Greetings Fellow Educators, Citizen Scientists and Bird and Lepidoptera Enthusiasts! Spring is around the corner, and with it comes leaf-out, caterpillars and other arthropods, and birds to eat them. I’m writing to share information about an exciting new NSF-funded citizen science project that involves all of these things called Caterpillars Count! (https://caterpillarscount.unc.edu) We are actively looking for new partners to start up Caterpillars Count! survey sites for this upcoming spring and summer. Caterpillars Count! is a citizen science project that measures the seasonal variation and abundance of arthropods like caterpillars, beetles, and spiders found on the leaves of trees and shrubs in an effort to answer important questions about patterns of food availability for birds. Researchers are using the data collected in Caterpillars Count! to help determine if plants, insects and birds are all responding to ongoing changes in climate to the same degree. If either insects or birds are not keeping up with phenological shifts of the other organisms that they depend on, then further climate change may have negative consequences for their populations. We have funding available to support new sites’ involvement in the project up to $1,000, and our team may even be able to host a training workshop at your site. Ideally, Caterpillars Count! survey sites should have at least 30 survey trees and have dedicated volunteers or staff that can commit to conducting weekly foliage surveys over the spring and summer. The expected time commitment would be ~3 person-hours per week, but the task is easily divided up among multiple participants, and is an ideal activity for engaging volunteers or visitors at your site. For more details on the project and what hosting a survey site for Caterpillars Count! entails, please check out our project website. If hosting a Caterpillars Count! survey site at your facility sounds like something of interest, please check out the website for more details and then fill out the form below and we’ll get back with you. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc-7QavO9aGKa-NnpdBz9- ZOh3KWUuw5TS_x-yNQk9nrd3kag/viewform In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact Sarah Yelton, Project Coordinator, with any questions. You can reach the Caterpillars Count! team by emailing caterpillarsco...@gmail.com, or you can reach Sarah by phone at 919-966-0895. Please also consider forwarding this email along to any friends, colleagues or local groups you think may be interested in Caterpillars Count! Yours in Citizen Science, Sarah Yelton Environmental Education Coordinator, Institute for the Environment University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill And the rest of the Caterpillars Count! Team Allen Hurlbert Associate Professor, Department of Biology University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Sara Snell Taylor Graduate Assistant, Department of Biology University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

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