high water quality and a healthy lotic system. The Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV) is a DEEP program …

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Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey:  A Citizen Science Opportunity

Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey:  A Citizen Science Opportunity Training: Friday, January 11, 2019, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM @SRA Office (2 Green Hill Road) Survey: Saturday, January 12, 2019, 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM (assigned locations) Bundle up and become a citizen scientist by scanning sections of the Shepaug River for bald eagles. The data …

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Cottontail species hunkered down in a hollow tree

PURSUIT for PELLETS

They’re not the easiest to obtain.  Stooping, crawling, and dipping through young forest, citizen scientists with Steep Rock Association (SRA) earned their cottontail scat (or pellets).  The native species, New England Cottontail (NEC), prefer this brambly habitat type over more open fields and meadows where the non-native eastern cottontail dominates.  Forest succession and interspecific competition …

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BLUEBIRD BOX CLEANING in preparation for NESTWATCH

BLUEBIRD BOX CLEANING in preparation for NESTWATCH

Cavity nesting species like eastern bluebird and tree swallow benefit from the availability of artificial nest boxes.  Nests constructed in them often have greater success compared to those in a natural cavity, being less susceptible to predation and having a beneficial microclimate as a result of mindful placement.  As spring approaches and migrating birds return …

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