September marks the final weeks of summer but it also is a transition period for stream flows in many climates where water demand from the hot summer months lessen and higher elevations prepare for the arrival of snow. September also marks the start of the Stream Track-a-thon! This is a two week challenge from September 17 - October 1 to visit as many Stream Tracker points as the Stream Tracker network can. What this will create is a snapshot in time describing the flow conditions during this transitional period of the sites that have been monitored throughout the season. By visiting each Stream Tracker point at least once during this time, we are able to better distinguish the channels that are still flowing and the channels that have dried up.
Want to join in!? Here is how to get involved:
1. If you haven't already, join the project on CitSci.org. This allows you to access the Stream Tracker datasheets and access the project through the CitSci.org mobile application.
2. Check the website for a complete list of Stream Tracker points. Want to go for a hike? Want to visit sites near to your house? Want to explore somewhere new? There are over 600 Stream Tracker sites to choose from! Check out these helpful how-tos for getting started.
3. Download the current map of Stream Tracker sites to your smartphone as a .kml that can be loaded in a third-party offline navigation mobile application. We recommend Maps.Me. Don't get overwhelmed by the number of locations. Once you get to your area of interest, navigating will become more straight forward.
4. Get out there and visit the sites! Use the CitSci.org mobile application to enter the flow condition of each stream point and snap a photo or use the paper datasheet to record your observations and enter your observations through the CitSci.org project page.
5 .Know sites you would love to see be part of the network? Now is a good time to add these points as you will be able to then track the sites when the streams start flowing next season.
Tell us your Stream Tracking stories from the road or trail! Use the hashtag #StreamTracking to share your photos!
For every observation you contribute, your name will be entered into a drawing for prizes awarded at the end. This is a great time to get friends and family stream tracking with you visiting your sites or establishing new sites!