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Extension > Environment > FWCE > Citizen Science > Driven to Discover > People > Adult leaders

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Adult leaders

We worked with teachers and volunteer adult leaders in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Virginia to test the Driven to Discover concept and materials. Read/watch to learn what motivates a few of these amazing people.

Jessica MillerJessica Miller, Wisconsin

Hobbies:

Bird watching, hiking, yoga, gardening, traveling, reading, playing outside

What citizen science projects are you involved with and what do you do with them:

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project/Driven to Discover, Monarch Health (Oe testing), Monarch Tagging, Acoustic Bat Monitoring, Purple Loosestrife Watch, Midwest Crane Count, Frog and Toad Survey, Christmas Bird Count, Firefly Watch

Because of my involvement with so many different citizen science projects over the years, I have taught many informative public programs, at the nature center where I work, about those topics I've researched. I have also incorporated many a citizen science project into the curriculum that is taught to visiting school groups and summer day camp students.

When and how did you get involved with citizen science:

I started working at Mosquito Hill Nature Center in 1998 and one of my first duties was to rear monarchs for our seasonal butterfly house. A few years later, Dr. Karen Oberhauser and her then graduate student, Michelle Prysby, conducted a MLMP training session at our center, which I attended. From that day forward, I was hooked... not only on monarchs but also on conducting research on a small scale.

What have you learned while doing citizen science:

I have learned a great deal about our natural world and how everything is connected since I began doing citizen science. Conducting research allows me to gain an intimate understanding about things as small as mosquitoes and as large as white tailed deer. I have also learned how to slow down and observe things differently. I relish my time in the field, take in the sights, sounds and smells of an area, and use my data collection time as a way to recharge my internal battery!

What is your favorite part of being a citizen scientist:

There are so many things I love about being a citizen scientist, but learning is at the top of my list. Not only do I gain a broader knowledge base about so many different topics, from plants to animals to light pollution, but I am able to share that knowledge with others. The best part about collecting data, especially with kids, is seeing their reaction after they have made a personal connection with what we are researching. Watching a child, with a grin from ear to ear, place a tag on a migrating monarch's wing in September, is something I live for!

Audrey Robinson FavoritoAudrey Robinson Favorito, Minnesota

Hobbies:

Photography, video, reading, writing, nature walking, notebook and journal making, bread making

What citizen science projects are you involved with and what do you do with them:

MLMP—Adult leader for Linwood birds. We conducted a comparative investigation of pigeons in downtown Saint Paul.

When and how did you get involved with citizen science:

2012. I saw a listing on SEEK website and contacted Grant (Monarch Lab staff).

What have you learned while doing citizen science:

Observational skills. I have learned how to animate youth into authentic inquiry and expanded my skills in scientific processes. The whole world of citizen science has opened up to me!

What is your favorite part of being a citizen scientist:

Love to be outdoors. Feel good about the importance of belonging to a larger body of research. I enjoy the connection with youth and professional scientists.

Deborah MarcinskiDeborah (Deb) Marcinski, Ohio

Hobbies:

Knitting and crocheting, kayaking, hiking

What citizen science projects are you involved with and what do you do with them:

Tagging monarch butterflies (now University of Kansas), following Canada geese that were collared by various state wildlife groups, 15 years of Marsh Monitoring surveys through Bird Studies Canada, Project Monarch Health (University of Georgia), MLMP and D2D program and the NABA 4th of July butterfly count. I also have worked with our park staff on animal surveys to document the presence and numbers of bats, deer and coyotes.

When and how did you get involved with and what do you do with them:

Started 20 plus years ago tagging monarchs under the University of Toronto, then received training from Karen Oberhauser on the MLMP project ten or eleven years ago.

What have you learned while doing citizen science:

Being part of citizen science projects has caused me to focus more on specific organisms and enriched the programs I do for park visitors.

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