Since 2005 the Glacier National Park Citizen Science Program has utilized trained volunteers to collect scientific information that would otherwise be unavailable to resource managers and researchers due to lack of personnel or funding. The program is coordinated by the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center (CCRLC).
For "citizen scientists," the rewards are a sense of stewardship and a greater awareness and understanding of the park's resource issues. For the park, it provides a wealth of data that is used to increase understanding of our natural resources, offering an opportunity to get much-needed baseline information about key plant and animal species.
Days and time commitments vary depending on season, project, and special circumstances. Most work is in the field and requires the volunteer to be in good physical condition and provide their own transportation, backpack, appropriate footwear, and clothing for a variety of weather conditions.
There are a variety of projects that fall under the Citizen Science program. They include:
Common Loon Monitoring Volunteers perform extensive surveys of Glacier National Park's lakes to document presence of Common Loons and observations of breeding and nesting behaviors.
High Country This program involves back-country surveys to collect data on the number, distribution, and habitat use of three species, mountain goats, big horn sheep, and pikas, in Glacier National Park.
Invasive Plants Our Annual Weed Blitz educates citizens on five invasive plants prevalent in the park, and then we go out and pull weed for the afternoon.
**All Citizen Scientists must attend mandatory one day trainings prior to their first trip into the field to do observations.