Sustaining Forests, Biodiversity, and Livelihoods on Washington's Olympic Peninsula
This project has added safety measures to allow for responsible fielding of volunteers and field staff at this time.
Those measures include
- Proof of vaccination requirement
- Decreased overall team size to allow for physical distancing
- Face mask requirements
- Single accommodations
- Adjusted transportation arrangements
- Increased cleaning and sanitization
When reading the Online Expedition Briefing, please keep these adjustments in mind.
Deep within the woodlands of the Olympic Peninsula, you’ll hike over twisting streams and through towering evergreens to record bird calls and collect habitat data. Your contributions will help inform forest managers about how wildlife responds to different management approaches.
The Olympic Peninsula, one of the last explored areas in the contiguous United States, contains rugged mountains, stunning coastline, and a vast wilderness dominated by evergreen rain forest. Within this ecosystem exist some of the largest and oldest trees on the planet, some more than 1,000 years old. Almost one million acres of this primordial woodland is protected as a World Heritage site, the Olympic National Park. The managers of the surrounding woodland are tasked with balancing protections for its rich biodiversity and the demand for its valuable timber.
This project aims to inform those managers and provide scientific evidence on how wildlife responds to different forest management styles. While many environmental factors are considered in management strategies, how wildlife responds is considered the ultimate validation of a successful habitat conservation strategy. As birds are an integral part of the forest ecosystem, and excellent indicators of its change, studying which birds live where will give researchers key insights into the health and sustainability of different types of managed forests. Bird occupancy will be determined by collecting recordings of bird calls, known as passive acoustic monitoring (PAM).
Volunteers will install sound recording devices in different habitat types within the watersheds of the Olympic Experimental State Forest (OESF), a state-managed land designated for the study of integrating timber harvesting and habitat conservation. These recordings paired with habitat surveys will allow researchers to determine how many of each species are living in each type of forest and how those species are responding to different management styles.
Join us in a remote and wild area of the Pacific Northwest to delve into the important consequences forest management has for the wildlife within it and the community around it. With your help, scientists can collect data that fill important gaps in knowledge on the intersections of conservation and forest management.
A Typical Itinerary
- Day 1: Arrive, drive from Seattle airport to Forks, orientation
- Days 2-4: Acoustic monitoring, habitat surveys
- Day 5: Recreational Day (rest or sightseeing)
- Day 6: Acoustic monitoring, habitat surveys
- Day 7: Data management and processing of sound recordings
- Day 8: Departure
HOW YOU WILL HELP
Servicing sound recording units
You will aid in installing, programming, launching, downloading data from, and de-installing the acoustic monitoring recording units
Conducting habitat surveys
identify tree species, measure down wood, photograph the canopy, and estimate cover of understory plants.
Managing and processing data
Organize collected data, use provided software to analyze acoustic data, and validate the automatically recognized bird calls
Field conditions and research needs can lead to changes in the itinerary and activities. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.