Would you like to learn more about plants, soils, beneficial insects, and hydrology in the park? Become a citizen scientist with the Foster Project! No experience necessary, just an (enthusiasm, eagerness, desire) to help collect data crucial to understanding ecological processes happening in our restored areas at CVNP!
Through the Spot the Ladybug! and Great CVNP Beetle Blitz! events researchers and citizen scientists will be able to log individual specimens on the mobile iNaturalist application under designated project names. Observations can then be viewed and identified by researchers and professionals as a way of ensuring data integrity. All data collected will be freely accessible and open source. Observation locations will provide researchers a way to physically map beetle community compositions, and by extension ecosystem functions , throughout the park. This will help researchers identify future potential restoration sites and make informed decisions about current restoration projects.
Join us for one of our volunteer planting days! Spot the Ladybeetle! The Tick Pick! Plants! Soils! Hydrology!
Potential with iNaturalist
iNaturalist is an online citizen science project and social platform for nature enthusiasts, citizen scientists, and scientists built on the concept of recording, mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. Above is a screen shot of all logged observations within the CVNP on iNaturalist (left) totaling 20,187. This is compared to the same map area of only logged observations tagged “beetles” (right), totaling 220. Among other unrecorded ecosystem attributes. This illustrates the largely untapped potential of citizen scientist involvement that can be used to unveil much more about the beetle communities for example and the services they provide throughout the park.