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University of Illinois Extension serving Bond, Clinton, Jefferson, Marion and Washington Counties
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Rt 50 East
Salem, IL 62881
925 E. Harris
Greenville, IL 62246
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Breese, IL 62230
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Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm
9623 Wall Street
Nashville, IL 62263
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm
Citizen Science Opportunities
- Audubon Christmas Bird Count
The data collected by CBC participants over the past century and more have become one of only two large pools of information informing ornithologists and conservation biologists how the birds of the Americas are faring over time.
BeeSpotter is a partnership between citizen-scientists and the professional science community designed to educate the public about pollinators by engaging them in a data collection effort of importance to the nation. It is a web-based portal at the University of Illinois for learning about honey bees and bumble bees and for contributing data to a nationwide effort to baseline information on population status of these insects.
- Butterflies and Moths of North America
Butterflies and Moths of North America is an ambitious effort to collect, store, and share species information and occurrence data. BAMONA aims to fill the needs of scientists and nature observers by bringing verified occurrence and life history data into one accessible location. Citizen scientists are invited to participate by submitting their photographs and observations.
- Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web site, the network's aim is to provide quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. Volunteers post their daily observations on the CoCoRaHS Web site. Observations are immediately available on maps and reports for the public to view. By providing high quality, accurate measurements, the observers are able to supplement existing networks and provide useful results to scientists, resource managers, decision makers and other users.
A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. In time these data will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and beyond.
- Frog Watch USA
FrogWatch USA is AZA’s flagship citizen science program that invites individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. For over ten years, volunteers have been trained to enter their FrogWatch USA information and ongoing analyses of these data have been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species.
- Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey
Many invasive species, like Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), are threatening the world's natural resources, but the abundance of invasive species can vary dramatically over space and time. Scientists still do not have a good understanding of why this is so. Through large-scale sampling, scientists can identify areas that differ in the intensity of invasion and try to understand why these differences exist. We can also compare this to variation in the native range. This may be crucial to researching new methods of control, but a large project like this could cost millions of dollars and years of work. Through the use of a simple, standardized protocol, volunteers can help to generate valuable scientific data. Participating in this research does not require specialized training.
- Hummingbirds at Home
As flowers bloom earlier because of warming temperatures, the impact on hummingbirds which rely on nectar could be severe. Hummingbirds at Home is a new citizen science initiative from Audubon that will help scientists understand how climate change, flowering patterns and feeding by people are impacting hummingbirds.
- Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network
The Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network engages citizen scientists in the process of collecting quantitative data on butterfly populations. Our goal is to provide data collected with a standardized protocol that allows land managers to evaluate long-term trends in a changing landscape. The Network also offers opportunities for fellowship, mentorship, and continuing education between citizen scientists and professional biologists.
- Monarch Butterfly Journey North
Citizen scientists track the monarch butterfly migration each fall and spring as the monarchs travel to and from Mexico. Report your own observations of migrating butterflies to real-time migration maps. Share data to help scientists understand how monarchs respond to climate and changing seasons. Explore monarch butterfly life cycle, ecology, habitat and conservation needs.
- Monarch Joint Venture
Partnering to conserve the monarch butterfly migration
- Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) is a citizen science project involving volunteers from across the United States and Canada in monarch research. It was developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota to collect long-term data on larval monarch populations and milkweed habitat. The overarching goal of the project is to better understand how and why monarch populations vary in time and space, with a focus on monarch distribution and abundance during the breeding season in North America. As an MLMP volunteer, your contributions will aid in conserving monarchs and their threatened migratory phenomenon, and advance our understanding of butterfly ecology in general.
- Monarch Net
Monarch butterflies are one of the world's most famous insects, and in North America there are many citizen science programs where volunteers collect information on various aspects of its life. The mission of monarchnet is to coordinate the integration of monitoring data from these programs and to make it available on this website, which serves as a resource for anyone who wants to know about monarch populations, i.e. government officials, researchers, members of the general public or NGOs. Since the partners represent the most important monitoring programs that collect data on monarchs, the collective data represent the most current and comprehensive information on the monarch biology.
- Native Buzz
Native Buzz is a Citizen Science project created by the University of Florida (U.F.) Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab. The goal is to learn more about the nesting preferences, diversity and distribution of native solitary bees and wasps, share the information gained and provide a forum for those interested in participating in the science and art of indigenous beekeeping (and wasp-keeping!). At U.F. Native Buzz, citizen scientists can keep track of their own native buzz nest site and see the results of other participant's nest sites.
- North American Bird Phenology Program
The North American Bird Phenology Program (BPP), part of the USA-National Phenology Network, was a network of volunteer observers who recorded information on first arrival dates, maximum abundance and departure dates of migratory birds across North America. Today these records are being scanned and placed on the Internet so the information can be curated and made publicly available. Become one of the many volunteers worldwide who transcribe these records on the BPP Web site and add them into a database for analysis. This will allow the migration records to become accessible to the public and to scientists for analysis.
- Project BudBurst
Every plant tells a story. Whether you have an afternoon or a whole season, you can make an important contribution to a better understanding of changing climates. We are a national network of people monitoring plants as the seasons change. Project BudBurst data is collected in a consistent manner across the country so that scientists can learn more about the responsiveness of plant species to changes in climate locally, regionally, and nationally.
- Project Monarch Health
Monarch Health is a citizen science project to track the prevalence of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE) in monarch butterflies. This parasite does not infect humans but can make butterflies sick: Monarchs infected with OE may be too weak to emerge properly from their chrysalises and can die at this stage. Or, infected monarchs can look completely normal but cannot fly as well or live as long as healthy monarchs. To check for OE in monarchs, citizen scientists can first obtain wild adult monarchs by either catching them or rearing caterpillars until they become adults. Second, citizen scientists can press a clear sticker against each monarchs' abdomen to collect any parasites. Monarchs are then released, totally unharmed. Finally, citizen scientists send samples to our lab at the University of Georgia, where we count OE parasites using a microscope. We share results with volunteers and later report these data online or in published scientific articles.
- The Great Sunflower Project
Researchers at San Francisco State University set up The Great Sunflower Project in 2008 to better understand the reason for and impact of declines in bee populations. The idea behind the project is to plant flowers, observe how many and how often bees visit those flowers, and then enter that information into a database on The Great Sunflower Project Web site. The project has since expanded so that citizen scientists can also plant Bee balm, Cosmos, Rosemary, Tickseed, and Purple coneflower for the purposes of this research.
- The Lost Ladybug Project
Across North America ladybug species composition is changing. Over the past twenty years native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time ladybugs from other parts of the world have greatly increased both their numbers and range. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low. We're asking you to join us in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare.