Save the extended weekend of May 5 through 8 for this citizen science event to detect the presence of Sudden Oak Death in San Luis Obispo County. Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is a serious exotic disease that is threatening the survival of tanoak and several oak species in California. Every year, the SOD scientists anxiously await the results from local SLO citizens collecting California bay leaves (the “carrier” tree) to see if this disease has reached our county yet. So far the infestation has spread as far south as Monterey County. Because of rainfall this year, we expect it to be a good year to detect SOD. We provide on-line training, simple survey materials, and potential survey locations.
The SOD Blitz Survey Project (sodblitz.org) informs and educates the community about Sudden Oak Death, gets locals involved in detecting the disease, and produces detailed maps of disease distribution. Go here for the 15-minute online training video, here for details on the SOD Blitz in San Luis Obispo County and here for recommended survey locations in SLO County. This is a fun and useful activity to travel rural roads or hike parks with coastal forests in SLO County by yourself or with family or friends. You get to pick your own survey time and location within the May 5-8 survey period. You can find more about this citizen science project at sodblitz.org
You will be able to pickup your survey materials and drop-off your samples at these two locations from Friday, May 5th after 1pm and packets must be returned no later than Tuesday, May 9th at 10am: