Community Science engages non-scientists in collaborations with professional scientists in order to carry out research. Naturalists, with or without a scientific background, can help with data collection that will contribute to the projects of scientists. Community Science is emerging as a vitally important resource for worldwide data collection.
Here at the Cibolo, Community Science is used to track environmental changes. Individuals from all walks of life get involved; counting birds, butterflies, snakes, frogs, surveying vegetation, assessing water quality and many other endeavors. The Cibolo Center for Conservation uses observations made by community scientists to monitor the wildlife community of the centers two campuses and inform land management. The data collected during these surveys is also made available to researchers through online databases that serve a worldwide audience.
Some of the surveys require participants to attend a training workshop while others are learned in the field. Once in the field, team leaders bring new community scientists up to speed, providing instruction and guidance of how to conduct surveys and record information throughout each survey.
Since its inception, community science data has proved to be very valuable to human knowledge about wildlife and the environment. Many wildlife populations are spread across entire continents and migrate over massive distances that are impossible for researchers to effectively survey. This is why ecologists and wildlife researchers have turned to community science as a reliable source of information about these populations.
Our Community Science Research projects include:
- Bird Nest Box Monitoring
- Incidental Bird Count
- Breeding Bird Point Count
- Winter Prairie Bird Survey
- Heron Rookery Monitoring
- Water Fowl Survey
- Butterfly Survey
- Monarch Larval Monitoring Program
- Water Quality Monitoring
- Surveys conducted during Wildlife Field Research