UC Conservation Genomics: CALeDNA Program

Of possible interest:

Dear UC Conservation Genomics Consortium investigators, members, and friends,

We are excited to share the news that our citizen science program, CALeDNA, has officially launched! Now, we need your help to make it visible.

I am attaching a press release statement. But here is the short version for you.

We have made a website that educates the public about the value of biodiversity monitoring and the technique we are using, non-invasive environmental DNA sequencing. It trains them on how to collect samples for us. A volunteer does the training on the website and downloads our app. We send them a kit and a map of places to go based on their interests of places to hike to when they register with us. We need 1000 volunteer citizen scientists to collect 18,000 samples across the state during 2017. We have several bioblitz events planned, some with iNaturalist, and some across the 39 UC natural reserves, national and state parks, and private preserves. By the end of the year we will have sampled across much of the state during both the dry and the rainy season. We will sequence and analyze the samples, producing publications and policy recommendations, engaging stakeholders of various kinds and promoting the technology and optimized analysis approach.

Any undergraduate course, nature club, or friends who like to get outdoors can participate. In some cases, we can even help pay for the gas to drive to a reserve. We need your help to recruit citizen scientists and engage them in our program. We have a bioblitz at Pillar Point the weekend of Feb 9-11 that we need volunteers to join for. Then throughout April and May we need people to visit the fascinating UC Reserves. We’ll handle the paperwork to register with them.

If you are teaching courses this quarter and would be willing to share a promotional slide at the start of your class, or willing to incorporate fieldwork with us as part of your class, let me know and I’m more than happy to work with you. We would also appreciate recommendations on places to advertise the CALeDNA program. Finally, please share this with your colleagues and labs–perhaps they will want to participate too!

Thank you for being part of this Consortium and for learning about our new CALeDNA launch. Wishing you a great New Year!

With warm regards,



Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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