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THE WAIT IS OVER! The Great Georgia Pollinator Census Starts Today – August 19th & 20th, 2022

THE WAIT IS OVER! The Great Georgia Pollinator Census Starts Today – August 19th & 20th, 2022

By Tammy Cash. Media resources provided by GGAPC.

Update to this article: If the weather does not cooperate, two rain dates have been added, Sunday, August 21st and Monday, August 22nd.  Counts can be accepted from these two dates as well! REMEMBER: Please know that the most important part of the project is YOU. YOU can make a difference! YOU promote the project, YOU count the insects, and YOU make sure that the data is uploaded to the website.  This project works because of YOU. Read how and see the links below.

Have you heard the buzz? On August 19th and 20th, Georgia and South Carolina residents will be venturing out to count all of the pollinators that we can find for the 2022 Great Georgia Pollinator Census! The census is a citizen science research project created by the University of Georgia and launched four years ago in 2019 inviting all Georgians to come together for two days to document pollinator populations. The project is designed for everyone to participate and make a difference for pollinator conservation! It further encourages everyone to create sustainable pollinator habitats and to learn about the many types of pollinators throughout the year. The program also offers a no-cost STEM program for educators, with teaching resources available through the program website.  Buzzing with excitement, the citizens of South Carolina will be joining the Great Georgia Pollinator Census for the August 2022 count, expanding the reach of the pioneering project in the Southeast!

It may sound un-bee-lievable, but did you know bees and butterflies aren’t the only pollinators out there. Learn more about all of the different types of pollinators, catch all the buzz about this year’s census and…

Join the count!

Here’s how: Visit the official website at www.ggapc.org where you can:

  1. Sign up for their newsletter to get the latest in your inbox
  2. Prepare for the count days on August 19th and 20th by:
  3. Check out the resources and share on social media
  4. Join and share Georgia Pollinator Census Facebook page and follow it on instagram @GaPollinators.

 

 

 

Your Photos Can Save Wildlife

Your Photos Can Save Wildlife

By Dr. Susan Perz, Photo by Jimmy Cash.

On October 6, 2021, the Conservation Committee of Georgia Nature Photographers Association presented its first statewide webinar about conservation by introducing the concept of Citizen Science with 6 speakers!  Featured guest speakers were Caroline Nickerson from Sci-Starter and Andrew Snyder, who is Co-Chair of NANPA’s Conservation Committee and a wildlife biologist with Re-Wild.  Several of the GNPA Conservation Committee members made presentations. Susan Perz coordinated the webinar, hosted by the Alpharetta Chapter with a brief introduction by Lee Friedman.  Susan spoke about endangered species, camera traps and time lapse photography.  Committee Chair Marcia Brandes shared Tammy Cash’s presentation on bird banding and the importance of reporting banded birds viewed in the wild. The presentation was illustrated with images captured by Tammy and Jimmy Cash, Jenny Burdette, and others.  Chris Dahl presented his photos from a hummingbird banding event.  Tom Wilson gave a presentation about amatuer astronomers and astrophotography, and the impact their images can have on Citizen Science. He shared some of the equipment he uses and how some of his images have been used by scientists/astronomers. Tom is a former GNPA Vice President and Chair of the Conservation Committee, and currently serves as the Communication Committee.  The event was well attended online, and recorded for future viewing! The GNPA Conservation committee is proud to announce this webinar is now available for public viewing at the link below, as well as a list of resources related to the webinar. 

 

A few resources from the webinar:

Carolyn Nicholson, a Senior Program Director with SciStarter.org recommends the following SciStarter.org conservation/nature related projects:

The Great Sunflower Projecthttps://scistarter.org/the-great-sunflower-project)

Susan Perz, Ph.D., Webinar Coordinator and Member of the Conservation Committee, presented 3 topics:  Endangered Species, Camera Trap Photography, and Time Lapse Photography.

Additional Related Resources: 

James Balog TED Talk about Nature Photography and his project Chasing Ice, which uses camera traps and time lapse photography. https://www.ted.com/talks/james_balog_time_lapse_proof_of_extreme_ice_loss?language=en

Georgia Endangered Species: To submit data on endangered species in GA:  https://georgiawildlife.com/conservation/species-of-concern

Florida Wildlife Commission produces annual reports on endangered species: https://myfwc.com/media/28338/2020-21endangeredspeciesreport.pdf

Camera Traps:  The Jaguar Identification Project https://www.jaguaridproject.com

Camera Traps in Florida, The FStop Foundationhttps://fstopfoundation.org. Their award-winning film about the Florida Wildlife Corridor is here: https://fstopfoundation.org/films-and-videos/

Chasing Ice https://chasingice.com

Sharing photos and videos with public schools for educational purposes. One of the videos that Susan Perz has shared with an elementary school is below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-gxw-JRMwk

 

 

 

 

SPRING INTO CITIZEN SCIENCE BY PARTICIPATING IN IMAGE DRIVEN PROJECTS!

