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How to get Involved

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ot only has citizen science proven to provide good quality data for park management decision making, it is also an excellent education and outreach tool. In addition to the trained citizen scientists, presentations on the citizen science program are delivered to several hundred people each year, and the program has been highlighted in numerous media publications. Individuals who have been exposed to these publications and programs have expressed enthusiasm for conservation of sensitive park resources. In addition to the value of the data for park management, it is a benefit to the park to have visitors educated on the value of our park resources and on how to observe wildlife with minimal disturbance. We educate each citizen scientist about the issues that wildlife and native plants face and put a face on such broad and complicated issues as climate change, invasive plant invasion and endangered species persistence. We also provide them an opportunity to be directly involved in stewardship while they in turn help us understand more about our species of concern. Every educated visitor will have opportunities to influence others to share their concern for sensitive park resources.

We will begin recruiting and training participants in early May. Trained citizen science observers gather critical baseline information on Common Loons, mountain goats, pikas, invasive plants and aquatic insects to assist current and future research. Observers attend a one day educational program to learn about identification of species, the purpose of the surveys, how to monitor, and how to fill out survey forms. Once you have attended the training we ask that you conduct at least 3 surveys during the course of the year. Hiking distances to survey locations are varied; participants choose sites to survey based on their hiking ability and preferences. If you would like to be involved in this year’s program, please contact the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at our Citizen Science email address, citizen_science@nps.gov, or by phone at (406)888-7986

2010 Citizen Science Summary In 2010, 178 citizen scientists were active in our projects and 87 new volunteers were trained. 2010 citizen scientists contributed over 4900 hours of survey effort, which is equivalent to 7.5 employees working full-time between May and September. At $15.00/hour, this in-kind contribution would amount to $74,115.00. We greatly appreciate their hours of hard work in all kinds of weather.

Our Major Projects Common Loon News The Citizen Science Project for Common Loons in Glacier engages volunteers to monitor this Montana Species of Special Concern to develop annual estimates of population and reproductive success. The project trains citizen scientists on loon identification and ecology and documents loon numbers, behaviors, and nesting status throughout the nesting season. Glacier National Park harbors about 20% of Montana’s breeding loons. Because Montana only has an average state

Crown of the Continent  

University of Montana's Crown of the Continent