Getting in On the Ground Floor of Citizen Science

NC Museum of Natural Sciences Blogs

Black swallowtail caterpillar  One of the benefits of having a field station associated with your natural history museum is having an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of some interesting research projects. We do a lot of citizen science at Prairie Ridge, and this summer we were selected as a pilot site for a new citizen science project looking at the insect food base for birds called Caterpillars Count. We’ve been testing protocols and collecting data for the project all summer, and it’s been a lot of fun. Let me take you behind the scenes of a citizen science project that’s in development!

Caterpillars Count is part of a research effort led by Dr. Allen Hurlbert, an ornithologist at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Hurlbert is interested in some big questions about birds, such as whether bird population sizes track the availability of insects and whether birds…

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