Volunteer time

The Atlas is funded, in part, by a federal grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR). However, this funding is only provided if MD DNR can match it with state funds or volunteer time. Every hour of your time that you are willing to document allows us to spend nearly $75 of federal funds.

Your time spent on this project can be captured in two ways:  through eBird and on the volunteer time forms linked below. Two different forms for documenting your time are available on the Atlas website. The first is for a group of people attending an event, such as a training meeting. The second is for an individual to use throughout the season for time spent other than field atlasing, to avoid duplicating time recorded in eBird. The most important items to record on these forms are your name, date, time (in hours, rounded to the nearest 15 minutes) and your signature. On the individual form, the Activities section should be used to describe your Atlas-related tasks, such as travel time to and from your atlasing location, time researching landowner names and addresses, corresponding with landowners and land managers to obtain access permission, scouting for access to unusual habitats, entering or editing data in eBird, and other necessary tasks.

Live signatures are NOT required. Scanned versions of signed forms are now allowed. If you prefer, they can be signed the old-fashioned way and the original paper form mailed to Lynn Davidson at MD DNR-WHS, 580 Taylor Ave E-1, Annapolis MD 21401. (This address information is also provided on the bottom of each form.)  Or you can scan your signed form and email it to lynn.davidson@maryland.gov.  Forms should be mailed quarterly with deadlines of April 7, July 7, October 7, and January 7 (e.g., all January–March forms should be mailed by April 7), but all need to be sent by July 7, since the DNR fiscal year runs from July to the end of June.

Your time spent atlasing will be captured within eBird when you enter your data. In early July, you will be sent a different form with your eBird checklist hours to sign and return to MD DNR. Please don’t record your eBird checklist time on a volunteer time form, since we have a separate process to account for those hours.

Please note that after blocks are marked as completed on the website, eBIrd hours in these blocks and volunteer time in support of atlasing in these blocks are no longer eligible for use as match for federal funding.  Therefore, please only report time on the volunteer time form in support of atlasing in non-completed blocks.