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    Purpose

    Local children on St. George Island, Alaska look for killer whales and other marine mammals.

    Many Eyes

    1. There are many important changes happening to the local environment and the more eyes that are looking the more will be seen. Recording what is seen in a reliable way makes positive change more likely.
    2. Many local people are highly experienced observers with a great deal of knowledge about the local environment. Whatever works to help to bring all of this experience together can help to protect the local environment.
    3. The Island Sentinel Program began on St. Paul Island in 1999 in order to observe and protect the local environment. BeringWatch, started in 2006, is a web-based tool for recording and communicating environmental events by both professional and amateur (“citizen”) observers. The Citizen Sentinel logbook is designed for citizen observers or “Citizen Sentinels”.

    Learning Tool

    1. For everyone of all ages and all experience levels, the more practice you get making observations of the local environment, the better and more valuable these observations become.
    2. Having a place to record and look at what you and others have observed helps this process and makes it more interesting (e.g. charting changes over time).
    3. Such a tool also helps younger people to learn from their more experienced elders.

    Documenting Change

    1. Reliably recorded environmental observations are often the first step to flagging a larger problem.
    2. Having good data is key to any effort attempting to do anything about such environmental issues.