Become a Citizen Scientist

You may not be aware of the vast role citizen volunteers—people just like you—play in scientific research collaborations.

The Monarch Watch program “engages citizen scientists of all ages in large-scale research projects involving the tagging and tracking of migrating monarchs.” Monarch Watch’s citizen led wing-tagging program produces significant data on monarch migration and related conservation issues. Photo credit: Vicki Bonk

Throughout Minnesota, as well as the country, citizens collect data, monitor, count, observe, listen, measure, and more. Public participation in scientific research is crucial to help fill the gaps: There are more needs for data than there are scientists to collect it.

No science background is required. Most programs offer training and detailed instruction for participation.

For links to citizen science programs, visit Neighborhood Greening’s resource page.

A Sampling of Programs that Rely on Citizen Scientists. Get involved!

Birding enthusiast, Liz Stanley, has participated in Audubon’s annual
Christmas Bird Count for over 10 years. “It’s a fun way to get outside, connect with friends, and meet new people. It helps the community become aware of and get involved in citizen science, which ultimately contributes to conservation of habitat and wildlife.”

Audubon “The Great Backyard Bird Count” (every February)

A lakeshore homeowner monitoring Lemay Lake in Mendota Heights. One of the tools used to measure water clarity is a Secchi disk, shown in the photo above.
Frog and Toad Calling Survey (MN DNR-statewide opportunities)
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