Oregon Archeology and Coast Birds Events This Weekend in Newport
(Newport, Oregon) – Gathering data of dead birds along the Oregon coast and some interesting new looks at regional archeology and cemetery markers are on tap this weekend in Newport (above: Rockaway Beach, one of numerous beaches where deceased birds can be found).
Counting dead birds and measuring them may not sound like a fun idea, but dozens of volunteer “citizen scientists” along the Oregon coast are finding it tremendously fascinating and satisfying, as they help gather data for scientists studying the subject – as well as learning about nature for themselves.
The organizations CoastWatch and COASST (the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team) are holding a training session on May 21 for anyone interested in learning about looking at beached birds. The session is held in Newport at the Newport Public Library (35 N.W. Nye St.), from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. It is free.
The session will be led by Jane Dolliver, COASST’s program coordinator, and Annie Woods, the volunteer coordinator.
COASST is based out of the University of Washington - a citizen science project dedicated to involving non-scientists in the collection of high quality data which assists scientists in studying trends in seabird populations and the health of the ocean environment. This information assists government agencies and other organizations in making informed management and conservation decisions.
Volunteers systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska. Volunteers need no prior experience with birds, just a commitment to survey a specific beach (about 3/4 mile) each month.
Those taking the training in Newport will learn about COASST, seabirds and citizen science, will receive instruction in using the custom Beached Birds field guide, and will have a chance to try out their new skills with some actual specimens.
Those who decide to get involved will be asked to provide a $20 refundable deposit to take home a COASST volunteer kit complete with a COASST Beached Birds field guide. Training activities take place indoors, and include a break for lunch - pack your own or plan to buy lunch nearby.
For information about the training session, or to pre-register (not mandatory, but requested), contact Annie Woods, COASST’s volunteer coordinator, (206) 221-6893, firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about CoastWatch, contact Phillip Johnson, executive director of Oregon Shores, at (503) 238-4450, email@example.com.
Also on May 21 in Newport, the Lincoln County Historical Society hosts a talk about the “The Art and Symbolism of Gravemarkers” at 2 p.m. in the Carriage House.
The talk is part of the opening of the museum’s latest exhibit of archaeology posters, entitled “Oregon Archaeology Celebrations: Invitations to the Past.” Each poster features an aspect of Oregon archaeology such as preservation of shipwrecks and shell middens, technologies through time, archaeological evidence of climate change, Fort Rock Cave, the Oregon Trail, and Champoeg.
Kuri Gill, coordinator for the State Historic Cemeteries Program, will give the talk.
Archaeology is the study of past human life through remaining material evidence. Without archaeology almost 99 percent of human history would be lost. The poster exhibit comes from the Oregon Archaeological Society. The goal of the exhibit is to show that Oregon has a rich archeological past worth supporting and protecting. The exhibit will be on display through September 5. It is free and open to the public.
The Lincoln County Historical Society, which includes the Burrows House and Log Cabin museums, is located at 545 SW Ninth Street in Newport.
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