Dragonfly Mercury Project

Do you want to be a part of science in national parks? Are you curious about insects, air pollution, or what lives underwater? If so, get involved in the Dragonfly Mercury Project!

The Dragonfly Mercury Project (DMP) is a nationwide study that works with citizen scientists and community volunteers to collect dragonfly larvae for mercury analysis. Mercury is a global pollutant that, in large amounts, can be toxic to humans and wildlife. The data from this field study help scientists and resource managers better understand and fight mercury contamination. Since 2009, over 6,000 volunteers have helped collect dragonfly larvae at more than 140 parks and other protected areas across the U.S. The DMP is now the nation's largest assessment of mercury contamination and environmental risk.

Join the effort!

Visit the pages below for more information:
Volunteers search a pond with nets.
Explore the Project

Read about the Dragonfly Mercury Project's background and goals.

Smokestack emitting smoke
Learn About Mercury

Find out why mercury is harmful.

dragonfly larvae and adult
Discover Dragonfly Larvae

Learn what dragonfly larvae can tell us about mercury pollution.

Volunteer fills out datasheet
Dive into Data

Dig deeper into dragonfly mercury data and results.

A table with GPS and dragonfly larvae ID keys.
Watch Videos & More

Check out more resources like videos, story maps, and articles.

A group of volunteers in a canoe smiles.
Get Involved

Contact us and learn how to join in the fun.

Logos left to right: Dragonfly Mercury Project, NPS, USGS, National Park Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Club, Dartmouth

Last updated: January 19, 2023