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If you like walking beaches, learning about natural history, and want to contribute to marine conservation, this volunteer program is for you.
The COASST Program will be conducting training in Sitka on September 15. No experience is needed, only enthusiasm, to become a citizen scientist and learn the arcane skill of identifying beached birds!
I have been involved with COASST for over 5 years. My family and I have adopted our favorite beach on Kruzof Island and we walk the beach several times each year looking for beached birds. The value of this effort is to establish a "baseline", or what is normal, for birds to die and wash up on beaches. If we ever experience an oil spill, climate change, a change in the marine environment, or other environmental disaster we can then measure the actual impact on bird populations. COASST has an extensive network all along the west coast of North America.
Not only does our family get to collect valuable information, we also become intimately familiar with the natural history and seasonal changes on a place that is important to us, and we get to nurture a long-term commitment to the health of our local environment. It's also lots of fun!
Check out COASST at http://depts.washington.edu/coasst/
Help make a difference for the environment by collecting data for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST). COASST is a citizen science project dedicated to involving volunteers in the collection of high quality data on the status of coastal beaches, and trends of seabirds. Our goal is to assist government agencies and other organizations in making informed management and conservation decisions, and promote proactive citizen involvement and action. COASST volunteers systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska. Volunteers need NO experience with birds, just a commitment to survey a specific beach (about 3/4 mile) each month.
If you are interested in participating, join COASST staff for a full, 6-hour training session. Hear about how COASST started, learn how to use the custom Beached Birds field guide, and try out your new skills with some actual specimens. There is no charge to attend a training, but plan to provide a $20 refundable deposit if you would like to take home a COASST volunteer kit complete with a COASST Beached Birds field guide. Training activities take place indoors, and include a break for lunch - please pack your own or plan to buy lunch nearby.
Upcoming COASST training session:
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 2012 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Sitka Sound Science Center - 834 Lincoln Street Suite 200
If you can't attend these events, please check our website at www.coasst.org or call (206) 221-6893 for additional information on upcoming events and trainings.
To reserve your spot at a training session, please contact [email protected] or 206-221-6893.
Events will take place August 17th-19th
CLICK HERE for the full program schedule and description of events.
What on earth is biodiversity? A measurement of the variety and concentration of lifeforms in a given area, biodiversity is often used by researchers to gage the overall health of ecosystems.Who and what lives here? What mushrooms, bugs, crabs, whales, seaweed, owls, deer, and salmon share Sitka as their home? By documenting and better understanding the organismic makeup of Sitka, organizations like SCS whose mission is to protect treasures like the Tongass National Forest, can take appropriate measure to defend the habitats that these plants, animals, fungi, and insects depend on.
This year's BioBlitz offers a fun and educational opportunity for the Sitkan community to help scientists perform a rapid (24-hours only!) biological survey of a 7-square mile section of Sitka. Have you ever wanted to learn more about local plants, owls, or insects? Maybe your family is eager to set night-time insect traps within the largest remaining temperate rain forest in the world. Fun options are abound for everyone at this year's BioBlitz, providing unique opportunities to learn from experts and professional naturalists from across the state on their surveys. Help us document, celebrate and protect the biodiversity that makes this magical place unique!
Join us to kick off the event on Friday, August 17th at 7:30pm with a discussion of Southeast Alaska's fascinating biodiversity presented by biologist and author Bob Armstrong.
Blitzing will begin Saturday, August 18th at noon and run for a full twenty four hours. There will be many opportunities to join scientists on survey teams and various activities for all ages!
Join us as we cruise north to the the West Chichagof Wilderness Area. We'll travel through Salisbury Sound to Fish Bay and Suloia Bay. Guest speakers will include SCS Wilderness Coordinator, Adam Andis and Darrin Kelley, USFS Wilderness Ranger.
Tickets are $35 and can be purchased with cash or check at Old Harbor Books located at 201 Lincoln Street. Boarding will begin at 12:45 pm at the Crescent Harbor Loading Dock. Hot beverages are complimentary and binoculars are available to use. You are welcome to bring your own snacks.
These cruises are heavily discounted due to a generous non-profit rate donated by Allen Marine. There are no additional discounts for babies, children or seniors.
Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges will celebrate the reopening of the St. Lazaria live sea bird cam 7 p.m., Thursday, July 12, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Refuge Manager Steve Delehanty and biologist Leslie Slater will speak about St. Lazaria and provide an update of the ongoing research of the more than 500,000 nesting seabirds. For further information, contact Krisanne Rice at 747-4932
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The Sitka Conservation Society field crews are doing remote field work throughout the Tongass this summer. Our field work this summer includes salmon-habitat restoration work at Sitkoh River and Sitkoh Lake, ecosystem conservation and connectivity work in Hoonah Sound, invasive plant removal in Wilderness Areas, helping teach a visiting University course on Alaska's Forests, Fisheries and Wilderness, and much more. On some of the trips, there are opportunities to jump on some of our flights or transport to get out to remote locations. We hope that SCS members can take advantage of these opportunities and get out to know and experience our Tongass backyard!
