Science Education and Outreach

Biodiversity Discovery

Parks protect an amazing array of living organisms. In fact, scientist regularly discover new species living in parks. Citizen scientist assist with “Biodiversity Discovery” in parks across the country. Scientists and volunteers work together in BioBlitzes to compile “snapshots” of living creatures in parks.
Volunteers conducting sampling in a stream
Volunteers conducting sampling in a stream.


Citizen Scientists

Heartland Network scientists look for opportunities to engage volunteers to assist with vital signs monitoring. Doing so not only provides useful data, it highlights the role of science in managing National Park Service units. Volunteers often develop close connections to park resources and serve as local park advocates.
Network staff and park staff initiated a volunteer bird monitoring effort in 2008 to complement the Heartland Network monitoring that occurs once in a four-year cycle. Park managers recruit amateur ornithologists who undergo training provided by the network. Citizen scientists use a special protocol developed by network staff to ensure compatibility of data from the volunteer efforts with that collected by the network scientists. Together, citizen scientists and network staff perform quality assurance and quality control procedures.

Last updated: January 10, 2018