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2009 Glacier National Park Citizen Science Program Announced

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Date: May 28, 2009
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406-888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406-888-7895

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park’s Citizen Science Program is seeking to engage members of the general public to assist biological research again this summer.

According to Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright, “While recreating in the park, citizen scientists can provide information about the status of invasive plants, mountain goats, pikas, Clark’s nutcrackers, and common loons in Glacier’s backcountry. The observational data citizen scientists gather will provide critical baseline information to assist current and future research.”

All interested members of the general public are welcome. Several one-day educational programs will be offered for each project during the month of June, where participants can learn about species identification, how to safely and ethically observe and what is important to note about each species. Participants will also learn about the local distribution and life history of each species and the management concerns within the park.

Glacier’s 2009 Citizen Science program includes three projects. Interested citizens may choose to attend an educational program for one, two or all three of these projects.

High Country Citizen Science -Monitoring mountain goats, pikas and Clark’s nutcrackers:

Citizen scientists observe mountain goats, pikas and Clark’s Nutcrackers in Glacier’s backcountry, while helping the park to understand the abundance and distribution of these sensitive species. Contact: e-mail us

Citizen Science - Mapping non-native invasive plants:

Citizen scientists learn to identify 5 targeted non-native species and how to map their locations while hiking on park trails. Contact: e-mail us

Citizen Science for common loons: Citizen scientists observe common loons on Glacier’s lakes, while helping the park to understand the reproductive success and distribution of these sensitive species. Contact: e-mail us

Citizen Science has become the mainstay of many organizations where data is needed but money and personnel are insufficient. Glacier’s Citizen Science program is organized by the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center, within the Division of Science and Resources Management. Funding for 2009 Citizen Science projects is provided by the Glacier National Park Fund and NPS Parks as Classrooms program. National Park Service Research Learning Centers are dedicated to assisting researchers and to bringing research information to park managers and to the public.

If anyone would like to be involved with park research, by documenting observations while hiking in Glacier National Park, please contact the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center. Call (406) 888-7986 for more information or for a schedule of educational programs.

For more information about Glacier National Park’s Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center go to: http://www.nps.gov/glac/naturescience/ccrlc.htm.


Editor’s Note: Additional information on Glacier’s 2009 Citizens Science projects is available by clicking here.

Did You Know?

Grizzly bears

Grizzly bears in the park have a wide variety of food sources, including glacier lily bulbs, insects, and berries. They may also make an early season meal of mountain goats that were swept down in avalanches over the winter.