from NPS Glacier National Park
The Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at Glacier National Park will continue its Citizen Science Program this summer, offering free research and learning opportunities for the public.
The program trains individuals to identify, observe, and record information on mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pikas, aquatic insects, loons, and invasive plants in Glacier National Park. These species have been targeted because of their sensitivity to changes in habitat, human disturbances and, in the case of invasive plants, their threat to native biodiversity. Participants are asked to attend a one-day training session before collecting data for a project.
Common Loon Citizen Science
Gather information on the distribution and reproduction of common loons to understand more about population trends and nesting success. Glacier National Park is home to about 20% of Montana’s breeding Common Loons. Monitoring takes place May through September. Training Date: May 22, June 18, June 26, or July 9
High Country Citizen Science
Observe mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pikas, and aquatic insects at selected sites to assist with population and distribution estimates. These species are habitat and temperature sensitive and may be affected by climate change. Monitoring takes place June through October. Training Dates: June 12, June 19, or July 2
Invasive Plant Citizen Science
Learn to identify five targeted invasive plants and use GPS units to map their locations while hiking along trails in Glacier National Park. Monitoring takes place June through September. Interested invasive plant citizen science participants can be trained in one of two ways:
1. Complete online training session at http://www.crownscience.org/getinvolved/citizen-science/noxious-weeds.
2. Attend annual weed blitz on Tuesday, July 21. Participants will assist Glacier National Park by pulling targeted weeds.
Additional training sessions for any of the programs may be scheduled based on interest.
Since 2005, the Glacier National Park Citizen Science Program has utilized trained citizen scientists to collect baseline population data on species of interest within the park. Training is provided to participants to inform them of threats to native plants and wildlife that may result from human disturbance, climate change, and invasive species. Perhaps most importantly, the Citizen Science Program helps create an informed group of visitors involved in active stewardship of Glacier National Park.
Please contact the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at 406-888-7986 to register for training or for more information, or visit http://www.crownscience.org/getinvolved/citizen-science.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the park while providing a valued service. Since our parks our underfunded, help is always needed, and this program gives people a chance to get involved, get hands-on experience and get the summer of a lifetime.
Campbell is a former Many Glacier Hotel bellman.