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Citizen Science
Citizen Science
​​​​​​​​​​​Ospreys over a nest with a fish at Elkhead Reservior State Park.

Citizen scientists help CPW manage Colorado's resources by regularly traveling to state parks and state wildlife areas to observe wildlife and habitat, and by keeping detailed records of their findings​.

  • Requirements: Detail-oriented individuals who enjoy watching wildlife and being outside will enjoy citizen science volunteer work. Reliable transportation is needed. Some training required.
  • Time commitment: This can differ from project to project, but each project has a regular schedule. For example, bluebird nest monitoring is usually once a week, but raptor monitoring is every two weeks. Time taken to drive to a site, record data, and enter data online are seen as volunteer hours.​
  • Best time of year: Some opportunities are available year-round, but the busiest time of year is between spring and fall.
  • Good for groups? Sometimes this program will have projects that require volunteers to go out and record data in groups. However, most of the time this isn’t a good program for large groups of people as they can disturb the wildlife they're trying to observe and skew the data.
  • Good for one-time volunteering? No, this program requires training and consistency in order to produce good data.

Find a citizen science volunteer opportunity in your area.​​​​

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Volunteers Dick and Joyce check bird boxes.Volunteer Highlight

"Dick and Joyce are two dedicated volunteers who have taken on the bluebird trail at Steamboat Lake. They monitor the nesting attempts and successes for our 14 boxes. Last year, we had 60 young tree swallows and mountain bluebirds fledge from the boxes. Dick and Joyce go out at least once a week to monitor the nesting activity in the boxes, and they clean the boxes while providing maintenance at the end of the season. They also enter the nesting data into NestWatch, a nationwide monitoring program and citizen science network that is provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "​

- Julie, Park Manager at Steamboat Lake State Park

Read more about what our volunteers are currently up to on the CPW volunteer newsletter.

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