1. Identify the area and describe the ecological features that make the area unique, important or just representative of other surrounding ecosystems. Also indicate what your group intends to do with it.
2.You may indicate time lines for your goals, and even designate responsibilities to different group members in order to help you plan your strategy.
3. Establish a good "baseline inventory " of what is there presently. Many ecological techniques are available to quantify organisms and their distribution. You may use our Transect Files as an example.
4. Use the template linked here to establish a class project designed to provide a taxonomy of the species of your local ecosystem.
5. Include dated maps, databases, taxonomic inventories, checklists, photographs, QTVR movies, Quick Time Movies made with iMovie, or drawings to document your site.
6. Begin monitoring the site for aspects of its structure and function. For structure: what living things are there, how they are distributed, what relationships or biotic associations exist. Also, the structure includes physical factors such as temperature, salinity, etc. --start gathering long term data, enter it into a database (such as excel), and save it to the internet site so that others can download and manipulate the data.
7. Submit your site for inclusion in the OceanQuest GIS and Database. Currently, we are able to handle areas on the Pacific Coast of Canada, however, if the interest exists, we may be able to expand this database to include more terrestrial as well as coastal areas.
8. Obtain a recent Tiff-referenced photograph taken from the Air of the location in which you are interested in working. Check at your local coucil office for access to these digital photos. If one is available in for instance 1:8000 resolution, we can make every effort to include it in the database started by the OceanQuest project. With such a photograph, the same system of recording observations as we are using at Race Rocks can be set up.
9. If you have access to your own internet site, assemble the information on the site, let us know its location and we will provide a link to your site from racerocks.com
10. Establish a Project to list and value the Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital of your ecosystem. In recent years, we have started to acknowledge that "ecosystem services " are something to which we must start paying attention as to fail to do so leads to a decline in quality of life:
This file explores that idea further and invites you to contribute to a new project : DEFINING THE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES of RACE ROCKS. By looking at the model of such services developed for Race Rocks, you might also get an idea how you could choose a part of your own local ecosystem and do a similar analysis.
11. In the fall of 2005 we installed a Davis Weather Instrument at Race Rocks for real time monitoring of a number of meteorological events. The weather data on the OceanQuest GIS submissions for RaceRocks comes directly from that station.
From this environmental data index page, you can see how we are developing pages for each environmental abiotic factor and interpreting how that factor is important in the ecosystems of Race Rocks. Many schools already have weather stations installed. Here are some examples from the Victoria area:
Send inquiries to: Garry Fletcher