1) Kayak Drop Off at False Island in Peril Straits, July 13th, $150: Have you ever wanted to paddle the coast of the infamous Deadman's Reach, watch for bubble-net feeding whales off Povorotni Island, walk through the majestic stands of Sitka Spruce in Ushk Bay, and ride the tidal currents through Segius Narrows? Next weekend could be your chance to do it!!! SCS is taking an Allen Marine transport boat that will be picking up a University Class at False Island on July 13th at 9am. We have room for a total of 9 kayaks and camping gear (can be double Kayaks). Reserve your spot on this transport and Kayak drop-off for $150 by contacting [email protected] or 747-7509 (fee helps pay for transport to the site. You are responsible for your own expedition, gear, etc. We will drop you off at the False Island dock)
2) Peril Strait Boat Cruise Ride-Along, July 13th, $45: The trip from Sitka North through Peril Straits is a maze of twisting waterways, islands, mountains, treacherous tidal currents, and beautiful bays and coves. Ride along with SCS on an Allen Marine Boat for a pick-up at False Island. The boat will leave at 9am and will return at approximately 1pm. Bring your charts and see if you can follow-along with the route through the passage that separates Baranof and Chichagof Islands! There are only 2 spots available on this trip so if you are interested in this opportunity to travel through Peril Straits, get your tickets now at SCS Offices.
3) Float Plane Drop-off at Goulding Harbor in the West Chichagof Wilderness Area July 30th or 31st ($150/person): Goulding Harbor is one of the most spectacular nooks in the West Chichagof Wilderness Areas. Its unique shoreline is dimpled and littered with islets and coves and the long sloping beaches make for great brown bear habitat. Two trail-heads depart from Goulding Harbor. One leads to White Sulfur Springs and the other follows an old mining rail-road to the Goulding Lakes. It is an amazing place for a wild and remote Wilderness Adventure. SCS has scheduled a float plane pick-up at Goulding Harbor for a crew that will be coming in from a Wilderness expedition. If you would like to take advantage of a float-plane drop off to explore the Goulding Harbor Area, this is your chance. Contact [email protected] (747-7509) for more information (This is a drop-off only. Participants are responsible for their own travel plans and arrangements after drop-off).
Keep watching for more opportunities to get out and explore the Tongass. SCS already has boat cruises scheduled and there may be more opportunities to piggy-back for travel to remote Wilderness Areas!
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An "uncanned" history talk about a critical piece of Alaskan history. Nic Mink, Asst. Professor of Environmental Studies at Knox College, will explore the growth of the canned salmon industry in Alaska by examining the development of Alaska's economy, culture and the environment. The talk is free and open to the public and will take place at 5:00 pm on Sunday, June 15th at Kettleson Memorial Library.
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Sitka Conservation Society will hold a Community Salmon Bake fundraiser on Thursday, July 19th at 6pm at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Tickets cost $20 per person ($15 for children 12 and under). Dinner will begin around 6:30 and feature local salmon, delicious sides, and local rhubarb sundaes! Door prizes will be given away. Funds raised support salmon education and outreach programming at SCS. Tickets will be on sale at Old Harbor Books at 20l Lincoln Street.
Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10, 2012, 10am-5pmACA instructors Adam Andis and Darrin Kelly will teach all of the skills you need to be a safe and confident paddler, so that you can get out and enjoy our coastal wilderness areas and volunteer with the Sitka Community Wilderness Stewardship Project to collect needed baseline data. The class will include kayak skills for beginning to advanced paddlers, self and assisted rescue training, and Wilderness monitoring training, including an invasive plant ID lesson from Kitty LaBounty.
This two day course is open only to current SCS members so be sure to join or renew your membership when you sign up. Space is very limited, so sign up early!
To sign up or for more information, contact SCS at 747-7509.Cost is $75 for the 2-day course (drysuits included). Kayak rental is $35 per day through Latitude Adventures. A 10% will be offered to participants who provide their own drysuit.
Skills Course Agenda:Day 1
1000 Introduction (15 min)
- Intros- instructors, SCS, Wilderness Project
- Site logistics- food, water, hot drinks, bathroom, changing area
- outline course expectations
- safety briefing- PFD always on in water, helmets, hypothermia risk & mitigation, paying attention to each other and instructors)
- liability release
- Equipment orientation – drysuits later
- Personal clothing and gear
- PFD's, wetsuits, spray skirts
- Safety equipment
- Basic boat design and kayak terminology
- Boat fit and adjustment
- Boat/body weld
- Foot brace adjustment
- Spray skirt attachment/release
- Dry land "wet exit" drill
- Paddle orientation and use
- basic paddle technique
1115 Launching & Landing (30min)
- The paddling environment: wind, waves, weather, water (overview)
- Carrying kayak to and from water
- Entry/exit of kayak from shore or dock
- Boat stability, "hip wiggle,"
- Allow students a few minutes to paddle around and get oriented with their kayak
- Rafting up
- Sweep stroke (forward/reverse/pivot in place)
- Forward Stroke
- Reverse stroke and stopping
- Draw stroke
1245 Lunch (30 min)
- risk management triangle
- hi and low brace
- t-rescue demo (2 instructors)
- stirrup demonstration
- assisted rescue variations (stirrup, swamping the kayak)
- students practice
- paddle-float demo
- students practice
- paddle-float re-entry and roll (if time available)
- advanced bracing- sculling
- all-in practice
- get out of dry suits
- tomorrow's itinerary
1000 Monitoring Training (1hr 50 min)
- Plant ID Training (Kitty LaBounty) (40 min)
- Solitude Monitoring (20 min)
- History of Wilderness/Wilderness Character (10 min)
- LNT and Rec. Site (40)
- Tides- theory and practice
- Basic navigation
- Expectations for the day
- Prepare to get on the water- get dressed, personal gear and snacks, fill water bottles
- Skills and limitations (next steps)
- staying together
- boat traffic
- skills- stroke refinement, edging, running draws
- continued LNT training and practice
- Communication- equipment and protocol
- Boat traffic/Rules of the Road
- "What's in my PFD?" and "What's in my cockpit?"
- Return gear
- Thanks and continue to stay involved in SCS Wilderness Project