Data Collection and Science in the Field with Teamup Calendar

Use Teamup Calendar to coordinate science in the field

Teamup Calendar’s unique features make it perfect for volunteer coordination and scheduling, doing science in the field, and data collection.

About ROMP, the Reserve Otter Monitoring Program

The Reserve Otter Monitoring Program is a small group that volunteers one day each week to observe otters in the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Castroville, CA. Over 10 years ago, they began collecting data about the Southern Sea Otter; their work has provided numerous insights for local and national scientists.

Data collected by the ROMP volunteer team
Data collected by the ROMP volunteers

The challenge

The ROMP volunteer research team grew from 2 people to over 20 people. With more members, scheduling, sharing notes and information, and keeping everything organized became more of a challenge. They needed a calendar app that would allow them to easily manage and communicate with this number of volunteers.

Previously, the group was using a Google calendar, but the requirement to create and login to a Google account to use the shared calendar was prohibitive to some group members.

Ron Eby and Robert Scoles, the co-founders and leaders of the ROMP volunteer group, shared their story with us:

How do you schedule a team of 20 citizen scientists for weekly otter observations totalling 1,500 hours per year, when conditions constantly change? Turn to the Teamup tool!

The Reserve Otter Monitoring Program (ROMP) at Elkhorn Slough Reserve in California, takes advantage of Teamup’s easy to use interface and flexibility. The mobile app is especially useful for science in the field, making it easy to keep everyone up-to-date on assignments.

The volunteers of ROMP
ROMP volunteers at work

The solution

The ROMP volunteers found that, with Teamup, group members could have more autonomy over their own scheduling and data input. It reduced the workload. Now each volunteer is able to use the shared calendar as needed:

Our members manage their own calendars, view the group calendar, and stay aware of special events. Import/export features make it a dream for our scheduler. Thank you Teamup! Your tool is helping us collect critical population and behavioral data on the Southern Sea Otter to enable better understanding and decision-making about otters and their use of this critical habitat.

The features that made it possible

For scheduling volunteer work, various assignments, and staying updated while doing science in the field, several features made Teamup the perfect fit:

  • Teamup mobile apps: available for both iOS and Android, Teamup mobile apps make it easy for these volunteer citizen scientists to stay updated on assignments no matter where they are.
  • Ability to import data: with the ability to import .csv files, the ROMP team can input records in minutes without copying and pasting or other time-consuming methods. One volunteer shared how the import data helps her:
    • …my favorite feature is the import. I can easily import 20 volunteer records in minutes. I also use the calendar to help track my time and make it easier for me to fill out my quarterly timesheet that is submitted to NOAA.  -Debby Majors-Degnan

  • Unique calendar links for access: with the ability to create a unique calendar link for each volunteer, it’s easy for each volunteer to access the calendar and manage their own schedule, while staying on track with group needs and special events.

Many thanks to Ron Eby and Robert Scoles for sharing their story, and to Debby Majors-Degnan for her coordination.

 

Header photo by Ben Bowens on Unsplash.