SPRING INTO CITIZEN SCIENCE BY PARTICIPATING IN IMAGE DRIVEN PROJECTS!

Help raise awareness and effect change by being a Citizen Scientist!

April is Citizen Science Month and there are thousands of opportunities for you to turn your curiosity into impact.  There’s something for everyone, everywhere! Join others in learning about and participating in fun, real ways to help scientists answer questions they cannot answer without you. 

Check out below a few of the projects chosen by the GNPA Conservation Committee where your photos can help make a positive difference! Visit SciStarter.org and citizenscience.com for other opportunities!

ISeeChange

Spring is all about change as our winter landscapes start to bloom and lifeforms emerge from their winter hiding spots. What you see in your neighborhood (and when) is important to understanding how climate change is affecting communities everywhere. Your block-by-block insights help cities, engineers and local organizations build better solutions for a changing climate.

Location: Global
Photo Credit: Babette Landmesser/Unsplash
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stream Selfie

Snap a pic of your local stream and share it with researchers!
The images help scientists get a better picture of water quality across the country — something that there’s an alarming lack of information on right now! Join thousands
of people working toward the goal of clean water for everyone.
Location: Global
Photo Credit: IWLA
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

iNaturalist

Photograph the beauty of spring around you and aid biodiversity research.
Document the butterflies, bees, grasses, flowers and more that you see around you! Simply upload your images of the natural world to the iNaturalist app and they’ll share the data with organizations like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Your observations help scientists study and protect the natural world!
Location: Global
Photo Credit: Jimmy Cash, GNPA
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Miterwort. Photo by Tom Wilson

Budburst

Help researchers study pollinators and native plants.
How are ecosystems near you changing with the seasons? Budburst’s network of citizen scientists keep an eye on plants as seasons shift. Contributing observations as plants come up, bloom, turn to seed and more will also help you get outside all while learning about the natural world beyond your front door.
Location: North America
Photo Credit: Tom Wilson, GNPA
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Take a walk outside and photograph the sky — NASA scientists need your cloud photos.
When scientists study clouds, they’re typically looking at them from above, from satellites. But that doesn’t give them the full picture. Clouds play a big role in the climate by reflecting, absorbing and scattering sunlight and infrared emissions from Earth. NASA needs your cloud observations to better understand how it all works!
Location: Global
Photo Credit: NASA/GLOBE
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2022 GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT BEGINS FEB 18th FOR FOUR DAYS!

2022 GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT BEGINS FEB 18th FOR FOUR DAYS!

Shared by Tammy Cash, Conservation Committee Communications

For those of us who enjoy watching and photographing our backyard birds, or birds any and everywhere, here is your chance to share your photos, help with conservation efforts for our feathered friends, and be a Citizen Scientist! “The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen-science project (also referred to as community science) to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.” Participate in the GBBC for four days in February (18th-21st) to watch, learn about, count, and celebrate birds!  The GBBC is sponsored annually by The Cornell Lab, Audubon, and Birds Canada. Below is additional information on the GBBC from birdcount.org.

Project Goal:

Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days, we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them. The observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

How to Participate

Participating is really easy and fun to do alone or with others! And it can be done anywhere you find birds.

Step 1 – Decide where you will watch birds.

Step 2 – Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 18-21, 2022.

Step 3 – Count all the birds you see or hear within your planned time/location and use the best tool for sharing your bird sightings:

Learn More by Registering for the FREE 2022 Webinar:

Join the experts to brush up on bird ID, unlock the mystery of bird songs, and practice counting birds no matter how large the flock or busy the feeder. This webinar is designed for birders of all ages and experience—you’ll leave confident and ready to be part of the Great Backyard Bird Count! Click here to Register for Webinar on Wednesday, February 16, 2 pm ET

Be Part of a Global Event

How cool is this! Watch observation lists roll in from around the world. Each submitted checklist becomes a glowing light on our bird sightings map. Watch the Live Map

Share Your Birds Counts

The Great Backyard Bird Count uses eBird, one of the world’s largest nature databases. It stores more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year and is used by professionals for science and conservation. Contribute to eBird and become a citizen scientist!

