The DRY Project takes a pioneering approach to better understand drought by bringing together a unique blend of science and stories in drought risk decision-making across seven river catchments in England, Scotland and Wales. Led by the University of the West England (UWE) the DRY project, is a partnership made up of seven other universities, and is funded by the UK Research Councils.
Drought is a normal part of all climates and is likely to become more frequent and more severe in the future. However, many questions about ecosystem responses to climate change and the joint impact of climate, land management, and human activities remain unanswered.
The DRY project aims to better understand these processes by exploring the impacts of drought and climate change on grasslands and trees in the Frome River Catchment, Don and Eden Catchments (Visit: http://dryproject.co.uk/our-uk-river-catchments/ for delineations of the catchment boundaries).
We want to work with members of the general public, to take part in our grassland surveys and tree studies.
Frome River Catchment
Volunteer by undertaking grassland surveys close to the University of West England, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY. Volunteers can help between 1-3 days from Monday-Wednesday (10.30am-4.30pm) depending on your availability until December 2017.
Upper Don Catchment
Volunteers can help undertake grassland surveys close to our field sites in High Bradfield and Ingbirchworth Reservoir. For further information about volunteering in the Don Catchment please email Natasha or Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring: 0117 32 87024
Volunteers can also help to undertake grassland surveys and phenology observations at sites located close to Foxton in Cupar and Craig Meads Meadow. For further information about volunteering in the Don Catchment please email Natasha or Sarah on email@example.com or ring: 0117 32 87024.
Volunteers will work with university staff and in some case independently to carry out grassland surveys. Tasks include monitoring changes in grassland species, abundance of species, phenology of flowering grasses (the study of the timings of naturally re-occurring phenomena) and the number and species of pollinators and invertebrates. There will also be opportunities for volunteers to explore their own topics of interest.
Adopt and monitor a tree
We are looking for volunteers to adopt a tree or several trees in their local school, garden, street or park in urban and rural areas and to help us collect a range of measurements on that particular tree in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The aims of the project are to assess tree species responses to changes in rainfall and temperature in urban and rural environments across the river catchment.
The tree monitoring activities can take place at any time and for each tree we need to know: the location of the trees, the date sampled, tree species, trunk circumference, height, crown spread and crown depth.
We would also like to know additional information about the natural timing of life cycle events such as the flowering times of trees and how they change over the years. We are also interested in collecting information on temperature, relative humidity and rainfall in the environment where the tree measurements were taken. The tree survey manual and monitoring form can be downloaded online and the data inputted onto the DRY website by visiting (http://dryproject.co.uk/about-the-project/citizen-science/urban-and-rural-trees).
Tree monitoring events
We will be hosting a number of tree monitoring events in winter 2015, spring 2016 and summer 2016 throughout the Frome River catchment that people can attend to learn more about trees in their local areas, undertake scientific experiments on trees and the impacts of a climate change on the environment. Check our website to keep updated on tree monitoring events in your area.
What will you gain?
This is an exciting opportunity to gain valuable experience on a large-scale scientific project, learn plant and tree identification skills, about grassland and tree ecology and more broadly about the impacts of drought and climate change on the environment. Volunteers will receive a certificate detailing the number of hours spent on the project and essential skills acquired, which are important for many ecological or conservation jobs.