2020 Activities & Events

How-to for Spring 2020

Let's begin! Cover It Up Spring Instructions

Welcome! These resources show citizen scientists how to set up their experiment in spring of 2020. Before carrying out these steps at your site, please take time to study them at home and be sure you have completed the following steps:

  • Selected a site and sent preliminary information (site name, coordinates, and photos) to the research team
  • Removed common buckthorn at your site, an area ~30 x 40 feet
  • Received your Cover It Up materials from the University of Minnesota

These "how-to" resources are available in two formats that contain identical information, so you may choose between:

  • Text with illustrations or a
  • Series of instructional videos

Expand all

Text with illustrations

IMPORTANT NOTE: The planting of buckthorn test seeds is postponed. When inventorying your kit, you will not find buckthorn test seeds or the 11 cm cardboard circle. These supplies and steps will come later in 2020.

CIU Set-Up Instructions, Apr 10 2020.pdf

Blank site map PDF

Series of instructional videos

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please prepare your pin flags using the Sharpie and instructions provided in your kit.

Watch 6 videos (links direct to YouTube) to see how each step is done.

  1. Welcome & overview
  2. Set up your site
  3. Draw a site map and take photos (A "Blank site map PDF" was provided in your kit. If you need an extra, click here.)
  4. Plant test buckthorn
  5. Plant native seed mixtures
  6. Upload photos to Anecdata.org


How-to for Summer 2020

Your site is set up, ready for the first growing season! There is one activity for the summer, "Cutting non-test buckthorn."

June - August: Cut non-test buckthorn

Two to three times during the summer (June through August), participants need to cut all buckthorn that was not directly seeded as part of the experiment. (In other words, cut non-test buckthorn). For tools and details, see PDF below:

CIU cutting how-to.pdf


How-to for Summer's End 2020

1: Start here

Start with the tutorial to learn what we're doing, why, and how. This interactive course takes 45-90 minutes and works like a slideshow that you navigate on your web browser.


2: Guidance via Zoom

Do you have questions about the tutorial, the activities, or what you see at your site? Visit with Cover It Up staff to ask your questions and learn together. Register using the link above. Attend once or repeatedly. Meetings are at 7 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, August 26 through September 24.


3: The Activities

Participants will describe the understory at their site, take photos, and assess the survival and growth of test buckthorn. You will need these resources (PDFs) to complete the activities:

4: Report what you see

When you are done outdoors, upload your photos and transcribe data from your paper datasheets using this online survey.