If you're thinking of a career in science, or simply want to help out the staff at Glacier National Park, check out the "citizen science" opportunities at the park this summer.
Offered through the the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at Glacier, the programs offer 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 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. Projects and training dates are listed below. Additional training sessions may be scheduled based on interest. Please 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 National Park. Interested participants in our invasive plant mapping program can be trained in one of two ways:
1. Complete online training session ahttp://www.nps.gov/glac/naturescience/ccrlc-citizen-science_weeds.htm.
2. 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. Perhaps most importantly, the Citizen Science Program helps create an informed group of visitors involved in active stewardship of Glacier National 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. For more information on the Citizen Science Program, contact 406-888-7986 or Glac_Citizen_Science@nps.gov, or visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/naturescience/ccrlc-citizen-science.htm.