Train on the iNaturalist & eBird apps

and Become a Nature Steward

Love the outdoors? Want to learn, explore and share Amherst’s natural features? Are you proposing a conservation or biology research project in your school?

Become a Nature Steward! 

The only prerequisite is to be trained on the iNaturalist and eBird apps. Start using either in minutes.

Browse these resources (takes only 10 minutes to 1 hour):

iNaturalist tutorial videos

eBird Essentials (requires account signup)

then

Contact the ACC to schedule an individual or group session.

 

Note: Current users of either app are encouraged to browse the areas of special interest below and contact the ACC for more information.

 

 

 

The Nature Steward explores territories between the roads and behind the houses; deep forests, soggy wetlands, waist-high grass and shrubby thickets. You will report what’s out there using the iNaturalist and/or eBird apps so that, over time and with numerous reports, we can understand changes and adapt our management efforts to increase habitat health and wildlife populations.

 

As an iNaturalist or eBird beginner you may select areas of special interest and study as listed below.

 

(Illustration by Tony Auth)



Buck Meadow Demo


Buck Meadow is the ACC’s demonstration property for wildlife habitats. This 68-acres area is home to three major New Hampshire habitats with small mammals, numerous bird species, amphibians and reptiles. A large parking lot, clubhouse and perimeter trail make it very accessible. These features allow for steward instruction, upskilling and initial researches.

 

What you can expect at a Nature Steward training session:

* One-on-one with an ACC or experienced steward instructor for a few hours

* Determine your preferred stewardship.

* Establish an account on the preferred phone app (iNaturalist, eBird).

 

Contact the ACC with your interest.

 

Age: All ages

Difficulty: Low

Requires: Interest

Time: Once, 2 hours 

In all Cases Take Tick Precautions (especially about Permethrin)



South of Souhegan Steward

South of Souhegan is an area bounded by the Souhegan River, Route 122, Boston Post Road and Route 101A. This area includes Buck Meadow, Ponemah Bog and Stump Pond. It has high habitat values with low development density which makes for excellent wildlife observation and research. A major powerline runs through the area which grows into a tall shrubby corridor hosting many birds and small mammals. The four boundaries make this a somewhat closed wildlife sanctuary. The easy access provides opportunities for continual observations and research projects.

 

Presentation: Intro to Wildlife Habitats

 

Contact the ACC with your interest.

 

Age: 14-Adult

Difficulty: Medium

Requires: iNaturalist

Time Required: Weekly or Monthly

In all Cases Take Tick Precautions (especially Permethrin)



Highest Ranked Habitats Steward


Highest Ranked Habitats are large contiguous areas of Amherst (interactive map) blessed with food, water, cover and scant human development allowing most wildlife species to thrive. These areas were arrived at through complex analysis by the US Federal and NH State governments with on-the-ground inputs by local conservation organizations. You can help verify the range of species (vegetation, animal, avian, insect, etc.), and abundance through the use of the iNaturalist app and educational research projects. You will be off-road, deep in woods and creek bottoms, gaining a new appreciation for biodiversity.

 

Presentation: Intro to Wildlife Habitats

 

Contact the ACC with your interest.

 

Age: 16-Adult

Difficulty: Medium

Requires: iNaturalist

Time Required: Weekly or Monthly

In all Cases Take Tick Precautions (especially Permethrin)



Young Forests Steward

Copyright UNH Coop Extension
Copyright UNH Coop Extension

Copyright UNH Coop Extension

Young Forests are areas in our woodlands, 2-10 acres in size, that are deliberately disturbed to increase biodiversity. They need to be monitored over time for results. Your data will add to UNH and Fish & Game studies of wildlife usage in young forests.

 

* “Monitoring” will involve assessing wildlife presence, density and foraging habits. The ACC forester will monitor plant growth.

* As the young forest matures, the steward will remove small trees (saplings) and preserve shrubs.

 

Presentation: Intro to Wildlife Habitats

 

Contact the ACC with your interest.

 

Age: 16-Adult

Difficulty: Medium

Requires: iNaturalist

Time Required: Monthly

In all Cases Take Tick Precautions (especially Permethrin)



Vernal Pool Steward

Vernal pools are wetlands with a seasonal cycle of flooding and drying. There are no fish, allowing various amphibians and reptiles to breed and grow.  As a Vernal Pool Peeper you will verify vernal pools on town land (map). You will be expected to:

* Assume responsibility for a few pools and survey each one for known characteristics.

* In mid-late February to mid-May visit each pool seeking egg masses, tadpoles and other signs of amphibian activity.

* Fill out the Harris Center form and record observations on iNaturalist.

 

Contact the ACC with your interest.

 

More About Vernal Pools

 

Age: 16-Adult

Difficulty: Medium to High

Requires: iNaturalist, Waders, Gloves, Dip Net

Time Required: Weekly or more often in early spring

In all Cases Take Tick Precautions (especially Permethrin)