• 2018 Citizen Science Conference

CenteroftheWestTipis.png2018 Rocky Mountain Citizen Science Conference

November 29 – December 1
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Cody, Wyoming



Citizen science is an increasingly popular way to bring together scientists and science-minded people to support evidence-based decision-making on our public lands and in our communities. This conference will bring together project coordinators, participants, students, teachers, and those with general interest to discuss the challenges and rewards of citizen science in the rural west.

Hosted by the Biodiversity Institute in partnership with Audubon Rockies, and the Draper Museum of Natural History




The mission of the Biodiversity Institute is to foster the understanding, appreciation and conservation of biological diversity through innovative research, education, and outreach, and by engaging a broad audience in the scientific process.


Are you eager to network? Do you want to learn more about citizen science from others in the field? Would you like to enjoy the natural beauty and local charm of Cody, Wyoming? If so, then this conference is for you!


We would like to focus on a broad range of relevant topics with talks from participants and two exciting keynote speakers. Visit our Themes & Activities page to learn more about topics we are interested in and submit a proposal today!



We are thrilled to host the 2018 Rocky Mountain Citizen Science Conference at the Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. The conference facility is set amongst awe-inspiring museums and a research library.  

The Draper Natural History Museum has garnered international acclaim for its immersive, informative, and inspiring exhibit experiences. The Draper  is considered a premier scientific resource for Greater Yellowstone ecology and natural history.

Monarch of the Skies: The Golden Eagle in Greater Yellowstone and the American West is an exciting, new exhibition that will immerse visitors in the sagebrush grasslands of Wyoming through recreated sandstone cliffs and other habitats, stunning video and photography, taxidermy mounts, models, and other natural history objects, Native American cultural materials, rock art, and engaging interactive elements.

At this conference, you'll have the option to take advantage of our inspiring venue at a discounted price. Center of the West Museums also include: Buffalo Bill Museum, Whitney Western Art Musem; Cody Firearms Museum; and the Plains Indian Museum.

Keynote Speakers

Geoff Lebaron

2017 Park City Audubon Convention_Geoff LeBaron_Photo by Camilla Cerea_-095.jpg

Geoff LeBaron has been Director of the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for over 30 years. He has also worked for several Audubon Society Chapters throughout New England, the Ornithology Deparment at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and has over 2000 hours of aerial observation time of marine mammals, turtles, and birds encompassing the entire US East Coast. 

At Rocky Mountain Citizen Science Conference, Geoff will speak about the rich history of the CBC and how it has enabled incredibly useful access to citizen science datasets worldwide.



Greg Newman


Greg Newman is the Director of CitSci.org. He is a research scientist, ecologist, and informatics specialist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) at Colorado State University (CSU).  He received his PhD from CSU in citizen science, community-based monitoring, and ecological informatics. His current research focuses on designing and evaluating the effectiveness of cyber-infrastructure support systems for citizen science programs.

Other research interests include evaluating various citizen science program models, understanding the socio-ecological benefits of engaging the public in scientific research, designing and evaluating data management systems for socio-ecological research, assessing the value of local and traditional ecological knowledge for conservation and education outcomes, and developing spatial-temporal decision support systems.

At Rocky Mountain Citizen Science Conference Greg will speak about elevating the value of citizen science for decisions makers, and ways to improve the design and implementation of projects to make this possible. 

draper Museum host speaker


charles preston, phd.

Dr. Charles R. Preston is a talented communicator of both the product and process of science to students and the general public. He is currently the Willis McDonald, IV Senior Curator of Natural Science and Founding Curator-in-Charge of the Draper Natural History Museum at the renowned Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Trained as a wildlife ecologist, Dr. Preston is widely recognized as a leading authority on wildlife and conservation issues in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. His studies have included a wide variety of vertebrate species, but his current research focuses on the ecology of Golden Eagles and other large raptors in shrub-steppe environments of the western United States and the impacts of human activities and environmental change on wildlife across Greater Yellowstone.   

Citizen Science and Long-term Raptor Nest Monitoring

Dr. Preston and his staff at the Draper Natural History Museum have recruited, organized, trained, and coordinated a corps of citizen scientists to monitor Golden Eagle nests in the Bighorn Basin since 2009. The data collected by the Draper Museum’s “Golden Eagle Posse” have supported the publication of several scientific and popular publications and a major exhibition, and will appear in an upcoming book about the adventure of fieldwork in shrub-steppe landscapes in Greater Yellowstone. In this presentation, Preston will discuss the challenges, opportunities, and rewards of intensive and long-term citizen science projects and why raptor nest monitoring is ideal for a citizen science program.