Get Involved with Monarch Monitoring

Do you like looking for or watching butterflies? Do you ever see adults or caterpillars in your yard or at your school? Do you want to contribute to a scientific effort that will ultimately help the monarch butterflies? Consider joining one of our partnering citizen-science programs and be part of our network!

What is citizen-science? Citizen science projects offer the opportunity for professional scientists to expand the scope of their research, while engaging average citizens in real-world research and data collection.

According to Oberhauser and Prisby, 'Citizen science projects involve people who are not professional scientists in scientific research. Most projects involve professional scientists at some level (e.g., training, designing protocols, analyzing and publishing data). Ideally, they result in data that advance scientific understanding and can be applied to real-world problems.'

How You Can Help

Consider joining one or several of the partnering programs that are listed in the Monitoring Programs page. There you will find a large number of 'citizen-science' projects to choose from - there are projects that involve watching for spring migrants, looking for eggs and caterpillars in the summer months, watching for roosting or migrating monarchs in the fall, capturing and tagging adults, and checking adults for parasites, as well as several others, all of which are fun and a great way to teach concepts that are basic to science, such as standardization of methods, data collection and sampling protocols.

Two volunteers

Peninsula Point Monitoring Program

At this site on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, volunteers track the abundance of migrating monarchs for two months each fall. The dedication of these volunteers each year has made this one of the most important data sets on monarch populations in N. America.  Learn more about volunteering!