Citizen science involves professional scientists and everyday people engaged in activities such as biological inventories, long-term monitoring, and scientific research. The goals of citizen science projects are to generate meaningful, useful data that contributes to scientific understanding of a species. That understanding can then be applied to managing species and resources at the park level.
One of the most important components of citizen science is it allows everyday people the chance to gain in-depth knowledge about species found in the park and the issues or threats facing Waterton.
Below is a list of various citizen science projects that volunteers can get involved in.
Weed and Wildlife Watchers
June to September
If you like exploring the outdoors, love wildlife, learning new technology, and would like to contribute to science and monitoring in your national parks, this is an awesome opportunity for you. Weed and Wildlife Watchers links recreation to conservation by having volunteers record non-native plant infestations and wildlife sightings using hand-held GPS units or Smart devices (phones or tablets) while hiking along trails.
Weed and Wildlife Watchers help the park detect non-native plant species that are known to the area, but may not be noted in Waterton. Early detection is vital to limiting the spread of non-native plants. While looking for non-native plants in backcountry areas, you may also see some amazing wildlife. We want to know what you’re seeing out there. Fill out a wildlife observation form and record sightings of key wildlife species. Weed and Wildlife Watchers is perfect for those who are interested in learning scientific monitoring techniques and skills, have a keen eye for detail, and who enjoy hiking in spectacular mountain scenery. Training will be provided and your participation will provide vital information to Parks Canada.
If you’re interested in participating or would like more information, email Becky Mitchell-Skinner or phone 403-859-5107.
Spring Plant Count
Saturday May 25
Annually, on the last weekend of May, the Federation of Alberta Naturalists organizes a spring plant count. Scientist Emeritus Peter Achuff leads of group of interested volunteers counting the number of plant species flowering in the park. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the park while looking for and learning some of Waterton’s fantastic plants from an experienced botanist. Your sightings contribute to tracking climate-driven changes in the number of plants flowering in the park as part of an Alberta-wide snapshot.
Please meet at the Visitor Centre parking lot at 8.30am Saturday May 25.
If you are interested in participating or would like more information, email Peter Achuff or phone (403)-859-5185.
Spring Bird Count
Date to be determined
In support of a province-wide program of the Federation of Alberta Naturalists, Waterton Lakes National Park staff contribute to a count of birds in the park during the first weekend of June each year. Previous birding experience is helpful but not necessary. Binoculars are also helpful.
If you’re interested in participating or would like more information, email Becky Mitchell-Skinner or phone (403)-859-5107.
Date to be determined
We need your help to learn more about our beautiful winged friends. Join butterfly experts to help catch, identify and count Waterton’s butterflies. You will discover different areas of the park as we search for butterflies. This is a great opportunity for families, young, old and everybody in between!
No experience necessary, just a willingness to learn. Please bring water, a lunch and any nets or field guides you may have. This annual count helps Waterton keep track of over 40 species of common and rare butterflies found in the park.
If you are interested in participating or would like more information, email Becky Mitchell-Skinner or phone (403)-859-5107.