Outdoors

Public Invited to Participate in Wildlife, Plant Research in Glacier Park

Summer programs offer free research and learning opportunities for the public

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.

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. The program also helps create an informed group of visitors involved in active stewardship of Glacier National Park.

Contact the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at 406-888-7986 to register for training or for more information, or visit online.

Funding and support for the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center’s Citizen Science Program is provided by the Glacier National Park Conservancy. The Conservancy, a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is the official non-profit fundraising partner of Glacier National Park. Visit http://glacierconservancy.org/ for more information.

2015 Programs

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

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 percent of Montana’s breeding Common Loons. Monitoring takes place May through September.

Training Date: May 22, June 18, June 26, or July 9

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.

2. Attend annual weed blitz on Tuesday, July 21. Participants will assist Glacier National Park by pulling targeted weeds.

 

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