Explore Our History with WCBM
The Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network was formed in 2004, but our state's tradition
of volunteers partnering with professionals
to study our natural resources started long before then and has continued to expand over the last 15 years. Check out the timeline of
important events in Wisconsin citizen-based monitoring and share your own event for our extended list. Share your monitoring memories
on social media with the hashtag #WCBMat15.
WCBM at 15 was featured in the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine! Read the full article.
History of Citizen-based Monitoring in Wisconsin – Extended Timeline
Do you have a noteworthy event you'd like us to add to our extended timeline below, such as the creation of a new project, the formation
of a new group, or a major monitoring success story? Fill out this form to have your
project added to the timeline.
- A volunteer in North Freedom, WI participated in the first ever
Christmas Bird Count.
- Wisconsin Society for Ornithology is formed.
- WI volunteers begin tracking the monarch migration.
- WI volunteers participate in the first ever Breeding Bird Survey.
- Riveredge Nature Center begins its CBM programming.
- The Annual Midwest Crane Count is launched in WI.
- LoonWatch begins.
- Racine County Coastwatchers began monitoring bluff erosion along Lake Michigan’s coast.
- WI Frog and Toad Survey begins.
- Citizen Lake Monitoring Network begins.
- Community members lay the foundation for what later becomes the Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park, Milwaukee.
- Volunteer Carnivore Tracking Program begins.
- First WI Breeding Bird Atlas begins.
- Water Action Volunteers stream monitoring begins.
- WI volunteers participate in the first year of the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project.
- North Lakeland Discovery Center begins citizen-based monitoring programming.
- Wisconsin Odonata Survey launches statewide.
- Beaver Creek Reserve breaks ground on its Citizen Science Center.
- The first WCBM Conference takes place.
- WCBM Network created.
- DNR's Partnership Program funding begins.
- Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited starts its River Keeper stream monitoring program.
- Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey begins.
- WI Mussel Monitoring Program begins.
- WI Bat Program monitoring begins.
- WI Turtle Conservation Program begins.
- Wisconsin Dragonfly Society is founded.
- WI Master Naturalist Program launches.
- WI Rare Plant Monitoring Program begins.
- Wisconsin First Detector Network begins.
- WI Breeding Bird Atlas II begins.
- Snapshot Wisconsin begins.
- WI Bumble Bee Brigade begins.
- Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited creates watershed level focus for Green Lake, monitoring all 8 streams that feed into it.
- Journey North, one of the largest citizen science projects in North America, moves to
the UW-Madison Arboretum.
- Waukesha County Parks and Land Use launches "Wild in Waukesha", a citizen-based wildlife monitoring initiative including ephemeral
wetlands, birds, bats, small mammals, and pollinators.