(ALL RIGHTS) – 2015 Wet-Dry mapping in the San Pedro River in Arizona. This photo was taken during the mapping in Reach 8 of the San Pedro National Conservation Area. Image size: 7 by 12 inches at 300 dpi. Photo credit: © Brooke Bushman/TNC
Wet-Dry mapping (ALL RIGHTS) – 2015 Wet-Dry mapping in the San Pedro River in Arizona. This photo was taken during the mapping in Reach 8 of the San Pedro National Conservation Area. Image size: 7 by 12 inches at 300 dpi. Photo credit: © Brooke Bushman/TNC © © Brooke Bushman/TNC

Find Local Events & Opportunities

San Pedro River Wet-Dry Monitoring

Arizona

Since 1999, The Nature Conservancy has conducted annual wet-dry mapping of the entire 170-mile length of the San Pedro River.  This takes place on the third Saturday of June with the help of many volunteers and our local, industry, state and federal agency partners throughout the watershed. On that day, small groups of volunteers will map all the way from the headwaters in Sonora, Mexico down to the confluence with the Gila River in Pinal County, Arizona, as well as many major tributaries. 

We are looking for volunteers to help us map on June 15, 2019. This entails joining a small team of 2-4 people to map a 2- to 6-mile reach of the river or tributary. Mapping begins in the early morning and goes into early afternoon (depending on the reach), because mid-June is typically the driest, hottest pre-monsoon time of year. Volunteers use GPS units (provided) to document where surface water is present or absent. This information will be analyzed with other data to help water managers and scientists gauge the health of the river. Having an annual record also gives us a way to compare from year-to-year how management decisions are working.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Able to walk between 2 to 6 miles, with sections ranging from easy, to moderate, to strenuous.
    • Depending on the reach and time of day mapped, temperatures can range from 80-105 degrees.
    • While on river, you will be in remote locations not near medical assistance, but each team will carry a first aid kit and have phone access to our roaming staff.
  • Must be able to carry food, water and a small pack for several hours in the sun.
  • Must be 18 to participate.

TIME REQUIRED

  • Must commit to volunteer by May 23, 2019
  • Must attend a training (usually the day or night prior to mapping).
  • Must commit to mapping for the day.
    • We will begin early morning to beat the heat (time TBD by your team leader). With travel to and from remote locations it ends up being most of a day.

Training

All volunteers will participate in a training and mapping. Once you are assigned a team, a coordinator will send you the training and mapping team details.  The training session is typically held the evening prior (Friday, June 14th) and includes a thank you dinner immediately following training. You will be trained on the criteria for recording the data and how to use the mapping equipment—a GPS unit and data sheets. Volunteers will be assigned to a team of 2 to 4 people to record data along a 2- to 6-mile segment of the river.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact dboone@tnc.org with the following information:

  • Contact Info: Full name, Email address, Phone # (prefer cell phone you’ll have on the 15th)
  • Person you prefer to map with (if applicable)
  • Have you used a GPS unit before? (not a requirement though)
  • Which section/s of the river you prefer- If we still have room, you will be assigned a reach within the area:
    • Upper San Pedro SPRNCA (US border to St David area) 
    • Upper San Pedro tributaries (Babocomari River OR Huachuca Mountains- Ramsey or Miller)
    • Middle San Pedro- Benson area
    • Middle San Pedro- Cascabel area
    • Lower San Pedro- Dudleyville/Mammoth area
  • What kind of hiking level are you confident with (easy, medium, strenuous) or physical limitations (i.e. if you are unable to do a strenuous or moderate reach)
  • Whether you prefer meat or vegetarian option for training meal
  • If you want to volunteer as an alternative, please indicate that as well as the above information. 
  • Smart-phone owners: Would you be interested in testing a new data collection app on your Smart-phone?

For additional information contact:  

Brooke Bushman, Arizona Water Projects Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy bbushman@tnc.org, 520-309-4812 (office),  520-310-9377 (cell)

To volunteer contact: dboone@tnc.org or 520-547-3437.