To become part of the VA Breeding Bird Atlas project, you will need to attend the Central Atlas Training session that MBC is co-sponsoring at Ivy Creek Natural Area Education Building on Saturday, March 25th, 8am – 1pm. Details about this important project (including a link to the training session sign-up) follow in this letter to prospective volunteers from VA Breeding Bird Coordinator (and dynamic featured speaker at our Jan. 2017 MBC meeting), Ashley Peele, PhD.
Our Field Trips Coordinator, Gabriel Mapel, has deliberately not scheduled an MBC trip that Saturday, so that you will be free to don your citizen scientist cap, attend the training session, and volunteer your services for VABBA2! Here’s the “scoop” from Ashley…
Hi Atlas volunteers,
This Spring, the VA Breeding Bird Atlas project is offering several regional training sessions around the state. Each session will consist of morning small group field trips/walks led by experienced Atlas volunteers, followed by a large group session on data entry, reporting priority species, accurate location plotting, etc. Our intention is for these sessions to serve in two capacities: 1) getting new volunteers set up and rolling for the new field season or 2) addressing questions or areas of confusion for veteran volunteers.
Breeding codes can be a little tricky, knowing when and what species to apply them to. Sometimes eBird questions arise that you may not find an easy answer to. Our hope is to improve your understanding of the Atlas methods, so that we can work towards the most accurate Atlas dataset possible.
We do have limited capacity for these events, so please register if you would like to participate (links below). Once we hit the maximum head count, we’ll start generating a waiting list. Your response will help us to know what need/interest there is in further training opportunities. Keep in mind that regional coordinators are always looking for feedback on training needs in their particular regions, so communicate your interest to them!
There will be four sessions this spring, as follows:
Eastern Atlas Training – in conjunction with Richmond Audubon Society and the VSO Annual Meeting. Please follow VSO announcements and register for this workshop when you register for the Annual Meeting in Richmond (May 5-7). Link to meeting info: http://www.virginiabirds.org/events/annual-meeting/2017-opening-announcement
Central Atlas Training – Co-sponsored by the Monticello Bird Club in Charlottesville (March 25th, 8am-1pm). Link to register: https://goo.gl/forms/vzcgXI5lJPBAOJAx1
Northern Atlas Training – Co-sponsored by the Fairfax County Parks. Location: Frying Pan Farm Park. Date: April 1st. Time: 8am-1pm. Link to register: https://goo.gl/forms/gnKxoYX4yGUQXVu53
Western Atlas Training – Location and date are to be determined, but will be released ASAP. Stay tuned!
These events are free, but we are asking anyone who is able to bring along their personal laptop for the afternoon portion of the workshop. Locations will have Wi-Fi available, so we will be working in our online and smartphone tools.
As always, feel free to contact myself or your regional coordinators with questions about these events.