Citizen Science

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Citizen Science at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

Schlitz Audubon has more than 40 years of experience in engaging our members, neighbors, and organizations in what is called Citizen Science. Citizen Scientists help catalog data about the land, as well as the plants and animals who call it home throughout the year or during migration. This can provide information about the health of flora and fauna, and which species may require more in-depth exploration or conservation. At Schlitz Audubon this vital data about birds, plants, amphibians, trees, and other species actively informs our land management staff’s restoration efforts. The Center leads or assists in obtaining and cataloging data both on our property and at off-site locations. Contact Corinne Palmer with questions, for more information, or with ideas you have about monitoring species. 

View our 2017 Schlitz Audubon Citizen Science Summary.

 

Upcoming Citizen Science Opportunities

Plants

Citizen Science: Plant Survey
Saturday, April 7 | 10:00am – 11:30am
Whether your interest in plants is just budding or in full bloom – we’d like to get you involved in surveying our plants at Schlitz Audubon. Join us at this orientation and then you can begin your search for spring gems, summer treasures, or autumn gold!
Registration is required.
Free with membership or admission.

 

Reptiles and Amphibians

Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey
Tuesday, April 17 | 7:00pm (Rain Date Thursday, April 19)
Tuesday, May 22 | 8:00pm (Rain Date Wednesday, May 23)
Monday, July 9 | 8:15pm (Rain Date Wednesday, July 11)

Join us at sunset and participants will carpool to ten frog and toad roadside listening stations in northern Milwaukee County. Learn how to identify Wisconsin’s frog and toad species by call. Surveys take about 3-4 hours. This data will help the DNR monitor the health of amphibian populations throughout the state.
Registration is required. 
Free with membership or admission. 

FrogWatch USA Monitoring Session
Tuesday, May 1 | 7:30pm – 8:30pm
FrogWatch USA is a citizen science project that invites participants to learn about local wetlands and identify frogs and toads by their calls. We will visit one of our ponds at sunset to listen for calls. You don’t need to be an amphibian expert to participate – all you need is an interest in frogs and toads and a desire to learn. Youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Rain date is Wednesday, May 2.
Registration is required.
Free with membership or admission.

 

Mammals

Citizen Science Bat Monitoring
Tuesday, June 5 | 8:15pm – 10:00pm
Thursday, June 14 | 8:30pm-10:00pm
Tuesday, June 19 | 8:30pm-10:00pm
Thursday, June 28 | 8:30pm-10:00pm

Bat populations are in decline, but you can help us to gather information for the DNR by participating in acoustic surveys. We will walk in a group searching for bats while using specialized equipment. If rain is in the forecast, we will perform surveys on Wednesday instead. Youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Registration is required.
Free with membership or admission.

 

Birds

Mark the Schlitz Audubon Chart
All Seasons | Ongoing
This data is the backbone of our historic bird records, which began in 1974. Learn about how we use the data and enter it into eBird. 

Insects

Citizen Science: Fireflies, Nature’s Silent Fireworks
Tuesday, May 29 | 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Join us as we delve into the mysterious world of these luminescent beetles. Learn interesting firefly facts and fiction, discover more about our firefly populations, and the environmental factors affecting firefly habitats. Then, participate in Firefly Watch, an important citizen science project you can complete at Schlitz Audubon, or in your own backyard.
Registration is required.
Free with membership or admission.

Citizen Science: Butterfly Count
Saturday, June 23 | 9:00am – 12:00pm *
Saturday, June 23 | 12:30pm – 4:00pm *

Put on your hiking boots and hit the trails with one of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center’s naturalists as we spend the day hiking to find and identify butterflies for the North American Butterfly Association Butterfly Count project. A morning and afternoon session are being offered for those who can’t be out with us the whole day. Please bring a portable lunch if staying for both sessions. A $3 donation to the North American Butterfly Association is recommended. * Rain Date: Saturday, July 1.
Registration is required. 
Free with membership or admission

 

Citizen Science Efforts at the Center

Birds
Plants
Amphibians, Reptiles, and Fish
Insects and Their Relatives
Water
Mammals

 

Wisconsin’s Citizen Science Legacy

Wisconsin has a rich history of scientific research and collaboration with the citizen population. Before moving out west and starting the Sierra Club, John Muir grew up in Marquette County about 2 hours northwest of Schlitz Audubon. Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, a year-long journal of seasonal observations at his homestead near Baraboo, continues to inform new generations of environmentalists. John Curtis’ Prairie at the UW-Madison Arboretum is the world’s oldest restored prairie and continues to be maintained by students and volunteers. Wisconsin serves as the junction point between forest and grassland biomes, and can provide vital indicators about the health of both habitats.

 

2016 BioBlitz

Schlitz Audubon participated in a BioBlitz at Grant Park on Saturday, June 11. View the results through Milwaukee Public Museum.

 

2015 BioBlitz

In August 2015, Milwaukee Public Museum led a 24-hour BioBlitz of our property. Many citizen volunteers were guided by scientists to discover what lived on our property at this point in time.We found more than 700 species on the property and the results can be found here.