The grant from the Unilever United States Foundation, Inc., will help bring teachers and students into Glacier to participate in a Citizen Science program there.
The Citizen Science program in Glacier has been extremely successful, attracting more than 400 different participants to collect data for the park on common loons, pikas, mountain goats and weeds, according to a release from the foundation.
These citizen scientists have logged thousands of hours in the field each summer, collecting far more data than can be gathered by park staff alone.
Jami Belt, the national park's Citizen Science coordinator, has recently completed a master’s thesis evaluating the quality of the citizen science data. The results indicate that there is no statistical difference between the population estimates from the citizen scientists’ data versus the biologists’ data, the release said. The data collected by the citizen scientists has been highly valuable to the park in planning further research and management of the species of concern. This grant from Unilever will help expand this successful program to students and teachers, according to foundation officials.
“We are grateful for Unilever’s generous support of this engaging and effective program within Glacier National Park," said Jane Ratzlaff, the foundation's executive director. "Engaging students and teachers in projects within the park is extremely important in preserving the park for future generations. These students will become the next generation of stewards who will help preserve and protect this national treasure. It has been very exciting to watch this program take root and become an integral component of research within Glacier National Park. We are so fortunate to have support from businesses like Unilever to help continue this valuable program.”
The Glacier National Park Fund is the non-profit fund raising partner for Glacier National Park. The Fund’s mission is to support the preservation and protection of the natural beauty and heritage of Glacier National Park for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.