PikaNET: A Citizen Science Monitoring Program for the American Pika
Join MSI and Other Volunteers on July 27th or August 3rd for the
2013 Pika Monitoring Blitz!
Pika Monitoring Blitz will be held in Silverton on July 27th and Telluride on August 3rd. Registration is required. Please click here to sign up today!
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.
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.
More About Citzen Science Trainings and Workshops:
The citizen science educational model that PikaNET employs brings together the foremost practices in modern environmental education: hands-on, minds-on, authentic, and service learning.
Hands-On: Participants actually perform science as they construct meaning and acquire understanding.
Minds-On: Activities focus on core concepts, allowing participants to develop thinking processes and encouraging them to question and seek answers that enhance their knowledge and thereby acquire an understanding of the environment in which they live.
Authentic: Participants are presented with problem-solving activities that incorporate authentic, real-life questions and issues in a format that encourages collaborative effort, dialogue with informed expert sources, and generalization to broader ideas and application.
Service-Learning: Programs integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
The science of global climate change is being debated on morning talk shows, in newspaper editorials, and on internet blogs. While the debate is reaching many corners of the globe, there are few opportunities for the public to engage in meaningful climate change education. PikaNET is a citizen science initiative that serves both education and research goals by directly involving the community in climate change research and stewardship.
The program engages the public in the scientific process, building critical thinking and problem solving skills, and provides an opportunity for action. The American Pika, a cute and furry occupant of alpine and subalpine ecosystems, will serve as the “vehicle” for engaging the public. By getting local citizens involved with collecting, analyzing and sharing data, this community program will provide an avenue for community members to increase their environmental knowledge and also help them to develop a clearer picture of their influence and place in the ecosystems they are learning about.
Introduction to PikaNET (1.7MB PDF)
Identifying Pika (1.15MB PDF)
PikaNET Citizen Science Program: A Model for Public Participation in Scientific Research in the San Juan Mountains 2010-2011 Final Report.
Please direct all questions about PikaNET in Southwest Colorado to Adrienne Antonsen - email@example.com.