Signing up for a block: If you have a specific area that you would like to survey, zoom in to that area using the +/- buttons in the bottom left corner of the map to determine the correct block number. Click on the block you are interested in and a box will open showing the block number and name, whether the block has already been assigned to someone, and a summary of the data that has been entered into the data base.
If the block is listed as "Open", then click on the "Sign Up!" link and an email addressed to the volunteer coordinator will open. The email will automatically include the block name and number. Please provide your name and contact information so that we know how to get in touch with you. To easily see which blocks have been assigned already click on the "Show Closed Blocks" button on the map. There is also a button that allows you to switch back and forth between the breeding and winter surveys.
Troubleshooting: If the pop-up box is not entirely visible, you can recenter the map (click, hold, and slide), as you would in other mapping applications. If the box does not open at all, or if you have trouble generating an email, check the security settings on your computer and ensure that your browser is set up to allow pop-up messages. If that fails, you can always send an message directly from your email account to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In general, we hope that people who sign up for a block will be able to conduct both breeding and winter surveys. We realize, however, that this may not always be possible, so please tell us in the email if you only want to sign up for one of the surveys.
Within a few days you should hear back from the regional coordinator responsible for your region. If the block you chose is not still available, they will suggest other blocks that would be a good alternative and that we need someone to take on. For more on choosing blocks, go here.
Getting maps of your block: To get a detailed map of your survey area, click on the block on the interactive map. At the bottom of the pop-up box there are links that allow you to download pdf maps of your block. Click on the link and the map will open allowing you to print a paper copy that you can take in the field with you, and/or save a copy to your computer or phone.
You can choose either a satellite map or terrain view (similar to a traditional topographic map). In both cases, the block itself is outlined by a black line - make sure you survey only within this area, and not the entire area shown on the downloaded map! Public lands are also marked (in yellow on the satellite map, in green on the terrain map).
Data summaries: The pop-up boxes for each block also include summaries of the data that has been collected so far. Separate information will be provided for the breeding and winter surveys, so first select the season of interest by clicking the "Show _____ Season" button, which is top center on the map. For the breeding season, the time spent surveying, the total number of species, and the number of species confirmed to be breeding are given. For winter, the time spent surveying and number of species are given for both the early half of the winter (Nov-Dec) and the latter half (Jan-Feb).
Numbers are cumulative across all years of the project. Once the target number of hours has been met for a given season, the data summary will say that the block is 100% complete. If you obtain additional information after this point, you should still submit it (especially if it increases the number of species or confirmed breeders for the block). But, we would prefer that you select another block and devote additional survey time to somewhere that has not yet met the target number of hours.
Google Earth downloads: If you use Google Earth you can download the block grid here, a map of open space (municipal and land trust) lands here and a map of DEEP properties here. (Be advised that the latter two data layers are the most recent available, but are not completely up to date - we are working to get more current information.)
If you download these data layers to your phone you will have access to the information in the field. Instructions on how to do this download are available here.