COVID-19 And The Last Beached Bird Survey?

So just what are we to do with our citizen-science projects when COVID-19 derails the best-laid plans?

Last Beached Bird Survey

This March we headed back out to La Push and the Olympic National Park to conduct our monthly COASST beached bird survey. This time of the year, you never know what kind of weather you’ll encounter, but it looked like Mother Nature was going to give us a break. We had perfect weather for the survey; cool and sunny.

What we weren’t counting on was how quickly the COVID-19 virus was going to spread through the Puget Sound corridor of Washington and the impact it would ultimately have on families and businesses in our area…and the impact on the various science projects we participate with.

I might have taken a little more time to savor this special ‘wild place’ had I known it was going to be the last survey for the foreseeable future. It wasn’t until we were on the long drive home that we started hearing about the closures in our state. As the day went on the list grew longer and longer.

By the end of that week, I was furloughed and as I write this it’s uncertain when I’ll be resuming my role as Senior Database Administrator. Things are looking up as the projected peak has been slowly shifting to the left and, at least for Washington State, seems to have passed. That’s the good news, but it’s to be seen how long the ‘shelter-at-home’ will be active.

Costa Rica

We've returned from Costa Rica and what a trip it turned out to be! Now, comes the time consuming process of culling the photographs and footage. Not to mention going through the multiple pages of field notes!

I'll be posting both detailed reports on our excursion out into the field as well as some 'Featured Animal' articles highlighting some of unique animals we encountered.

I'll also be posting some behind-the-scene clips and such over on our Twitter account.

COVID-19

There doesn’t seem much need to go in all the details of this virus as there’s plenty of news being thrown at us from all directions. But what do we know about this virus and how can we as citizen-scientists help combat it?

Here’s a link to Coronavirus 101: What you need to know.

It has stopped our going out into the field as that would require us interacting with people in a support role to get to the backcountry. And here in Washington public lands are currently closed.

But that doesn’t mean we can contribute to the fight against COVID-19. Here are some sites where you can use this time at home to help solve this crisis:

 

So just what are we to do with our citizen-science projects when COVID-19 derails the best-laid plans?

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Here's another shot of Skate Creek in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The creek was running high between the spring melt and thunderstorms. ...

An enchanted creek bed along NF-52. This stretch of road bisects the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Skate Creek runs alongside much of it.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Goat Creek runs beside our campsite located just outside Mt. Rainier National Park. Feels good to be outdoors again.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Looking out at Mt. Rainier from the trail leading to the High Tower Lookout. Hoping to get back out there this weekend if all goes well. Be safe everyone.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Had to go to the photo abutment for this one but it’s a sunset after a storm on the Washington coast featuring the North Head Lighthouse. .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #seascape_lovers #pnwlife #ig_worldbeaches #sunset_greatshots #lighthouses_around_the_world #pnwcollective #ig #lighthouses #unlimitedsunset #pnwwonderland #sky_brillance #lighthouse #lighthouse_world #pnw #sealandscape #raw #pnwonderland #pnwlove #thatoregonlife #pacificnorthwest #oregonlife #explore #oregonisbeautiful #oregonexplored #pocket_beaches #lighthousesofinstagram #nautical_images #seascapephotography #pnwisbest #wastateparks ...

Cattails at Frenchmen’s Cove on Hood Canal with the Olympic Mountain Range in the background.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Decided to test the new Mavic Air 2 from my backyard; still waiting for campsites to open here in the Pacific Northwest. Rather pleased with the quality of the new sensor. #dji #mavicair2 ...

It was 40 years ago today that Mt. St. Helens erupted. But life is rebounding to the volcano and she's rebuilding herself.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #herpnwlife #pacificnw #pnwlife #anniversary #40yearsago #cascadiaexplored #40thanniversary #pnw #landscape #washingtonexplored #volcano #mountrainier #volcanoeruption #mountsthelens #optoutside #upperleftcoast #history #pnwhiking #sky #upperleftusa #columbiarivergorge #mthood #oregonisbeautiful #pnwadventures #pnwonderland #washington #washingtonstate #eruption #nature #pdx ...

