When citizens and scientists work together, scientists are able to share the importance of their work, while citizens have the opportunity to make an impact and contribute to projects they feel passionate about.

What is Citizen Science?

The growing field of citizen science, including volunteer monitoring, and other forms of organized research, engages members of the public in the process of scientific Investigations: asking questions, collecting data, and/or interpreting results. Citizen science Can enable research that would not be possible, or practical, otherwise.

Citizen science enables volunteer participants to make a direct contribution to research, increase their personal scientific understanding, and immerse themselves deeply in learning about the living world around them. These opportunities can provide personally transformative experiences, as well as an invaluable contribution to research.

Citizen science is an accessible and fun way for anyone to participate in the scientific process, and all participants in a project use the same protocol to ensure the collection of a large sample of high quality, open access data that can help scientists reach meaningful conclusions. In the past, collecting large samples of data for research was the most challenging task of any research initiative. Now, with public involvement and new technologies like mobile computing devices that allow participants to log data from anywhere, the sky’s the limit!


Who is a Citizen Scientist?

You may already be a citizen scientist! A citizen scientist is an individual who voluntarily contributes his or her time, effort, and resources toward scientific research. All you need to be a citizen scientist is an eagerness to learn and contribute to new scientific information, no formal science background is necessary!

Today, citizen scientists have many advocates in the scientific community and come from all walks of life, including thousands of non-traditional participants, kids, outdoor enthusiasts, educators, birders, and students who want a more hands-on experience outside the classroom. If you’re not yet a citizen scientist, check out our programs.


How can I get Involved?

The University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute and its partners run a selection of citizen science projects. Each year the Institute adds new projects to its repertoire; some are short single or multiple day events, like the Annual Wyoming Bioblitz, while others are ongoing projects like the Rocky Mountain Amphibian Project, Monarchs and Milkweeds, or our ever popular Bi-Annual Moose Day. You can contribute species observations, and look at citizen and professional data any time on our biodiversity data portal- WyoBio.

The Institute organizes citizen science programs with a wide range of levels of engagement and training, so we encourage you to check out our offerings and browse through other programs around the region on our Rocky Mountain Citizen Science website to see if there are projects that are right for you!

Biodiversity Institute Citizen-Scientist Participants





Rocky Mountain Citizen Science

Rocky Mountain Citizen Science was conceived by participants at the Wyoming Citizen Science Conference as a place where citizen science practitioners and participants could share their projects, experiences, ideas and passion for science.

The mission of Rocky Mountain Citizen Science is to bring together the practitioners of citizen science — scientists, program directors, funders, educators and volunteers — in the Rocky Mountain region, to promote public participation in scientific research through shared best practices, creative dialogue, and the promotion of good citizen science projects. 

Our vision is to create a community, and a society, where all citizens are empowered to use the tools of science to become advocates for themselves and the environment. 

Learn more, visit our website

Biodiversity institute
Citizen Science Programs

Our Winter and Summer Moose Days are an opportunity for community members to participate in the management and conservation of area moose populations, while enjoying our national forests at the same time!
Frogs, toads and salamanders are disappearing around the world - but you can help by tracking their whereabouts in the Rocky Mountain region! Adopt a catchment, visit the site to find which frogs, toads and salamanders you can find, and be part of the Rocky Mountain Amphibian Project!
The Biodiversity Institute, Audubon Rockies and The Nature Conservancy host an annual 24-hour Bioblitz event in which teams of scientists, teachers, volunteers, environmental educators, and community members join forces to find, identify, and learn about as many local plant, insect and animal species as possible.
The Monarchs and Milkweeds program is designed to work with you - citizen scientists across Wyoming - to gather observations of where, when and how many monarchs and milkweed plants you find in the state. Through this, we hope to gain a better understanding of where monarchs migrate through Wyoming, at what time of year, and in what densities. We also hope to learn where and which species of milkweeds exist in Wyoming. With your help, we all can learn more about these wonderful organisms!
Did you know... that Wyoming’s streams and lakes are home to seven kinds of native mussels? You may not have noticed them, and they are not the kind you can eat, but they are working hard behind the scenes to keep Wyoming’s waters clean!
Join other citizen scientists conducting spring surveys of the short-eared owl, in March through May, taking advantage of the unique courtship flight behavior of Short-eared Owls that makes them particularly visible during this time of year. Watch the short video clip below of this amazing and unique courtship behavior. Surveys are conducted once in early Spring and once in late Spring/ early Summer at dusk in appropriate habitat across eight Western states.