Citizen Science – Not Just for the Birds!

citizen science

There are citizen science projects that don’t directly relate to birds. Conservation on all levels is important, and we found a few great projects dealing with non-bird elements.

World Water Monitoring Day – Adopted by WEF in July 2006, World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) is an international outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. Held annually between September 18 and October 18, the program engages communities in monitoring the condition of local rivers, streams, estuaries and other water bodies. Since its inception in 2002, more than 80,000 people have participated in 50 countries.

Naturalist D vs Drinking Fountain

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) -The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) began in 1997 at the University of Minnesota. It involves citizens in collecting data that will help to explain the distribution and abundance patterns of monarch butterflies in North America. In 2002, we received a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation to greatly expand training, analysis and dissemination aspects of this project. The National Science Foundation, Monarchs in the Classroom, and the Xerxes Society have provided financial and other support for MLMP.

Monarch (female)

Alaska Bat Monitoring Project – The Alaska Bat Monitoring Program is a volunteer-based effort designed to assess the current status of bats in Alaska. The goal is to learn where bats are found in the state and to assess their baseline populations. We are also interested in habitat variables associated with their presence. Because our knowledge of bats is very limited in Alaska, we are looking for observations to be reported from any area where bats are observed in our state.

The Great Lakes Worm Watch – Earthworms are not native to the Great Lakes Region. They were all wiped out after the last glaciation. The current population, brought here by early Europeans, is slowly changing the face of our native forests.

Spider WebWatch – Spider WebWatch is a biodiversity monitoring effort for biologists, naturalists, educators and students. From more than 4,400 species of spiders in North America, 9 were chosen as eight-legged ambassadors.

Jack in the Pulpit

Planet Budburst – . This national citizen science field campaign targets native tree and flower species across the country. By recording the timing of the leafing and flowering of native species each year, scientists can learn about the prevailing climatic characteristics in a region over time. With your help, we will be compiling valuable environmental information that can be compared to historical records to illustrate the effects of climate change.

You don’t have to be a Birdfreak to be a citizen scientist!

3 thoughts on “Citizen Science – Not Just for the Birds!

  1. I hadn’t thought about the earthworms of the great lakes region, actually, but that totally makes sense! Good info here. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think what’s interesting is the number and variety of these types of projects going on. You guys (and gals)are doing a great job of making people aware of what’s out there.-I’ve actually done something that is environmentally conscious this month that I will eventually post about.

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