The Leelanau Conservancy’s Invasive Observers is a new volunteer Citizen Science program that will be essential for continued maintenance in the Natural Areas and Preserves. Long-term invasive species monitoring is important for keeping track of species locations and determining management priorities. The Leelanau Conservancy staff has collected detailed invasive species data including location, species, and density over the past 5+ years. The Citizen Science volunteers will report on the presence and absence of species in the Natural Areas and monitor previously treated populations, survey for the spread of high priority species into un-infested areas, and help track the changes over time. The Leelanau Conservancy will provide training on species identification and data collection. Monitoring can be done individually or we can pair volunteers up to work together!
Why Become a Citizen Scientist with the Invasive Observers Volunteer Monitoring Program?
It is a great opportunity for people who love spending time outdoors and in the Natural Areas, and are comfortable hiking off trail. Volunteers will enjoy a walk in the woods and learn a new skill, while also performing an essential part of managing habitat in Leelanau County. The data collected will ensure management decisions are highly informed and treatment of unwanted and harmful species can be focused on areas where there is the greatest opportunity for success.
Responsibilities of a Citizen Science Volunteer
- Participate in an orientation and training session provided by Conservancy staff.
- Learn to identify target invasive plant species, use basic GPS data collection techniques, and follow data collection procedures.
- Monitor for targeted invasive plant species on Conservancy Natural Areas and Preserves. Conservancy staff will work with individuals to come up with a flexible plan for the volunteer.
The Leelanau Conservancy is looking forward to a partnership with future volunteers for the program and appreciates the commitment the community shows for high quality habitat!
If you would like to join this important network please email [email protected].