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Sudden Oak Death Landscape

SOD Blitz 2020

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Citizen Science responds to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Pickup Packets Starting: Saturday, May 30th 10:00 am
Return Packets by: 
Tuesday, June 2nd 10:00 am

PLEASE NOTE - two pickup/return locations to comply with shelter-in-place order:

 * Portola Valley: SOD Blitz Station will be located on the Historic Schoolhouse porch, 765 Portola Road, Portola ValleY
 * Woodside: SOD Blitz Station will be located between Independence Hall and Town Hall, look for the signs out in front.

Due to the statewide “Shelter-in-Place” order, the SOD Blitz organizers have decided not to cancel the Blitz, but to redesign it, so that it's safe for everyone to participate in! The SOD Blitzes have become a tradition for many, while providing key information to help save our oaks from a devastating disease. The presence of new SOD strains is alarming and the SOD blitzes are the best, if not the only, program to intercept them before they spread. The SOD Blitz organizers feel that it is important to provide a sense of continuity in our daily lives amidst this crisis, by providing you with the option to participate in a safe, healthy and tremendously useful activity.

Please carefully follow the steps below to complete the online training and registration before collecting the sampling materials at the SOD Blitz Stations.

1. All participants are asked to complete these four online elements to be prepared in advance for the packet pickup and specimen collection:
a) View a Short Powerpoint Training
b) View a 15-minute Training Video
c) Complete a Questionnaire on how you have responded to the SOD epidemic
d) Complete the SOD Blitz 2020 Registration Form.

2. ONLY for Licensed Tree Care Specialists: if you are a professional tree care specialist and you are participating in any of the 2020 SOD Blitzes, you can enroll in the OakSTeP program for free (a $ 200 savings) by clicking on the OakSTeP registration link towards the bottom of the page. For information on OakSTeP go to

3. Download the free App SODmap: remember to download the free App SODmap mobile before you go to the field. Tap the risk button on the App to identify the latitude and longitude of a tree you are sampling. Copy that on the Data Collection Card as explained in the video.

4. Collect your Packet: Once at your local SOD Blitz Station you can pick up packets following the social distancing rules of the State of California clearly specified in the online training.

  • The bin on the left is where you are going to collect your packets.
  • Bins should be open, so you will only touch the packets you will take with you to the field. Please take one or two packets: each packet allows you to sample 10 trees - do not take more unless you talked to the organizer in advance.
    • You can sample private properties with the owner’s permission, alongside public roads and in parks or open spaces that are open to the public.
  • If multiple people are picking up packets, you must stay at least 6 feet away from other collectors at all times and wait for your turn. No more than 9 people are allowed in line at any given time. Bring your own pencil.
  • Packets are 100% sterile. They were prepared in a sterile lab by personnel with lab coats, gloves and face masks and then they were UV irradiated in a sterile hood.

5. Return your packets by 10 am on Tuesday, June 2nd. Please return both used and unused packets by simply dropping them in the bin. The bins should be open: if they are closed, use the plastic bags provided to open and close the lid and dispose of the bag in the clearly marked “bag disposal box.”

  • Returned SOD Blitz material (such as collection packets and individual envelopes containing leaves) will be handled by trained UC Berkeley personnel following the guidelines for the handling of infectious agents. Materials will be processed in a biological safety cabinet and by personnel wearing fully protective gear, including an appropriate respirator. 

6. Questions? If you have any questions you can ask them through the portal or by emailing one of the organizers of your local blitz included below. For more information on the SOD Blitz program, visit

Thank you so much for your participation in this important study!

The Peninsula SOD Blitz Contacts

SOD Blitz