Citizen science is a term used for projects in which individual volunteers or networks of volunteers, many of whom may have no previous scientific training, perform research-related tasks such as observation, measurement or computation.
The use of citizen-science networks allows scientists to accomplish research objectives that might not otherwise be possible. In addition, these projects promote public engagement with the research, as well as with science in general.
Woodland Dunes is involved in a number of citizen science projects. These projects are great learning opportunities for individuals and families alike.
Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a statewide program for Wisconsin citizens who want to learn about and improve the quality of Wisconsin’s streams and rivers. Woodland Dunes coordinates this effort on parts of the East and West Twin Rivers that flow through Kewaunee and Manitowoc Counties. Monitoring involves monthly trips (April-November) to a designated location along the river where a variety of tests are performed and recorded. Woodland Dunes will provide you with all the equipment and instruction needed to participate in this program. Your data is becomes part of a statewide database.
Woodland Dunes helps to coordinate a statewide salamander survey for Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties. Volunteers set and check (live) traps one to two weeks a year in early spring and record findings which are then submitted to the statewide director. Woodland Dunes will provide the traps, data sheets and advice on where to monitor.
The Annual Midwest Crane Count is a tradition dating back to 1976. It is one of the largest citizen-based inventories in the world. One of the primary purposes of the Crane Count is to allow the International Crane Foundation to monitor the abundance and distribution of cranes in the Upper-Midwest. In the 1930s, an estimated 25 pairs of Sandhill Cranes resided in Wisconsin. The year the 2000 count tallied more than 13,000 Sandhill Cranes.
The count takes place on a specified day in April between 5:30-7:30 a.m. Each year, the Count involves over 3,000 volunteer participants spread over 100 counties in five states. If you are interested in getting involved contact Woodland Dunes.
Each year Woodland Dunes coordinates four winter bird counts in Manitowoc County on two weekends in December and January. The results are compiled and submitted to the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology which tracks and publishes Christmas count results for Wisconsin counties.
Help to monitor the spread of invasive plant and animal species in our area, and control them in the Woodland Dunes Preserve and beyond.
With the threat of white-nose syndrome, it is important to track and understand bats. You can help us learn more about Wisconsin bat populations. Contact Woodland Dunes to find out how to get involved.