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Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Goals and Roles.

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Presentation on theme: "Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Goals and Roles."— Presentation transcript:

1 Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Goals and Roles

2 “A Cooperative Effort to Generate and Share Ecological Knowledge” Citizen Science Citizen Science: involves the public in organized scientific research is often used in conservation, applied ecology and natural resource management is an important tool in basic ecological research

3 Examples of Citizen Science Projects NWS Cooperative Observing Program includes 11,500 volunteer observation stations National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s FeederWatch, House Finch Disease Survey, etc.

4 Monarch Citizen Science Insect Migration Association (1952) Fourth of July Butterfly Count (1970’s) Monarch Watch Journey North MLMP Monarchs in the Classroom Texas Monarch Watch California Monarch Alert Migratory Pollinators Project

5 Why Monarchs? Scientific reasons  Migration and annual variability in pathways and strategies  Broad geographic distribution Practical reasons  Ease of observation and identification  Amenability to experimental research  Public recognition and iconic status

6 Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Network of volunteers tracking immature monarch abundances in the US and Canada Began in 1994 with UM lab group Citizen involvement in 1997 Differs from most other Citizen Science projects in amount of time required and basic research focus

7 Outreach/Dissemination Goal #1 Understand local ecosystems and basic ecological principles Understand the scientific process Understand policy and conservation applications of ecological data Increased scientific literacy

8 Outreach/Dissemination Goal #2 Exhibit for participating nature centers Website Annual newsletter conveying project findings, background information, links to other projects, etc. Dissemination to participants and community

9 Outreach/Dissemination Goal #3 MLMP and extended research Education for non-volunteer audience: data utilization, project findings Research/science education program for nature centers

10 Outreach/Dissemination Goal #4 K-12 Involvement Participation in MLMP via school/teacher Via ISE (visits to nature centers, summer involvement) Data/curriculum utilization Link formal education community, ISE and scientists

11 Project Activities Goal #1 Provide baseline data on monarch population biology for educators, scientists, policy makers, and the public Basic distribution and abundance data Temporal and spatial comparisons Importance of various monarch habitats Effects of environmental perturbations Population dynamics (e.g. predation, timing of mortality)

12 Project Activities Goal #2 Provide trainer and volunteer support Encourage and facilitate communication Retain volunteers Disseminate findings Make data collection and entry easy and meaningful  On-line tutorial  Data sheets and directions  Assuring quality data

13 University of Minnesota Training, Resources, Protocol  Provide training materials  Provide hands-on practice with monitoring and larva ID  Directions for training and recruiting  Develop protocol Project communication and support  Newsletter, website, networking (naturalists and volunteers)  Nature center and site displays  Online support and field questions Data analysis and dissemination Evaluation

14 Nature Centers Conduct monitoring workshops  Registration, recruitment, logistics, materials  Provide training for a variety of volunteer types  Help volunteers develop implementation plans Facilitate on-site monitoring  Set up schedule, maintain data  Oversee data input Follow-up and support: maintain excitement and involvement Education  Display  Incorporation into other program activities

15 Volunteers Conduct weekly monitoring  Per plant monarch density  Site description, milkweed density  Optional weather, plant condition and parasitism data Data input  Online data forms  Data validation Education  For children, students, community, etc.

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