Calling all citizen scientists

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Volunteers needed for osprey monitoring.

Spring has returned to New England and with it came the ospreys.

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island manages the Rhode Island Osprey Monitoring Program, a network of volunteer observers who report on the breeding success of these fish-eating raptors. The program relies on approximately seventy-five volunteers to monitor over two hundred known nesting sites in Rhode Island.

To accomplish this important citizen science program, new volunteers are needed each year. If you are interested in becoming a monitor, email Jon Scoones at  jscoones@asri.org or call him at 401/949-5454 for more information. An orientation session will be held from 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, at the Audubon Environmental Education Center in Bristol.

“We continue to study Osprey as they are an excellent indicator of environmental health in aquatic ecosystems, “ explains Scoones.  “Their dramatic story includes impressive migrations to and from South America each year and the remarkable recovery from the effects of DDT make them a good ambassador for nature.” Thanks to efforts by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and other environmental groups, DDT was banned in 1972 and Osprey have made a tremendous comeback in Rhode Island.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.