Looking forward to getting back into the Olympics soon. Hopefully, we can do so responsibly in the very near future.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #landscape #oregonisbeautiful #pnwlife #naturalwonder #landscapephotography #explorewashington #pacificnw #waterfallsfordays #mountains #naturalwonders #rockformation #pnwparadise #waterfalls #scenicview #waterfall #pnwwonderland #cascadiaexplored #waterfallhike #nature #pnwroamers #naturephotography #wanderlust #rockformations #pacificnorthwest #waterfallphotography #waterfallchasing #photography #water #oregonlife #pnwcollective ...

One of last winters sunsets just after a storm swept the beach. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #naturephotography #pnwadventures #ig_stormclouds #columbiariver #photography #oregonexplored #love #severeweather #sunset #pnwwonderland #stormphotography #blackclouds #clouds #pnwcollective #thunderstorm #spokane #sky #thunder #upperleftusa #stormchasers #cloudy #pnwlife #photooftheday #rain #bnw #stormchaser #nature #stormclouds #oregoncoast #oregonlife ...

With the relaxing of our 'Stay-at-home' order, we were able to get out and enjoy a bit of the outdoors. Didn't mind the rain one bit. Here's the Nisqually River near the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #landscape #oregonisbeautiful #pnwlife #naturalwonder #landscapephotography #explorewashington #pacificnw #waterfallsfordays #mountains #naturalwonders #rockformation #pnwparadise #waterfalls #scenicview #waterfall #pnwwonderland #cascadiaexplored #waterfallhike #nature #pnwroamers #naturephotography #wanderlust #rockformations #pacificnorthwest #waterfallphotography #waterfallchasing #photography #water #oregonlife #pnwcollective ...

We found a way to safely camp this weekend without violating our stay at home order or endangering anyone else. Nice to have breakfast outdoors again.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #loveyourself #positivity #quotes #inspiration #positiveenergy #photooftheday #positivequotes #love #happy #happiness #motivation #fitness #postivity #positivethoughts #positive #success #positiveaffirmations #positivevibesonly #quoteoftheday #positivevibes #inspirationalquotes #positvity #mindset #positiveoutlook #life #selfcare #lifequotes #positiveaffirmation #positivequote #selflove ...

Sunrise over Port Angeles. I have to keep reminding myself that this crisis will pass. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #sunriseporn #clouds #sky #upperleftusa #oregoncoast #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #photooftheday #sunset #skyscape #beautiful #love #sunup #sunrise #pnwadventures #instasunrise #pnw #nature #photography #cloudporn #sunsetlover #pnwisbest #oregonexplored #skylovers #orangesky #oregonlife #spokanedoesntsuck #centraloregon #sunrise_and_sunsets #travel ...

We were so lucky to have the La Fortuna waterfall to ourselves for close to an hour this morning. It really doesn't get better than this.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #españa #travel #quedateencasa #costarica🇨🇷 #alajuela #ecuador #argentina #costaricacool #guanacaste #colombia #uruguay #mexico #panama #peru #chile #costaricatravel #heredia #cuarentena #costarica #bolivia🇧🇴 #puravida #paraguay #visitcostarica #bolivia #literatura #nature #venezuela #historias #italia #puertorico ...

Early morning clouds drifting up the flanks of Arenal Volcano; almost seemed alive.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #exploresouthamerica #manuelantonio #costaricacool #volcan #arenal #tortuguero #nature #lafortuna #photography #traveling #costarica🇨🇷 #wanderlust #costaricatraveler #rarotonga #volcano #arenalvolcano #travelphotography #cahuita #visitcostarica #costarica #colcacanyon #travelgram #mochilerosinguia #centralamerica #puravida #thisiscostarica #costaricapuravida #landscape #mochilera #travel ...

Just published our latest adventure, or maybe misadventure. You can find the link in my bio up top. - Costa Rica: Surviving a Cattle Stampede in La Fortuna ...

Uncertain Future

It’s hard to tell when we’ll be able to resume our projects. Long before the ‘shelter-at-home’ order went into effect we decided to halt our trips. There were three major factors that weighed in our decision;

  1. We were in the high-risk age bracket.
  2. Although we would be isolated while in the back-country, we would have to interact with people during supplies runs, fueling, etc. It seemed irresponsible to subjecting ourselves and others.
  3. It seemed disrespectful to the health caregivers who risked their lives and suffering such hardships while we continued doing what we loved.

Currently, it looks like our state has a projected 0-death day around May 10th. With any luck, life will start to return to normal shortly thereafter. When it does will be back out there doing what we can to contribute to science and conservation.

Stay healthy and safe everyone!

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