Wildnote is committed to improving the efficiency of environmental endeavors of all kinds by streamlining data collection, management, and reporting, through the use of advanced cloud technology. The environmental leaders of tomorrow are emerging today. Wildnote wants to help them succeed. The following featured projects and individuals receive free use of the Wildnote platform, training, and support.
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72-Mile Lake Tahoe SCUBA Cleanup
Clean Up The Lake (CUTL) is a 501 (c)3 charity that is on a mission to fight back against plastic and all forms of pollution in the global environment, both on land and under the surface, starting with Lake Tahoe. Founded in 2018, CUTL specializes in volunteer opportunities and events, specifically around cleanups. This ambitious project seeks to identify, remove, categorize and document submerged litter from 72 miles of Lake Tahoe shoreline. This flagship project is the first ever human powered circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe using SCUBA, and projected to be the largest trash-clean up in Lake Tahoe’s history. Scheduled to begin in spring 2020, the cleanup officially launched in May 2021 after a year-long Covid-delay. As well as recording daily conditions and the weight of removed trash, the team is using Wildnote to geotag and record underwater “hot spots” and heavy lift items that are too large to be removed by the dive team. So far the dive team has collected 28,678 LBS of subsurface litter.
Pilot Volunteer Wetlands Monitoring Program
Carolina Wetlands Association is partnering with North Carolina State University and RTI International through an EPA-funded grant to employ a new strategy for wetland monitoring in North Carolina through the Volunteer Wetlands Monitoring Program (VWMP). This volunteer-based monitoring program leverages the outcomes of 15 years of wetland monitoring experience to establish the procedures and methods for a sustainable, citizen-based program. Wildnote is being used to collect, manage, and report project-specific wetland data. Volunteers are trained to collect wetland information such as water level, water quality, soil description, and plant & wildlife presence. iNaturalist is also used to help volunteers with species identification and to stay connected through journal posts. They will learn how a wetland’s condition relates to ecosystem integrity, functions, & services, and how stressors can negatively impact wetlands. And finally, they will contribute findings to a data portal which can be used by wetland partners to improve statewide wetland resource management & restoration, assist in environmental decision making, support temporal trend analysis, and detect climate change effects.
Tree Regeneration in Northern Hardwood Forests
The Walters Silviculture Lab within the Michigan State University (MSU) Forestry Department, has partnered with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to research the effects of various silvicultural prescriptions on tree regeneration in northern hardwood forests. Through the conduction of a long-term, 4000-acre research project, MSU and the MDNR hope to find harvesting methods that will result in a more diverse and dense regeneration layer – one that is more resilient to the multiple challenges facing these forests over the coming decades. During the summer of 2018, Wildnote was used to collect photos of long-term research plots immediately following harvesting. Every other year, another photo will be taken to help researchers tell the story of these experimental harvests. Additionally, Wildnote was used to collect residual basal area, percent cover estimates of different vegetation classes, as well as many other important pieces of data.
Re-introducing Fire into the Ashland Watershed
Students and professors from Reed College are working with The Nature Conservancy, the City of Ashland, the US Forest Service, and the Lomakatsi Restoration Project on a cutting-edge, collaborative project to restore the natural fire regime to the forests surrounding Ashland’s primary watershed. This effort, known as the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) Project, is an excellent example of putting the best-available ecological knowledge into action to solve a real environmental problem. The students are using Wildnote to survey the health of “legacy trees”—the oldest and biggest trees in the forest. This work supports ongoing monitoring efforts for the larger AFR project and is providing new scientific information that will help shape the future management of this important ecosystem.