Volunteer to Make a Difference

For current, one-time volunteer opportunities mapping or managing invasive species, please see the calendar on the home page.  We encourage everyone to volunteer by submitting reports of the invasive species they encounter in Door County when visiting their favorite natural areas or parks.  For more information on reporting, including easy-to-use smartphone apps, click on the Report Invasives tab at the top of the page.  

You can also submit volunteer hours for any invasive species activity that you participate in within Door County.  This includes inventorying or managing invasive species on your own  or a neighbor's property.  It also includes the time you spend mapping invasive species with your smartphone while you're out for a walk or hike.  These hours serve as match for federal and state grants that support DCIST's programs and initiatives.

If your local homeowner association or organization is interested in an organized training opportunity to map and manage invasive species in Door County, please contact the DCIST coordinator at dcist1@gmail.com to schedule.

DCIST Volunteer Hour Logsheet (pdf)


Other Citizen Science Projects

Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program

Clean Boats Clean Waters is a volunteer watercraft inspection program in which citizens help educate others about aquatic invasive species to help minimize the spread of these organisms. Volunteers perform boat and trailer checks for invasive species, distribute informational brochures, and collect and report any new water body infestations.  Contact DCIST for training opportunities or visit the CBCW website.

Wisconsin First Detector Network

The Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) is a citizen science network that empowers people to take action against invasive species through invasive species monitoring, management, and outreach. WIFDN provides training and resources through a combination of webinars, instructional videos, and hands-on workshops, in addition to providing volunteer opportunities to citizen scientists.  You can get involved by contacting DCIST or visiting the WIFDN website

Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program (WIMN) is a network of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within Wisconsin communities.  The WIMN Volunteer Training Course provides 40 hours of coursework in natural history, interpretation, and conservation stewardship. Courses combine classroom instruction with field experiences and are taught by professional natural resources educators and scientists, who are trained to deliver the WIMN course.  For more information on the course and program, visit the WIMN website.

Volunteer Stream Monitoring Network (WAV)

WAV is a statewide program for Wisconsin citizens who want to learn about and improve the quality of Wisconsin’s streams and rivers, coordinated by the Wisconisn DNR and UW-Extension.  Volunteers interested in participating are encouraged to visit the WAV website to view the training opportunities available. 

Mussel Monitoring in Wisconsin

Over half of Wisconsin's 51 native mussel species (also known as clams) are listed as species of greatest conservation need or we need information on where they currently occur. Threats like habitat alteration (dams, siltation) and the presence of invasive mussels pose major threats to the existence of our native mussels. The Mussel Monitoring Program of Wisconsin would like your help in finding out what mussels occur in your area.  These efforts will provide much needed up-to-date information on mussel distribution and status on a statewide level. In addition, the volunteer collected data will yield insight into water quality, while also contributing to conservation efforts from across the Midwest.  For more information visit the Mussel Monitoring website.

Citizen Lake Monitoring Network

The Citizen Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN) is comprised of1000+ citizen volunteers statewide and the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership. Our goals are to collect high quality data, educate and empower volunteers, and share this information. CLMN staff provide volunteers with the equipment and training to conduct these monitoring activities. Volunteers provide time, expertise, energy, and a willingness to share information with their fellow lake residents or other lake users. The information gathered is used by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and university biologists and researchers, UW-Extension, and other interested individuals.  Find out more at the CLMN website.

Project RED (Riverine Early Detectors)

During a Project RED training you will learn which invasive species threaten your local rivers, how to differentiate them from native look-a-likes, and how to keep an eye out for them by canoe, kayak, or on foot. The River Alliance and DCIST will help you choose priority monitoring locations and a monitoring schedule that are convenient for volunteers. We will also provide you with online data management tools available through the Wisconsin DNR SWIMS database.  For more information see the Project RED website, or contact DCIST.

Rare Plant Monitoring Program

Become a volunteer and help preserve our rare flora for future generations!  To participate in the Wisconsin Rare Plant Monitoring Program you must attend one of the formal training sessions held each spring. Trained volunteers have access to precise information on rare plant locations. If you missed the training sessions you can still use the materials on the Rare Plant Monitoring Program website to identify generalized rare plant locations, conduct a survey and submit data.  

Wisconsin Odonata Survey

The focus of the Wisconsin Odonata Survey (WOS) is to document populations of dragonflies and damselflies by identifying adults, nymphs, and exuviae (cast skins left behind near shore when the nymph transforms into the adult). The project increases knowledge of where the 164 species known to Wisconsin may be found and what are their required habitats. If you choose to become involved, some collecting of specimens may be needed because some species can be identified only under magnification. If you would rather not collect dragonflies, you can still help the survey by learning to identify those species that can be identified in the hand or on the wing, and by collecting exuviae.  Find out more info on the WOS webpage.