Q: What is the source of the tree data used in the Earthwatch Urban Resiliency Program?

A: Our early data comes from citizen scientists – people like you – adding one tree at a time, and local community groups conducting larger data collection events.

Q: What is a citizen science project?

A: Citizen science projects are those in which non-professional volunteers partner with professional scientists to collect and/or analyze data for an ongoing scientific project.

Q: Who can become an Earthwatch Urban Resiliency Program Citizen Scientist?

A: Anyone is eligible to participate, even children! Find out how to Get Involved today.

Q: Do I need to be a biologist or ecologist to participate?

A: No. Sufficient training is provided online as well as through events to allow you to gain sufficient skills to participate and contribute.

Q: How do I become a citizen scientist?

Visit our Get Involved page or contact eperry@earthwatch.org

Q: How good is this information going to be if it’s collected and entered by the general public?

A: To be honest, we’re not sure yet, but as we gather more data with your help, we’ll continue to assess the quality. In the meantime, we feel like we’re on pretty solid ground, considering recent studies about the reliability of citizen science.

Q: How do I find out the species of my tree?

A: To get you started, please use this detailed Resilient Trees 2.0 Key ID containing the descriptions of the species we are studying.

If you don’t know the tree species, you can use the Urban Tree Key, a comprehensive and easy-to-use tree identification tool featuring 250 species common to urban areas all across California.

Q: How long will this project run?

A: Operation Resilient Trees, our current initiative, will run through June 2017.  Phase 2.0 will wrap up in December, with another set of 10 species launching with Phase 3.0 in January.  We’re also working on new initiatives behind the scenes, so stay tuned for more projects in the near future!

Q: What do I need to participate?

A: Training, smartphone or GPS unit, measuring tape, compass (or compass app), and a 33ft string.

Q: How long does this project take?

A: The project can be done any time on your own schedule. Each tree takes 10-20 minutes and we prioritize quality over quantity. This is science, not a race to count trees, so make each one count!

Q: Where do I get the equipment?

A: You can use your own materials as you are likely to have them on hand. You are also welcome to borrow an Earthwatch toolkit. To do this, refer to the instructions in your training about filling out our Request Survey. We have multiple locations you can borrow toolkits from including West LA, Koreatown/Downtown, Northeast LA, Riverside, and Palm Desert.

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