Citizen science is at the forefront of collaborative efforts to obtain local knowledge and stakeholder participation in the study and management of wildlife species. In the field of ornithology, citizen science has been used extensively with groups such as the Audubon Society, and it has resulted in extensive and valuable data on many bird species. Under these programs, interested individuals regardless of having an institutional affiliation or not, can contribute meaningful observational data to science while concurrently learning about, enjoying, and interacting with a subject matter to which they are attracted.
While citizen science programs exist in the field of herpetology, they have not yet become as mainstream or as popular as those in other disciplines. The Alaska Woodfrog Monitoring Project, sponspored by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, was the first herpetological citizen science project in the state and continues to enhance our knowledge of Wood Frogs in the region. AHS also sponsors a broader citizen science program for state residents to contribute voucher information on all local amphibian species.
My project on the Stikine seeks to tap into the benefits of stakeholder participation through herpetological citizen science programs specific to the Stikine region. These projects are designed not only to obtain observational data from the public, but also to reciprocate by providing educational opportunities for both adults and children. The ongoing projects include a passive component allowing opportunistic contributions of interested individuals, and an active version whereby K-12 students are engaged in a Service Learning Project. For more information on each of these, click the links below: