Nevada City, CA – The South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL) RiversLab Program invites community members to join in a science-based discussion about a variety of subjects that relate to the Yuba River watershed.

SYRCL will host two more virtual RiversLab sessions that are free and open to the public. The goal is to improve citizens’ understanding of the latest scientific studies that relate to watershed health, so our community is well-equipped with the tools they need to actively engage in civic processes. SYRCL scientists are present to break down concepts and terminology presented in the articles that can pose barriers to readers outside of the science education community.

“Scientific papers are notoriously inaccessible in terms of language,” said Caitlin Edelmuth, SYRCL’s Restoration Coordinator and lead facilitator of RiversLab, “which is why it is so important to discuss articles in a group setting that allows for greater comprehension. Our intention is to create space for people of all backgrounds to learn about research topics and engage in an open dialogue that cultivates a healthy and welcoming community of citizen scientists.”

In February, RiversLab participants read a study on how beaver dams improve water retention, regulate stream flows, and reduce pollution by storing carbon and filtering water. The group focused on how beaver dams support a thriving watershed ecosystem.

Widely referred to as ecosystem engineers, beavers construct habitats that support a wide range of plants and animals, thereby helping to foster biodiversity. Thus, if beavers had a greater presence in the Yuba River Watershed, their ability to physically alter their environment would increase the abundance and distribution of different plant and animal species.

“It was enjoyable to be a part of the collaborative effort to make a publication that relates directly to our watershed more intelligible,” said Edelmuth. “It provides an opportunity for participants to find their voice in prominent issues from a place of deeper understanding.”

Two virtual RiversLab meetings are currently scheduled that are free, fun, and a great way to fill your lunch hour. The next RiversLab meeting is on March 17th, 2022, from 12:00 – 1:00 PM via Zoom. Those interested can sign up by emailing Caitlin Edelmuth at

The scientific article for discussion on March 17th is titled Pollen Protein: Lipid Macronutrient Ratios May Guide Broad Patterns of Bee Species Floral Preferences. This study highlights bees’ changing preferences for pollen with higher nutritional value. The group will discuss the drivers of this adaptive foraging behavior and how it can improve declining bee populations. Previous knowledge is not required to discuss the fascinating world of plant-pollinator interactions.

Participants will receive scientific literature ahead of time, so that during the meeting they can ask questions, exchange ideas, and enjoy each other’s company.

The final RiversLab meeting will take place on Thursday, April 14th, 2022, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.

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