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Citizen Science Programs/Resources

Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning of Scientific Processes
This guide was developed to help K-12 teachers introduce their students to the methodologies used for scientific field research and guide them through the process of conducting field studies.

Goin’ With the Flow...Involving Students in Hands-onStream Improvement Projects
This handbook provides a framework to integrate environmental issues with specific subject areas, skills, and/or other formal education curriculum components. It includes a step-by-step procedure for setting up a project site with formal education components, as well as, various listings of resource persons and materials.

Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps
The Volunteer Mussel Corps is a chance to get wet and dirty poking (strategically) around in Iowa rivers and streams helping DNR biologists find, identify, and assess freshwater mussels. This information will help DNR scientists more quickly develop solid base-line data on mussel populations throughout Iowa.

Anyone 18+ years old willing to spend time with a DNR team looking for mussels in an Iowa river or stream is encouraged to join us. You don't need to be strong -- just be able to bend over or snorkel looking for mussels in the shallows, crawl along a shallow river bottom and feel for mussels, and submerge a little to reach a mussel.

This first step to getting involved is to attend an indoor training that covers mussel biology, identification, collection techniques, personal safety, and hands-on learning. For more information about training, please contact volunteer Linda Appelgate.

This volunteer water quality monitoring program includes training, a manual, and equipment for monitoring Iowa waters.

Iowa's Breeding Bird Atlas
This 5-year project will collect information on the current ranges of Iowa’s breeding birds. To be successful, this project will require many hours of volunteer help from birders statewide. Atlasing is a fun way to bird during summer and a great way to explore new areas.

This program provides workshops and resources to help students collect and analyze scientific field data, inspiring young scientists through class projects and field trips.

Project Learning Tree's GreenSchools! Program
The program provides a blueprint for educators, students, environmental and health advocates, school board members, parents, and interested community members to teach, learn, and engage together in creating a more green and healthy learning environment at their school. Through hands-on exercises and service-learning projects, students gain an increased awareness and understanding about environmental issues, the importance of sustainability in their own neighborhood, and their own role and responsibility to protect and improve their community and the environment. 

Taking ACTION: An Educator's Guide to Involving Students in Environmental Action Projects
Taking Action inspires ideas and provides models for conducting effective environmental projects. This guide helps educators plan, implement, and evaluate environmental action projects. Samples of more than 30 projects are included. Iowa educators can order single copies from the Aquatic Education Program.

Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program
The Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program (VWMP) is for enthusiastic and sharp-eyed, sharp-eared volunteers who have a passion for wildlife and its conservation. With more than 800 species in our state, the wildlife staff can't possibly keep track of all these critters in every corner of the state. We need volunteers that are willing and interested in collecting data on two important and sensitive groups of wildlife. To get started as a volunteer monitor, attend a training workshop.