County of Marin - Press Releases - Statewide Science Project

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2014

Marin Participating in Statewide Science Project May 8

Novato, CA – On May 8, the University of California will ask the public to join its faculty, students, staff, 4-H volunteers and master gardeners in a vast science project across the state in recognition of the 100th anniversary of University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE).

One hundred years ago on that date, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Lever Act, which created a nationwide Cooperative Extension to serve as a conduit for scientific advances in agriculture, nutrition and natural resources from the nation’s public, land-grant universities to its farmers, youth and communities.

“UC Cooperative Extension is all about science and service,” said Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC Vice President for the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which administers Cooperative Extension in California. “To celebrate the anniversary, we are asking Californians to help us collect scientific data so that all of us will better understand our natural, agricultural and urban communities.”  

Allen-Diaz invites residents to be a scientist for the day by recording observations on any of three topics (see below) in Marin. Participants can then add observations to the database at beascientist.ucanr.edu. In addition, there are two free group science projects that May 8 sponsored by UCCE Marin:

  • UCCE Forest Health and Youth Development team members will host one group from 5-6 p.m. at the Novato branch of the Marin County Free Library, 1720 Novato Blvd. Participate in citizen science projects and learn more about local UCCE programs. Contact Janice Alexander (jalexander@ucanr.edu)  or Allison Keaney (alkeaney@ucanr.edu) at 415-473-4204.
  • UCCE Marin Master Gardeners will host a group from 1-3 p.m. at the herb garden at the Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Ross. Help count pollinators that make all the difference for Marin’s gardens and landscapes. Contact David Lewis (djllewis@ucanr.edu) at 415-473-4204.

To participate in the UCCE Celebration of Science and Service on May 8, just answer any of the following three questions online at beascientist.ucanr.edu:

How many pollinators do you see?

Bees, butterflies, beetles and bats — our food depends on their ability to pollinate all kinds of crops. Spend three minutes outdoors in your community counting pollinators and add your numbers to a statewide pollinator map. The beascientist.ucanr.edu website will help you identify which ones are pollinators.

The collected information will provide a baseline understanding of pollinator populations across California, according to Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UCCE specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside and leader of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) strategic initiative on endemic and invasive species.

How do you conserve water?

Do you conserve water in your garden, landscape, household or farm? Let us know by clicking on our California water map at beascientist.ucanr.edu.

Doug Parker, director of the UC California Institute for Water Resources and leader of the UCANR strategic initiative on water quality, quantity and security, said the information will help explain how water is being used and conserved across the state.

Where is food grown in your community?

Do you grow your own food or get homegrown food from a neighbor who gardens? Is there a community farm nearby or vegetable plants growing in the parkway between the street and sidewalk?

This project encourages people to discover exactly where food is grown and at the same time contribute to a statewide understanding of how widespread local food production is throughout California.

“It’s becoming more important to understand where our food comes from and to make sure everyone knows how to enjoy its benefits,” said David Lewis, UCCE Marin director.

Contact:

David Lewis
Farm Advisor
Office of the Farm Advisor/University of California Cooperative Extension

1682 Novato Blvd.
Suite 150B
Novato, CA 94947
(415) 473-4204
Email: David Lewis
Marin UCCE website