Volunteer opportunities abound to aid wild Wisconsin

National Citizen Science Day is April 16 and recruiting for Wisconsin efforts is underway

MADISON — Volunteers can count cranes, listen for frogs, whip-poor-wills and owls, search for freshwater mussels and rare plants, monitor monarchs and water quality and join in a host of other efforts underway to collect information about Wisconsin’s wildlife, plants and waters.

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Wisconsin citizen scientists have many ways to get involved monitoring the state’s natural resources.

April 16 marks the inaugural National Citizen Science Day and the Department of Natural Resources and other organizations are already busy recruiting volunteers to help gather information aimed at better understanding, protecting and managing Wisconsin’s natural resources.

“Wisconsin is a national leader in citizen science and there are volunteer opportunities for people of all interests and skill sets,” said Eva Lewandowski, who coordinates the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network for the Department of Natural Resources. “No matter what you like to do or know how to do, you can contribute to science and the management of our natural heritage in Wisconsin.”

Here are just a few of those volunteer opportunities:

  • The Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas is seeking volunteers to help document the abundance and location of Wisconsin birds. Survey a pre-determined block of land or report the breeding birds you see while you are out enjoying Wisconsin’s great outdoors.

To find more opportunities, visit the “Who’s Who” section of the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network website, a gateway page to find statewide DNR surveys to participate in and to get connected to more than 150 organizations involved in citizen-based monitoring.

DNR and organizations with monitoring programs formed the network in 2004 to improve their effectiveness by providing communications, resources and recognition.