This project is partially funded. $71,000 is still needed to fund this project in full.
As the National Park Service begins its second century of service, it is a crucial time to engage students and visitors as fully as possible in science and conservation activities, to instill a sense of resource stewardship, and create a new generation of advocates and supporters of national parks. This connection is further strengthened when visitors learn about sensitive species conservation and have the opportunity to observe wildlife in the field for themselves, and contribute data that managers can use.
This project will foster science literacy and resource stewardship in youth and adults through engagement in citizen science inventory and monitoring. These dedicated volunteers provide reliable baseline data about important wildlife and plant species, and aid with early detection of ecosystem changes.
There will also be new opportunities to reach more high school and college students through a variety of youth-focused citizen science outings. These will not only include common loon and high country monitoring, but also focused BioBlitz events to engage youth and families in surveying species of interest including butterflies and mushrooms.
Citizen science has proven to be an effective tool for introducing youth to career opportunities in science and technology. As participants of all ages engage in hands-on field activities, they become knowledgeable advocates for resource conservation and begin a lifetime of love for their national parks.