Principal Atlasers and Block Sign-Up

To ensure we meet the minimum effort threshold for priority blocks, we allow people to sign up as a Principal Atlaser. Principal Atlasers commit to making sure that priority blocks receive adequate coverage.

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What Are Principal Atlasers?

Principal Atlasers take responsibility for ensuring that a block is completed. Each block is complete when it meets the block coverage guidelines. Principal Atlasers are usually experienced birders or atlasers who are familiar with the birds and habitats in the area. While anyone can submit data to a block, the Principal Atlaser will monitor the progress for the block and either fill in gaps themselves or ask fellow atlasers in the area to help out. Principal Atlasers do not “own” the block as in previous atlases; the third atlas is a community-based effort open to everyone.

How Do I Sign Up?

If you want to be a Principal Atlaser, explore available blocks on the interactive mapper. Find an available block near you. When you find one that suits you, click on the block and a pop-up appears that contains a link to sign up for the block. Fill out the form and a Regional Coordinator will review your data and sign you up. Once approved, your name will be listed as the Principal Atlaser. You need to have an eBird account to complete the form. You can only sign up for priority blocks at this time.

Explore Available Blocks

If you no longer feel you can be a Principal Atlaser, contact your regional coordinator to be removed from that block.

Why are There Principal Atlasers?

Principal Atlasers are dedicated volunteers who commit to finishing a block. The more Principal Atlasers there are, the more confidence we have that the project will be a success and all priority blocks will be surveyed. As of 28 Feb 2020, 450 people signed up to be a Principal Atlaser. That means that, only two months into the project, we already had an indication that 25% of priority blocks would be adequately surveyed.

How Many Principal Atlasers per Block Are There?

We currently allow only one person per block to be the Principal Atlaser. But don’t be discouraged, you can still atlas in that block and help the Principal Atlaser complete the block. Or you can sign up for an available block nearby. You don’t have to be a Principal Atlaser to participate in the atlas.

How Many Blocks Can One Person Sign Up For?

If you are an experienced atlaser, you can sign up for up to 5 blocks at a time. Once you finish a block, you can sign up for another block. This limit allows all volunteers the opportunity to be Principal Atlaser if they choose to be. Again, it is not necessary to sign up for a block to participate, and if you are the Principal Atlaser, it does not necessarily mean that you will be the only person submitting data for that block.

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