2005-06 Partnership Program Projects

$100,000 was made available to help support citizen-based monitoring initiatives in 2005. Successful proposals for the 2005-06 Partnership Program are listed below.
UW - Extension
This project will assemble a statewide cadre of carefully trained and assisted volunteers who will function in their locales as "Area Coordinators" of groups of citizen cooperators in the Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol (PL BC) Program. These special citizen coordinators will be able to effectively recruit other local citizens to become PL BC Program cooperators, and train them to monitor area purple loosestrife populations and biocontrol insect releases as well as produce and release more local control insects. Area Coordinators are needed to provide better support for large numbers of local cooperators around the state than has been possible from the Madison PL BC Program office. They will help to increase both the number and detail of citizen loosestrife location reports, as well as retain more trained cooperators in the biocontrol program to acquire more data and produce control insects over time.
Grantsburg High School

View / Download Poster

Freshwater mussels are among the most imperiled animals in Wisconsin, and are negatively impacted by bridge construction, soil erosion, dams, and pollution. To increase the knowledge of and streamline protocols for their sampling and protection, "The Wisconsin Mussel Atlas Project" and the "State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Guidelines for Sampling Freshwater Mussels in Wadeable Streams" were established in 2005. At this time, malacologists from around the state were asked to compile a list of priority rivers where mussel data was absent, incomplete or where the watershed had experienced some major event (pesticide, application, dam removal, etc.) since it was last surveyed.

From the list they compiled, this project chose five river groups (and several alternate sites) to perform mussel surveys on. This study will provide baseline data for future studies about populations of mussels in these rivers by meeting the first two objectives of the new sampling protocol. To meet these objectives, the project will qualitatively sample at least 10-20 sites in each river. In addition, site habitat measurements will be taken as specified. From these experiences, students will gain a greater understanding of how river and habitat conditions affect all benthic invertebrates and rivers in general, while providing the state with data about its most imperiled group of animals.
Urban Ecology Center
Having already established long-term monitoring for several communities, including birds and herptiles, the Urban Ecology Center is proposing to initiate a long-term, citizen-based small mammal monitoring project. Working with the Department of Natural Resource's Statewide Mammal Inventory Project, staff and volunteers will use Sherman live-traps and pitfall traps to sample 10 district plant communities in Riverside Park. Along with mark-recapture methods, these data will help determine species diversity, relative abundance, habitat preference, seasonal movement and population trends. It will involve volunteers and students from a racially and socio-economically diverse neighborhood in Milwaukee, and include demographics that are typically underserved by quality environmental education and citizen-based research.
Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers
More Information...
View / Download Poster

Friends of the St. Croix Headwaters
More Information...
Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative
Experienced birders with proven skills will be recruited from various partner organizations to collect data at a series of proposed or official Important Bird Areas (IBA). Volunteers will also collect data at wintering and stopover sites in support of the Migratory Bird Stopover Site Initiative. This participation of citizen volunteers will help create the foundation of a volunteer monitoring network for IBAs. The data collected will allow proposed IBAs to undergo technical review, help assess management and stewardship activities at official IBAs, and contribute to another important bird-related initiative, the Migratory Bird Stopover Site Initiative. The Wisconsin Important Bird Areas program is a project of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative.
Riveredge Nature Center
The Riveredge Ephemeral Pond Identification and Monitoring Training Program will use five ephemeral ponds located within the 350-acre preserve to provide training in ephemeral pond identification and monitoring methods. Twenty volunteers will be trained to collect the data needed to identify, describe and monitor the ecology of ephemeral ponds. Trained ephemeral pond volunteers will be a resource to locate, describe, monitor and facilitate the conservation of critical amphibian habitat in Southeastern Wisconsin. Volunteers will be asked to make a one-year citizen monitoring commitment as a prerequisite
The focus of this project is to make citizen-collected frog and toad data readily accessible and increase citizen participation in two existing frog and toad surveys: (1) The Wisconsin NatureMapping Frog (WNM) and Toad Survey, which is coordinated by Beaver Creek Citizen Science and (2) the Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey (WFTS), which is coordinated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. An existing WFTS website is currently housed by the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD. This website will be transferred to Wisconsin servers and updated by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff. The restructured website will yield updated general information on frog and toad species of Wisconsin, accessibility to WFTS data via the World Wide Web, maps of WFTS and WNM Frog and Toad Survey data, and improve credibility with citizen scientists that wish for feedback.
UW - Green Bay
During 2005, the Wisconsin Birder Certification program was launched through a web site (http://www.birdercertification.org) at the UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. This program consists of a process for testing the audio and visual identification skills of volunteer or paid observers in Wisconsin. The web site is still in its early stages, but tests are already available for implementing the project's objectives. The Quality Control for Bird Monitoring Personnel project aims to get additional audio recordings to expand the test array and to provide a rich, regionally specific resource of training materials.
Hawk Ridge Observatory
More Information...
Wehr Nature Center
Research indicates that youth have a need for experiences to strengthen their connection with nature and are deficient in science skills. The NatureMapping project provides an opportunity to connect youth with their environment while learning science skills such as observation, identification, and analysis. Wehr Nature Center/Nature in the Parks will develop a NatureMapping Fieldtrip program to bring nature mapping citizen science into the formal school setting within Milwaukee County. In accordance with the environmental education mission of Wehr Nature Center this project plans to work with teachers in three school districts to train teachers and students in aspects of animal identification and the use of the WI NatureMapping protocols and website, www.wisnatmap.org.
Bad River Watershed Association
More Information...
Rock River Coalition
More Information...
View / Download Poster

UW - Extension
More Information...
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology
More Information...
UW - Oshkosh
The objective of this project is to initiate a citizen-based stream monitoring network for the Winnebago Pool Lakes. The Winnebago Pool Lakes constitute the largest lake system within Wisconsin. This project proposes to initiate a network of stream monitors by training 40 citizen volunteers to the Wisconsin Action Volunteers protocols. Trainers from UW Oshkosh and UW Extension will offer 4 day-long training sessions in April-May 2006. This training will be promoted with help from the Winnebago Lakes Council. Stream site reconnaissance around the entire lake system (important for establishing safe legal access to streams) will be conducted by these trainers during March-April, with the help of county Land and Water Conservation District personnel, Winnebago Lakes Council members, and UW Oshkosh students. Site descriptions will be used to guide stream adoption by newly trained volunteers. A Watershed Equipment Resource Center will be established in Oshkosh to loan equipment for citizen-based stream monitoring.
Wisconsin CBM logo
This site is produced in conjunction with the Wisconsin Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Inventory and sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The information presented on this site is subject to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Legal Notices, Disclaimers, and Terms of Use.
Wisconsin DNR logo