Citizen Science Programs/Resources

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.

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. 

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.