Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Potential citizen science/educational opportunity at Coopers Rock State Forest

On the weekend of April 18-19, 2015, West Virginia University, in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, the WV Division of Forestry, and WV State Parks will be hosting the second “Discover Life in West Virginia” natural resource education day at Coopers Rock State Forest.  The overall objective of this research-based education program is to promote a link between research, management, and education surrounding West Virginia’s fish and wildlife resources.  With your help, we hope to develop the activities of this program as perennial public events which produce educational resources.
Similar citizen-science programs have been developed and are thriving in other regions of the country.  For example, the “All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory” (ATBI) program has produced many new biological discoveries in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We hope to model our program off of programs like theirs which seek to educate public users of the importance of the ecosystems they interact with on these public lands.  It is our hope that through this mission we are able to increase knowledge of fish and wildlife resources of the state of West Virginia and foster an attitude of appreciation and conservation towards these resources.
           We are seeking your help and cooperation in getting all individuals within our area interested in West Virginia’s natural resources by encouraging their participation in this free educational program.  Individuals of all ages are welcome to attend and will be able to observe and/or participate in the collection of scientific data used for research.  This event will focus on sampling fish, aquatic macroninvertebrates, birds, and herpetofauna.  Please distribute the associated announcements about this new program as you see fit.  We thank you for your cooperation and support of this new and exciting education program within our area!  If you have any questions, please contact us.
Sincerely,
                         
Ross Andrew and Daniel Hanks
PhD Candidates Wildlife and Fisheries Resources             
Tel: (304) 293-0040
West Virginia University                                                        Email:discoverlifewv@gmail.com
PO Box 6125, Morgantown, WV  26506-6125

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