Rocky Mountain Citizen Science is an outcome of the very successful 2016 Wyoming Citizen Science conference.
Wyoming Citizen Science Conference
Thursday and Friday, December 1-2, 2016
Citizen science programs are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world, including in Wyoming. But Wyoming faces some interesting and specific challenges when designing, delivering, maintaining and evaluating citizen science programs. How does the state's rural population influence recruitment and retention? How does the remoteness of some study areas and the high diversity of plant and wildlife impact study design? How can we make citizen science accessible and useful to teachers? What laws and rules do we need to be aware of?
The first ever Wyoming Citizen Science Conference, hosted by the UW Biodiversity Institute, integrated keynote and many themed sessions that help program managers address these challenges, as well as opportunities for citizen science participants (teachers, Scout leaders, community activists, etc.) to weigh in on what works well in these programs.
The agenda of the conference is available here.
The complete program, including abstracts, is available here.
PowerPoint slides for all of the talks are available here.
And the results of the brainstorming session on best practices are available here.
Keynote Speaker: Robert Miller, Intermountain Bird Observatory
Robert Miller graduated from Willamette University with a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics in 1988, then worked at Hewlett-Packard for 21 years. During this time, Rob volunteered for citizen science projects on Leatherback Sea Turtles, nightjars, and migrating birds. With each project, his interest in wildlife conservation increased. This interest led him to pursue an "encore career" in Biology. In 2009, he returned to school graduating with a second B.S. degree in Biology/Ecology, a M.S. in Raptor Biology, and a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Analysis from Boise State University.
Rob currently works as a Research Biologist with the Intermountain Bird Observatory and leads the Research and Monitoring working group of the Idaho Bird Conservation Partnership. Rob leads a variety of projects including breeding season studies of the Northern Goshawks, Mountain Quail, and many species of woodpeckers. He also studies the effects of weather and climate on songbird and raptor migration in the United States and at the Strait of Gibraltar in Europe. Rob currently leads two citizen science projects: 1) monitoring populations of the Belted Kingfisher in the sparsely populated region of central Idaho (50 volunteers); and 2) monitoring state-wide populations of Short-eared Owls across both Idaho and Utah (over 200 volunteers).
Rob uses his program management and analytical skills to help IBO with data management, data analysis, GIS analysis, and project design. He mentors other students, teachers, and members of the volunteer community. His most recent scientific publication utilized data collected by citizen scientist volunteers.