The project runs through January 31, 2022
One of the most valuable hardwood species, black walnut is under threat from timber poachers across 30+ American states in its range. You can help by exploring forests in the eastern and central US to take samples from wild trees. Those samples will become the basis of new DNA and chemical databases that law enforcement will use to prosecute timber thieves.
Data collection will take place on public lands (forests, refuges, reserves) throughout the Eastern black walnut range in the US. You'll hike or walk, sometimes navigating off-trail, to find individual trees. We expect you to collect samples from at least 10 trees that are at least 100 meters apart.
All volunteers need to complete online training modules and a comprehensive quiz prior to getting out in the field. We offer a variety web events, discussions, and readings to supplement the training.
The training will include information on how to ID black walnut using a tool called a dichotomous key, which we will also provide. Learning the proper identification of these trees is critical, especially during the dormant season.
Data collection will include taking samples of leaves, twigs, and in some cases, tree cores. You'll also record data using a smartphone app.
You'll have access to register for the public land parcels where you plan to collect samples as part of the online training process.
We will ship your equipment at least one week before your anticipated start date. We ask that you ship your equipment and samples back to us as soon as you finish sampling.
-18 years of age or older (minors are welcome to join sampling outings but asked not to lead data collection)
-Ability to use a smartphone to collect data
-Experience and ability to safely travel in the outdoors with at least one partner
-Previous field data collection experience is preferred but not required