Citizen Science Volunteer Opportunities

These pages give more details about citizen science volunteer opportunities at Pacific Biodiversity Institute.

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South America Map GIS mapping

Explore a webmap of a wildland complex in Argentina and Chile

webmap icon Area Silvestre Sierra de Famatina - Ojos del Salado Webmap

Volunteers needed for mapping and exploring South American Wildlands and their Biodiversity

Project Description: Pacific Biodiversity Institute (PBI) is seeking volunteers to help identify, describe and protect wldland complexes and roadless areas in South America. Volunteers will use Google Earth to identify and map existing roads in areas of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. In addition, field volunteers are needed to visit areas in South America. They will work to confirm the accuracy of the maps and gather information about their characteristics and biodiversity. See a discussion of our project, South American Wildlands and Biodiversity for a more complete description of this effort.

The wildlands of South America present the most important reservoir of biodiversity on the planet. We are engaged in an ambitious project with our Latin American conservation partners to map all the wildlands in South America, to evaluate their contribution to global biodiversity and to share and disseminate this information.

This project focuses on mapping and analyzing the roadless/undeveloped areas in the South America using a procedure Pacific Biodiversity Institute (PBI) developed to map the wildlands of the United States in 2001. We are also gathering detailed information about the plants, animals, ecosystems, landscapes, archeology, cultural uses and threats to these wild areas.

Location: We began our mapping work in Argentina and Chile and now have expanded it to the entire continent. As a mapping volunteer, you can work anywhere in the world where Google Earth is available. Participants in PBI's South America Expeditions are visiting areas in northern Argentina this year to improve the reliability of the maps and gather information about wildland characteristics and biodiversity.

Duration: The project began in 2010 and is expected to continue through 2016 (or longer). There is potential for future work in this area. Interns interested in training and further involvement in this work will be sought at a later date.

Qualifications: Mapping volunteers are needed who have access to Google Earth and are comfortable working on computers. It will be helpful to have an interest in wildlife and vegetation ecology as well as having computer and mapping skills. Training will be provided by PBI. Field volunteers need to be able to visit the mapped areas on the ground. PBI will provide training. Some of the more specialized tasks that field volunteers will perform include the use of GPS and GIS equipment as well as recording photographs and notes about the areas visited. Volunteers will need to be physically fit and willing to work with others in different countries with different languages.

Please respond by email or regular mail:

Pacific Biodiversity Institute
P.O. Box 298
Winthrop, WA 98862
phone: 509-996-2490

About Pacific Biodiversity Institute

The mission of Pacific Biodiversity Institute is to develop information and tools to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecological integrity. Central to this mission is sharing of these tools and provision of technical support to public agencies, educational institutions and other non-profit conservation organizations. We conduct scientific research in the fields of ecology, conservation biology and natural resource management. We also engage in a variety of educational activities including generation of ecological data and literature, the organization of scientific conferences and public symposia, and the development of educational materials for community level environmental education.

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PO Box 298, 517 Lufkin Lane
Winthrop, WA 98862 509-996-2490