The photo artist and conservationist C. Bayne of BayNiche Conservancy sent me this beautiful photo of Marsh Marigolds,
...in thanks for viewing on my browser their web pages and slide shows, "Manifestation Superior" and "Snapping Baselines", and sending comments on how they look from here. I got all excited! In "Manifestation Superior" they invite everyone to hike, canoe, and kayak the shoreline of Lake Superior during August 4, 5, and 6 this summer, with a view to conservation - marking points in time and place with each person's observations. "Snapping Baselines" introduces the concept of photo point reference, an invaluable technique for recording changes in the landscape that is simple enough for anyone who can point a camera and click. All that is required to turn tourist photography into a powerful tool for conservation in any part of the world is a well-marked point of reference and some dedicated person or institution to archive the photos in a database for long term storage, retrieval, and comparison. Like snapping a carpenter's chalkline, we can snap images of the landscape in a baseline with which to measure changes in vegetation patterns, clues to disturbances like pollution, alteration in drainage, climate change, new patterns of animal use, insect infestations, and even natural forest succession. "Snapping Baselines" also describes how Geocaching naturally provides points of reference for repeated photos through the seasons by strangers who are keen to share what they have found. This is Citizen Science at its best - and simplest! Bravo BayNiche!
I have a .pdf of the flyer for "Manifestation Superior" that I can send by e-mail if anyone would like to print it and/or distribute it. Gathering data about an awesome and vulnerable shoreline will transform for many people what might have been a simple holiday excursion into something much more meaningful - to themselves, and to Superior itself.