Citizen Science Projects

If you are interested in volunteering but unsure what for, contact our Volunteer Coordinator Dianne Pachal.

Want to be notified of volunteer events and updates? Fill out the form, submit it to us and we will add you to our volunteer email list.

What is Citizen Science?

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.

Spring Flowering Count
Saturday May 24 
Balsamroot plants in Waterton Spring Flowering Count
© Parks Canada

Annually, on the last weekend of May, Nature Alberta 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.

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 Nature Alberta's province-wide program, 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 Dianne Pachal or phone (403)-859-5107.

Butterfly Count

Date to be determined

A young volunteer tries to catch Waterton’s butterflies Butterfly Count
© Parks Canada

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 Dianne Pachal or phone (403)-859-5107.

Christmas Bird Count

Weekend, mid-December

You'll be surprised at how many different birds can be seen in the start of a Waterton winter; from 12 different species if the weather is really bad on to 38 or more in better weather. Oh, and it's just not birds, we also list the mammals and the tracks that we see. Ninety-two different bird species have been recorded here in winter. So there's always the allure of the rare one or two that no other Alberta location gets on their count! Like the spring bird count, this event is organised by Nature Alberta in cooperation with the park.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, email Dianne Pachal or phone (403)-859-5107.