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Mapping Invasive Species in Maine

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Invasive Species Mapping in Maine

Location=Casco Bay/Portland

Potential Partner= Friends of Casco Bay

Project Background

The Friends of Casco Bay has been researching various threats to the local ecosystem of Casco Bay near Portland Maine, including effects of acidification caused by the invasive the Green Crab. Code for Maine met with FoCB before a recent event entitled Casco Bay is at Risk to discuss tools and techniques that have been in development for the past year via the Harpswell invasives project. Of significant interest was the Low Cost Aerial Mapping Drone for which development has been documented at PLOTS. Such a capability is of interest as aerial imagery can only obtained every two years by contracting manned overflights. If even a small fraction of such data can be captured through a low-cost, programmable platform like the UAV in development, their knowledge of critical indicator species like Eelgrass would grow significantly.

Location= Casco Bay/ Harpswell

Partnering Organization= Harpswell Coastal Academy, Harpswell Community Land Trust

Project Background

The Harpswell Coastal Academy is collaborating with the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and the Town of Harpswell in efforts to detect and map emerging invasive flora and fauna in the form of Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) and the European Green Crab ( Carcinus maenas ) from high impact areas.
The Harpswell Community Makerspace will work closely with all parties to develop tools and capabilities that help facilitate project goals.

Purpose of this Wiki

This purpose of this wiki will be to facilitate a constructive dialog between the Civic Hacking/Maker community (including Makerspace members and the larger community) and the local project partners. Links and descriptions of related research notes will be continuously added and edited until such a point when a subpage will be created.

Makerspace Goals

  • Work closely with students and faculty of Harpswell Coastal Academy to integrate development activities into existing curriculum
  • Engage the collective expertise of the greater Civic Hacker/Maker Community and provide proper attribution
  • Engage the knowledge of the local community
  • Emphasize project documentation in a manner that

    • builds on existing open source research (where possible)
    • recognizes the contributions of earlier participants
    • Allows for iterative development in the future
    • Can be easily utilized as interpretive materials for community outreach

General Project Goals

Assessing the impact of eradicating Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) in test plots

  • Identify a site for experimental and control plots.
  • Identify parameters to collect baseline data on.
  • Possibilities include:

    • Species richness of native plants, before and after eradication.
    • Percent coverage of native plants, before and after eradication.
    • Animal observations (e.g. woodcock)
  • Collect baseline data April-Spring 2014

  • Present baseline data at HCA symposium June 2014

Mapping emergent invasive flora on public lands in Harpswell

  • Identify 2-3 properties for mapping effort

  • Survey properties for species

  • Identify 2-4 emergent species of concern.

  • Determine optimal time for detecting and quantifying each species

  • Develop interpretive materials to help volunteers identify species in the field and in their own properties

Potential Resources

Existing projects on publiclab.org and elsewhere can be listed here in order to assess their potential usefullness for the Invasive Species Project.

Grassroots Mapping including aerial imaging techniques through the use of cameras mounted on weather balloons or kites and the post-processing software RHUUS Open Source GIS Software for Community Ecology Projects *Infragram- Ecological Monitoring through the use of Modified Infrared Cameras