Citizen Scientists Needed!


What is Citizen Science?

Anyone can become a Citizen Scientist, regardless of age or background. It only requires time, curiosity, and a sense of wonder. Citizen Science empowers people from diverse backgrounds to actively participate in scientific research by collecting data, which accelerates problem-solving efforts and enhances the speed at which scientists can reach conclusions. For example, Citizen Science is particularly helpful for research on ticks, as both ticks and tick-borne diseases are underreported in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region. Together, we can change that.

Why TCWP Needs Citizen Scientists

With the arrival of warm summer weather, life in Teton County springs into action. The melting snow quickens streams, animals awaken from their slumber, and plants return to their vibrant glory. However, this same warmth also invigorates invasive species that threaten our ecosystems.

As native flora and fauna flourish, so do their invasive competitors. During these green summer months, the TCWP team is in full swing. This is the season we have been preparing for all year. While our dedicated team of 9 full time staff and 15 seasonal crew members work tirelessly to protect our home from invasive species, we can't do it alone.

We need YOU to become a Citizen Scientist. Our small team cannot monitor every corner of the valley. By joining us, you can help safeguard the environment we all cherish. Empower yourself to make a difference—help us prevent the spread of invasive species and preserve the natural beauty of Teton County.

First Up: Ticks

We need citizen scientists on our trails. Ticks are responsible for approximately 90% of all vector-borne diseases diagnosed each year in the United States.

First off, we are looking for Citizen Scientists to help us combat Teton County’s newest noxious pest species: ticks. By joining us as a Citizen Scientist, you can be part of a movement driving real change in tick research.

More research is needed because ticks are responsible for approximately 90% of all vector-borne diseases diagnosed each year in the United States. Wyoming is home to multiple tick species of medical and veterinary significance, and additional species capable of carrying a variety of pathogens may be expanding their ranges into Wyoming.

Despite a high prevalence of tick-borne pathogens like Colorado Tick Fever virus, ticks and tick-borne diseases are underreported in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region. Currently, TCWP, partner organizations, and Citizen Scientists are collecting ticks in Wyoming for pathogen testing in our lab. To better understand tick species and the pathogens they carry, we need more Citizen Scientists for field surveillance. TCWP provides the necessary training and tools for these surveys.

Ticks are particularly problematic during this part of the summer, as wet and warming conditions create an ideal environment for them to thrive. Together, we can better understand the full impact of ticks in our environment. Eager to help us expand this research? Volunteer for our Citizen Science program, developed by our brilliant in-house entomologist, Mikenna.

We need citizen scientists on our trails. In the United States, expenses associated with ecological damage and control of invasive species were estimated at 137 billion per year.

Plants are Growing

In just a few short weeks, we will need Citizen Scientists to help identify invasive plant species as they grow and start to compete with native plants. The first step in combating invasive plants is knowing the difference between native and invasive species. We strongly encourage Citizen Scientists to use the Wild Spotter mobile app to help find, map, and prevent invasive species in our environment. 

Our website is also packed with resources on identification, and during the summer months, we feature an invasive plant of the month in detail. For property owners looking to mitigate invasives, refer to our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) resources or request a consultation. As always, we urge the public to take preventative measures against invasive plants by following PlayCleanGo practices and cleaning your gear to avoid spreading invasive seeds.

Get Involved and Make an Impact

We do the work we do because we are passionate about being stewards of the environment we are so lucky to call home. We know many of you share this passion and encourage you to channel it into Citizen Science.

If you have a plant obsession, put it to use—we guarantee you’ll learn something along the way. If you have a bug-loving kiddo, with our guidance they can make a real impact in tick research. Together, we can protect and preserve our beautiful home.

Sign up below to become a Citizen Scientist in Teton County.

Wildspotter app - mapping invasives in america's wild places.
Wild Spotter - Mappining Invasives in America's Wild Places