Each individual has the power to enhance scientific understanding of the natural world.
Every day, volunteers make critical observations of wildlife behavior, weather processes, seasonal changes and more. This volunteer-recorded data is the core of citizen science, and it extends the impact of scientific studies and can lead to better informed decision-making at multiple levels.
Green Valleys Watershed Association’s ongoing history of volunteer work is one of our greatest assets. We support and offer many volunteer science opportunities each year, and are always looking for citizen scientists to participate in monitoring activities such as:
- Hosting rain gauges at home and collecting rainfall and temperature data;
- Joining the Schuylkill Water Stewards program as part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative;
- Safeguarding amphibian movements across local roads each spring;
- Recording nesting data at bird and bat boxes along Welkinweir’s “Bluebird Trail”;
- Observing and photographing stormwater erosion “hotspots”
Host a rain gauge on your property.
Volunteers are needed who will host gauges at their homes and collect rainfall/temperature data. This data is essential to improving the accuracy of precipitation maps we are currently creating to interpret wet and dry weather water sampling results, as well as provide inputs into our stormwater watershed models.
Become a Schuylkill Water Steward.
Green Valleys and our partners in the larger Delaware River Watershed Initiative are training individuals to become informed advocates and monitors of water quality and quantity within the French Creek, Pigeon Creek, Pickering Creek, and Stony Run watersheds. Schuylkill Water Stewards will learn about the unique issues facing these watersheds, the benefits of land conservation, and how to measure the health of a stream. Training includes hands-on learning in both the field and the classroom. At the end of the program, Stewards will “adopt” a specific stream site to conduct regular water sampling and assessments. Additional field trips and volunteer opportunities are offered periodically. Visit the Schuylkill Water Stewards website to learn more.
Protect and observe migrating amphibians.
Help amphibians cross local roads safely during springs rains. Amphibian populations are declining for a variety of reasons and one thing we can do to help is make the roads safer for them during heavy spring migrations. Volunteers will be notified ahead of expected crossing events and have an opportunity to sign up for an hour or two of amphibian patrol!
Record bird nesting and bat shelter data at Welkinweir.
Monitor nesting activities in bird boxes installed along our headquarter’s “Bluebird Trail”, as well as one bat box. Observe the species utilizing each nest box and their nesting progress. Adopt boxes to keep them in good condition for each year’s avian and bat families. Results are included in the eBird global citizen science initiative.
For more volunteer opportunities at our scenic headquarters, please visit Welkinweir’s Education Programs page.
Monitor stormwater erosion “hotspots”.
Volunteers are also needed who can be available to observe & photograph sites with potential erosion issues during rainstorms. Pictures are often the best way to report sediment pollution to township and county personnel and get these problems corrected as early as possible.