Glacier Park Continues Citizen Science Program

By Beacon Staff

The Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at Glacier National Park is continuing 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, pikas, loons and invasive plants in Glacier Park. The center targeted these species because of their sensitivity to changes in habitat, human disturbances and, in the case of invasive plants, their threat to native biodiversity, according to organizers. Participants are asked to attend a one-day training session before collecting data for a project.

Additional training sessions may be scheduled based on interest. Contact the Learning Center at 406-888-7986 for more information or to sign-up for training.

High Country Citizen Science

Observe mountain goats and pika behavior at selected sites to assist with population and distribution estimates. Both species are habitat and temperature sensitive and may be affected by climate change.

Training Dates: June 7, June 18, June 28 or July 3

Common Loon Citizen Science

Gather information on the distribution and reproduction of Common Loons to understand more about population trends and nesting success.

Training Date: June 12

Invasive Plant Citizen Science

Learn to identify five targeted invasive plants and use GPS units to mark their locations while hiking along trails in Glacier Park. Interested participants in our invasive plant mapping program can be trained in one of two ways:

— Complete online training session a

— Attend Annual Weed Blitz on Tuesday, July 23. Participants will assist Glacier National Park by pulling targeted weeds.

Since 2005, the Glacier National Park Citizen Science Program has utilized trained citizen scientists to collect baseline population data on species of interest in the park. Training provided to participants serves to inform them on threats to native plants and animals that may result from human disturbance, climate change and invasive species. The Citizen Science Program also helps create an informed group of visitors involved in active stewardship of Glacier Park.

Funding and support for the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center’s Citizen Science Program is provided by the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

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