New to the Great Backyard Bird Count or to using eBird? Explore the How to Participate on the options for entering your bird lists. Click here to Enter Your Bird List Into eBird

Bird Photos From the Weekend:

Upload your favorite bird images when you enter your Great Backyard Bird Count list in eBird. Your photo will become a part of the Macaulay Library, the world’s premier scientific archive of natural history. Images for the Macaulay Library can be uploaded directly from your eBird/GBBC list. To learn how to upload an image to your bird list click here: Learn How to Upload Bird Photos

People Photos From the Weekend:

You can also share pictures of yourself and your bird-watching community! The photos may be used to continue to inspire others from around the world to watch and enjoy birds. All people who submit people photos will win one Bird Academy course! Click here for more information: Share Photos of People Birding

For additional information on the GBBC visit: https://www.birdcount.org/

SPOTLIGHT ON CONSERVATION ARCHIVES

SPOTLIGHT ON CONSERVATION ARCHIVES

SPOTLIGHT ON CONSERVATION ARCHIVES

Citizen Science Projects

Spotlight on Conservation

Your Photos Can Make a Difference! Learn how through our “Spotlight on Conservation” articles, blogs, and presentations written by GNPA members to help promote the importance of photography for conservation.  Photography is valuable to conservation in many ways...

Spotlight on Conservation

Your Photos Can Make a Difference!

Learn how through our “Spotlight on Conservation” articles, blogs, and presentations written by GNPA members to help promote the importance of photography for conservation. 

Photography is valuable to conservation in many ways including raising awareness, creating an emotional connection, telling a story, and creating visual imagery of the importance of our natural world – animals, plants, ecosystems, habitats, and much more – imagery that can enlighten and help inspire action to aid conservation efforts.  

SPOTLIGHT ON CONSERVATION

June 15th is Nature Photography Day!

June 15th is Nature Photography Day!

Photographers and nature lovers all across the nation head out into the natural world on June 15th each year, which is designated as Nature Photography Day!  The GNPA is excited to celebrate this special day and encourage all who can to enjoy the day by capturing nature related images!

read more
The Year of the Okefenokee

The Year of the Okefenokee

Two great organizations – GNPA and the Georgia Sierra Club – are teaming up to spend a year celebrating the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

read more
SPOTLIGHT ON CONSERVATION ARCHIVES

Citizen Science Projects

Making Your Photos Matter Through Citizen Science Projects!

 

Your Photos Can Save Wildlife

Your Photos Can Save Wildlife

The GNPA Conservation committee is proud to announce their statewide presented Citizen Science webinar, “Your Photos Can Save Wildlife”, is now available for public viewing at

read more
NEW GNPA WEBINAR: Your Photos Could Help Save a Life

NEW GNPA WEBINAR: Your Photos Could Help Save a Life

Combine your photos and Citizen's Science, and there's no limit to what you can achieve! October 6, 2021 at 7:30 pm, don't miss a fantastic GNPA WEBINAR, featuring guest speakers from NANPA and Sci Starter. A nature photographer's unique skillset is ideal for...

read more
Easy Photo Adventures That Can Make a Difference!

Easy Photo Adventures That Can Make a Difference!

Surprise!  You are a Citizen Scientist! By Dr. Susan Perz Most of us photograph nature because we love the natural world and being in nature. We’re great at observing patiently, setting up camera equipment and sometimes waiting for hours. Yet we don’t always think of...

read more
NEW GNPA WEBINAR: Your Photos Could Help Save a Life

NEW GNPA WEBINAR: Your Photos Could Help Save a Life

Combine your photos and Citizen’s Science, and there’s no limit to what you can achieve!

October 6, 2021 at 7:30 pm, don’t miss a fantastic GNPA WEBINAR, featuring guest speakers from NANPA and Sci Starter.
A nature photographer’s unique skillset is ideal for contributing to science AND saving wildlife. A panel of 6 presenters is ready to tell us how, including four GNPA Conservation Committee members.

We’ll hear tips about

  • time lapse photography
  • camera traps
  • bird banding
  • hummingbird banding
  • night photography
  • astronomy

And these are Citizen Science projects that YOU can be involved in NOW.

To sweeten the deal, NANPA speaker Andrew Snyder will discuss how NANPA’s Conservation Committee is making a difference with Citizen’s Science. He’ll also share NANPA conservation resources, helping you begin your journey toward making a difference with YOUR images.

Don’t miss this night packed with practical applications, exciting information and a variety of engaging speakers.

To join in the fun, REGISTER HERE.

For more information about Citizen’s Science, check out Dr. Susan Perz’s recent blog post HERE.

