Citizen Science Webinar Series

Join a team of scientists as they share their research each Thursday in April from noon to 1 pm. 
The webinars will cover the basic research projects, how to get involved, and how to become a Citizen Scientist.

Register on the Minnesota Master Naturalist website. Cost is $20 per webinar or $50 for the series, or attend live for free in room 19 Green Hall on the UMN St. Paul campus where you can meet the researchers.


April 5 - Getting started with phenology

Speakers: Rebecca Montgomery, Christopher Buyarski, and Stephan Carlson

Phenology is the study of seasonal changes in plants and animals that can be observed in one's own backyard or community. It is everything from breaking leaf buds and flowers, falling seeds and leaves and the return of birds in the spring. This webinar will focus on how to get started, what to observe, how to record and enter data into Nature’s Notebook and what we have learned in MN from historical data. Nature’s Notebook is part of the National Phenological Network that has over 1500 observers in MN alone and whose data is available for your use. Join us to learn "Phenology 101" and become a life-long phenologist.


April 12 - Wasp Watchers: Engaging citizen scientist volunteers in emerald ash borer biosurveillance

Speaker: Jen Schultz

The Wasp Watchers Program brings together citizen scientist volunteers and native, stingless, ground-nesting wasps called smoky winged beetle bandits (Cerceris fumipennis) for the purpose of finding emerald ash borer (EAB). These harmless beetle bandit wasps hunt for wood boring beetles (including EAB) in the trees and return to their underground nests with beetles to provide food for their offspring. Citizen scientists can intercept the foraging wasps using an aerial net and the beetle prey can be captured and identified to determine if EAB is present at that site. Volunteer and help with EAB detection!


April 19 - Be AVID about forest health! Assessing Vegetation Impacts from Deer (AVID)

Speakers: Johanna Desprez and Matt Russell

In this webinar we will discuss the impacts of deer populations on vegetation in Minnesota and current forest resources research being done at the University of Minnesota. Further, we will discuss the questions we have yet to answer and how citizen science can help with that.  We will introduce a citizen science project operated by the University of Minnesota Extension, discuss upcoming workshops, and explain how you can get involved monitoring the impacts of deer on vegetation and begin collecting data.


April 26 - Bee diversity and citizen science

Speaker: Britt Forsberg

Although bees have become a media darling, some of the information out there is misleading or may not be accurate in all situations.  In this one hour webinar led by Britt Forsberg, program coordinator for the Minnesota Bee Atlas, we will address some common misconceptions about bees, why they matter, and how participating in the Minnesota Bee Atlas can help scientists learn more about the estimated 400 bee species in Minnesota.

If you are able to attend the presentation in person, you are welcomed to stick around afterward to get a chance to look at preserved bee specimens and tour the Bee Atlas lab space, pending lab activity.