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Citizen scientists are community volunteers who help Schlitz Audubon staff by collecting vital population data about birds, bats, amphibians, herbaceous plants, trees, and other species on the property. Citizen science volunteers gather baseline population data so those numbers can be compared with year-to-year data to better ascertain our effectiveness as stewards of this land. By understanding the health of populations on our land, we can better work to create floral habitat for native and migratory populations. We strive to support the greatest number of native and migratory animals at our unique location, which offers a wide variety of habitats including wetlands, forests, ravines, prairies, and Lake Michigan shoreline.
Learn how you can get involved by viewing our list of 2024 citizen science projects.
What Citizen Scientists Do
Citizen Scientists gather data about flora and fauna and the health of the land. The longest-term citizen science project has been undertaken by our birders, who enter their observations on the Bird Chart in the Great Hall. Other citizen science projects involve observing populations in our ponds, such as amphibians, macroinvertebrates, reptiles, and invasive species. There are also projects that involve bats, insects, butterflies and moths. Some Citizen Science efforts are for plant and tree lovers and involve native plants and trees and how they are affected by invasive plants.
With this information, we can then determine where we should plant certain flowers, place specific types of trees, improve or install wetland ponds, and make other small and large-scale changes on the land to optimize it for wildlife. Additionally, beyond the scope of our 185 acres, we share data with regional and national organizations, such as the Wisconsin DNR, eBird, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and Monarch Watch to name a few. Through sharing information, other science organizations can understand the regional or national trends of plant and animal populations, and can then inform the public about large-scale population trends.
Get Involved with Our Citizen Science Programs
Volunteers are taught how to observe and gather specific data, how to use specialized equipment, and how to input information so it can be used by conservation staff. Visit our Calendar to see upcoming Citizen Science programs, or visit our 2024 citizen science projects page to learn about ongoing efforts. Educational programs are offered seasonally and are based upon when population data can be gathered. Surveying may take place during the day or in the evening, depending upon the data being recorded.
For more information, contact our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com.