Bird Songs of the Olympic Peninsula

Wildlife & Ecosystems

Bird Songs of the Olympic Peninsula

Hike through the vast wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula while helping researchers explore the balance between community wellbeing and conservation of wildlife habitat.

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

The bird calls and habitat data you’ll collect will provide key information about the health of the ecosystems and the sustainability of different forest management styles.

The sustainable management of forests is a pressing global problem. Help researchers test comprehensive approaches to maximize not only ecological health, but the economic well-being of nearby communities.

Forests around the world have already shrunk to a small percentage of their former ranges. As humans continue to expand their reach, forest management becomes increasingly challenging. Traditional approaches to forest management focus on either ecological or revenue objectives, which results in a patchwork of protected forest and intensively managed forest that is often unsuitable wildlife habitat. The humans and communities that surround these forests and make their livelihoods from them are also an essential piece of the conservation puzzle. This project recognizes people as part of the ecosystem and aims to integrate ecological health with social and economic well-being of nearby communities to create a comprehensive approach to sustainable forest management.


A volunteer measures the base of a tree to collect habitat data.

The wildlife response to the management styles will be determined by surveying bird calls throughout the Olympic Experimental State Forest using passive acoustic monitoring (PAM). Determining how eleven indicator species’ occupancy changes in different forest types will provide valuable insights into the biodiversity and health of different areas.

This study will also incorporate the diverse perspectives and values of local Native American tribes, residents, industry, and land and resource managers. The social and economic indicators of well-being will include availability of local jobs, salaries, recreational access, and human health. You will also have the opportunity to meet with representatives from area tribes, environmental organizations, or logging industries to learn more about the impact of the project.

This project aims to redefine how sustainable forest management is viewed by stakeholders. You will help identify strategies that lift the well-being of both human communities and forest ecosystems above current levels, while trekking through rarely visited parts of this wilderness.

About the research area

Olympic Peninsula near the City of Forks, Washington State, United States, North America & Arctic

Daily life in the field


This is a summary:

The Scientists


Natural Resource Scientist, Washington State Department of Natural Resources

ABOUT Teodora Minkova

Dr. Teodora Minkova is working with the Washington Department of Natural Resources to investigate different ways to integrate ecological values, such as habitat conservation, and socio-economic benefits, such as revenue from timber.



Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food


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