What We Do

Current Research & Community Science Schedule

Week of  October 22 - October 29

Now that our busy field season is winding down, we're getting to the analyzing and assessment part of our work. There are dozens of data sets to go through and many partner and organizational reports to write! Weekly bird walks will continue throughout the winter, but for the most part, our field work is ending for the year.

There are plenty of data analysis opportunities available to interested community science volunteers. We welcome volunteers of all ages and experience levels. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about these opportunities.

Happy researching! - Jennifer, Jessica, and Tim

Research and Community Science News:

hoopsOur volunteers are the heart of our organization. You help keep the daily workings of the Center going and make it fun while its happening. Among the many things you help us do each day are: educate youth, drive vehicles, eradicate invasive plants, collect wildlife monitoring data, analyze data, fix our facilities, help with special events, welcome people to our spaces, sit on various commitees and boards, take photos of our programs for marketing and documentation purposes, and act as receptionists. And that's just a handful of ways you help! We feel very fortunate to have such well-versed and energetic volunteers who take our mission seriously and do the grunt work it takes to help us achieve our goals. Many organizations are not so lucky.

As a way of reminding our volunteers how great they are, we celebrate them once a year with their own Volunteer Appreciation Party. No joke. This is an evening where you get to sit back and relax while we celebrate you in our own unique way. Just imagine a really high energy amateur variety show with a campfire, free delcious food, games, and high fives all-around. It doesn't get much better than that, right?!

Urban Ecology Center volunteers truly are the best! And perhaps we're biased, but more specifically, we believe the UEC's Community Science volunteers are the BEST!! You bring us smiles on rainy days and work during crazy hours to provide us support. We hope you will be there on November 14th so we can share in person just how special we think you are, but in the meantime, here are 5 awards that we feel you all deserve.IMG 8518

1) The Workhorse Award: Our volunteers helped our department run 362 programs this year! That is almost 1 program per calendar day, and we're not even open 362 days a year;) This doesn't even take into account the events, field trips, and programs our department runs that you also often attend. These programs are only able to run when we have volunteer assistance. That's a lot of help from some dedicated volunteers!

2) The Ungodly Hours Award: Ok, we admit it. The volunteer hours required to help with Community Science programs can be brutal. Whether it is bird banding at 5:00 am or recording bat calls at 10:00 pm, we can rely on you guys to be there. That feels pretty good. 

3) The Loyalty Award: Out of the UEC's nearly 1,200 volunteers that volunteered time in 2017-2018, a 1/6 of their time was spent volunteering for Community Science programs! In fact, volunteers only spent more time volunteering in one other area. That means we have a lot of individual volunteers doing a lot of work to help our department. We are humbled by and thankful for this statistic as we think the research and monitoring that we do in the parks is pretty important. We are happy to know that many of you value these opportunities too.

4) The Light at the End of the Tunnel Award: Our work days can be long during the field season, particularly in the summer when we usually crank out at at least one 14-16 hour day per week. However, regardless of how tired or crabby we may get, you are there to offer us support. Your smiles and laughter provide the figurative light at the end of our tunnel on those long days and we can't appreciate you enough. Our work would never be as fun or as engaging without you as you keep us excited about what we do even when we get stuck in the doldrums.  

5) Nothing Fazes You Award: Get bird poop flung on your face? Walk through clouds of biting mosquitoes? Help with a program on a 95 degree day? Bird walk when it's -15 degrees? Get your new boots caked with mud while counting monarchs? Wake up at 3:30 am to make sandwiches for banding? Carry this 25 pounds of field equipment while swatting at mosquitoes while it's 95 degrees? Meh. Aint no thang. You act as if these every-day requests truly don't faze you. We notice those exceptional things you do though and we hope you know it means the world to us.

Heaps of love and appreciation for our UEC volunteer family! You helped make 2017-2018 one fantastic year:)

*Photos: Top image by Diane Rychlinski. A group of community science volunteers help with an early evening firefly survey. Bottom image by Jessica Orlando. A group of community science volunteers hunt for the federally endangered Rusty-patched Bumblebee.


COMMUNITY SCIENCE OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK: Animal Behavior Course - Take a deep look into the fascinating world of animal behavior. What makes an animal decide to fight or love, take care of or abandon their young or even raise someone else's young. All of this translates to humans and can help explain why we yawn! See details in the calendar below.


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NEW! October Nature Rangers – Awesome Autumn! (Monday sessions)

Riverside Park

Monday, October 22nd

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

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Riverside Park

Monday, October 22nd

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

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