What is Citizen Science?
Citizen Science is crowed-sourced science, where nonprofessional scientists help researchers collect a large amount of data leading to better understanding of things like migration patterns, population trends, and seasonal effects. Citizen scientists are vital to scientific discovery and citizen engagement.
Monarch Citizen Science Projects:
Monarch Watch - Citizen scientists use specialized stickers to tag Monarchs which lead to more information on migratory patterns. Each year thousands of tags are issued and a small percent are recovered in Mexico!
Journey North - Citizen scientists report first sightings of multiple organisms, including adult Monarchs, eggs, and milkweed. This information is compiled in a live migration map and linked with seasonal phenomena to better understand migration patterns. Scientists have used the data collected to understand speed of migration, stopover sites, flyways, mortality from storm events, and recolonization speeds.
Monarch Larva Monitoring - Citizen scientists collect data on monarch egg and larvae, leading to a better understanding of Monarch breeding throughout North America.
Project MonarchHealth - Citizen scientists swab the abdomens of wild Monarchs to test the butterflies for the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha to enhance the awareness of biology and impacts of Monarch parasites.
AND MORE - Monarch Joint Venture has compiled a full list of Monarch and other butterfly citizen science projects.
Schools participating in citizen science projects engage students in authentic research and help demonstrate the importance of protocols, observations, collaboration, note taking, the scientific method, and conservation.