Citizen Science

Part of the citizen science team poses on Sauk Mountain.

NPS/Karlie Roland

Part of the citizen science team poses on Sauk Mountain.

NPS/Karlie Roland


Cascades Butterfly Project

Climate change is expected to affect mountain systems in many ways. Scientists predict that warmer summers may result in earlier snowmelt, more frequent forest fires, and changes in distributions of plants and animals. Six protected areas in the Cascade Range have established a two-part program to monitor butterflies due to their sensitivity of their life cycles and distribution to temperature changes.


How You Can Help

We are looking for volunteers for both parts of the Cascade Butterfly Project:

Have a camera? A map or GPS? Like to hike?

  1. When you are hiking and can get a detailed photo of a butterfly, snap it, and mark your location on a map or record the GPS coordinates (your camera or camera phone may do this).
  2. At home, upload the photo to the Butterflies and Moths of North America Project (BAMONA) and mark the location of the photo on the map.
  3. Butterfly experts will verify your identification or identify the butterfly for you. In a couple of weeks, you will be able to see your photo and observation on the website!

Butterfly Transects
If you are interested in learning butterfly identification in the field and learn scientific protocol, this is the project for you.

Next session:
Volunteer training will take place on Sunday, July 14th at the Park and Forest Information Center in Sedro-Woolley from 10am to 4 pm. After a butterfly identification slideshow, there will be in-the-field training at Sauk Mountain. Those who are interested to attend can sign up by e-mailing North Cascades Institute Science Coordinator Jeff Anderson at

Volunteers are encouraged to stay connected through the Cascade's Butterfly Project Yahoo group, found at:

Did You Know?