Citizen Science: You Can Do It!

Anyone can be a real scientist and help other scientists around the world study frogs, butterflies, birds, bats and more. Anyone!

The Outdoor Campus staff and volunteers are citizen scientists. We currently assist The University of Kansas’ Monarch Watch program and Cornell University’s Project Feeder Watch. Both are easy tasks and we love contributing to real science.

tagged monarchWe’ve been doing the Monarch Watch program for many years. Each fall, we help scientists by putting tiny sticker tags on the wings of migratory monarch butterflies. Citizen scientists in Mexico look for butterflies with the tags. If they find them, they report them to the University of Kansas. It’s easy to do monarch tagging. If you’re interested, send us an email this fall! Our email address is toc@state.sd.us.

cardinalProject Feeder Watch is fun for all ages as well. Our volunteers and staff simply watch birds at our feeders one to four hours a week and report the number of each species we see. Our lists usually includes goldfinches, mallards, downy woodpeckers, house finches and many others. This year we’ve contributed to Cornell’s research by documenting a lot of redpolls at our feeders. These birds usually don’t make it this far south.

We love being a part of scientific study – and you can, too!

(photos by Keith A. Anderson)

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