We’ll see everyone on October 6th!

[Featured Image: Chris Dahl; September, 2019; hummingbird banding.]

 

Easy Photo Adventures That Can Make a Difference!

Easy Photo Adventures That Can Make a Difference!

Surprise!  You are a Citizen Scientist!
By Dr. Susan Perz

Most of us photograph nature because we love the natural world and being in nature. We’re great at observing patiently, setting up camera equipment and sometimes waiting for hours. Yet we don’t always think of ourselves as scientists—or as citizens participating in science.

Julia from Birdwatcher Supply runs the Hummingbird Banding event at Smith Gilbert Gardens. (photo credit: Chris Dahl, Sept. 2019)

Have you ever taken a photo of a banded bird or animal and wondered what the band means or why it’s there?  Have you wondered if pollinators or songbirds are decreasing in your yard?  Or if the creek in your yard is getting wider from erosion?  Have you ever wondered if your photographs can make a difference?

They can! And increasingly, ordinary people like you and I are contributing to science by sending photos to websites that help scientists learn more about our natural world!  Citizen Science sounds difficult, but we participate in science every day in ways that we don’t realize.

Every photo communicates an observation and educates in some way about a landscape or wildlife, but there are easy ways that we as nature photographers can uniquely help educate and even save the natural places and wildlife we love.

Banded Birds and Animals… Did you know that if you take a photo of a banded bird or animal, you can send it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—and they will send you a Certificate of Appreciation? The certificate also tells you what information about the animal or bird they were able to obtain from the band. That’s pretty cool, and fascinating!  If you have photos you would like to send, CLICK HERE for the link.

 

Paul Eisenbrown took these photos of a snail kite in Florida in May 2021. The bird has several bands on its legs. After he sent his photos and information in to bandreports@usgs.gov, he found out that the bird is 13 years old and was banded in 2008. (photos used with permission)

Did you ever imagine that your photos could help save a species?  If you send in photos of monarchs, birds, dragonflies, seahorses, amphibians, earthworms, whales, robins, hummingbirds and more (or even trash and roadkill, or time lapse photos), your photos can be used by scientists to find out important information that can help save a species (or a river) for future generations. You can send photos to these projects on the NANPA, (the North American Nature Photography Association,) website below. NANPA is big on conservation photography and citizen science! For more information, CLICK HERE.

Bothered by invasive plants or animals? You can help, by noting the location and date and sending your photos to these websites:

https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/subject/reporting 
https://www.gaeppc.org/list/ 
https://www.gainvasives.org/

Have you ever wondered if an animal, bird, or insect that you have photographed is endangered? CLICK HERE to find out more.

Here is the certificate that Paul received after sending in his photos.

I hope it’s exciting to realize that we all participate in science. Every time we observe an animal, bird, or other creature, we are learning about science (and when we share our photos, we are educating others about the mystery, beauty, and drama of the natural world) one photo at a time. As they say, a picture (or video) is worth a thousand words.

For most of my life, I took for granted the nature photography I saw in magazines and films, until I got to know a real life nature photographer in person. And gradually, I realized that if it wasn’t for nature photographers I would know very little about the natural world. Our photos educate the public about science.

Citizen Science… There are many ways that the public can help provide data to scientists for use in scientific studies. Citizen Science grew out of Participatory Action Research. Some of the related terms are service learning, collaborative research, community science, crowd-sourced science, civic science, volunteer monitoring, and community science—and of course, indigenous communities have collaborated to gather their own scientific knowledge used in farming, medicines, etc., for centuries. Citizen Science greatly expands the data that scientists can collect through public participation, while also increasing public understanding of science.

If you’d like to learn more about Citizen Science and ways to expand your scientific journeys, here are some links where you can learn more:

https://citizenscience.org 
https://citizenscience.gov 
https://scistarter.org

Stay tuned for upcoming webinars about Citizen Science. Have fun! And please feel free to share some of your exciting projects and discoveries with your local GNPA chapter, GNPA YouTube, Instagram, or our Facebook page.  (If you share on FB, please tag me: Susan Perz.)  Who knows? Maybe next time it will be you, sharing a short presentation or article on what you have discovered during your next Citizen Science adventure.
_______________________

Dr. Susan Perz is a former school counselor who loves videography and photography.  She is a member of the GNPA Conservation Committee and has her own YouTube channel and blog.  She writes children’s picture books about social emotional learning and illustrates them with nature photography and watercolors.  Thanks to Tammy Cash and Lisa Westbury for sharing a couple websites included in this article. 

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