PikaNet is a citizen science initiative to engage people in monitoring the American Pika. This high alpine creature is considered an indicator species of climate change due to its high vulnerability to warming global temperatures. Annual trainings teach volunteers what species and indicators they are looking for, where to find them, how to collect data, and finally how to submit the data to a statewide online database. These workshops will be a combination of indoor and outdoor trainings.
Data that participants collect will become part of a larger effort to monitor pika populations in Colorado and across the Southern Rockies. The Denver Zoo will offer sister trainings in the Front Range of Northern Colorado.
CitSci.org serves as the portal for entering data and viewing the results of all submitted surveys. We expect to expand the geographic scope of the program in future years.
PikaNET is a collaborative effort between several organizations including the Mountain Studies Insititute, the Denver Zoo, Rocky Mountain Wild, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at CSU, and the San Juan Public Lands Center. The monitoring effort is linked to the research being done by Dr. Chris Ray and PhD. Candidate Liesl Peterson from the University of Colorado Boulder. Chris and Liesl have both been crucial to to the development of compatible protocols and procedures.
PikaNET: A Guide to Citizen Science Report:
A Model for Public Participation in Scientific Research in the San Juan Mountains 2010-2011 Final Report. Download this hands-on guide to learn more about PikaNET and citizen science, such as how to explore your own science question and organize your monitoring effort. MSI has published a detailed report on the process for planning your project.