Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Parks

Community Science

Volunteer as a community scientist! Volunteer opportunities are available for everyone regardless of initial skill level, experience, or time availability.

Community Science (sometimes referred to as Citizen Science, Participatory Science, or Collaborative Science) is a form of research that provides everyone, regardless of their background, an opportunity to contribute meaningful scientific data to further a community's understanding of key conservation issues. Research can help to inform conservation efforts, such as land preservation, habitat restoration, and even changes in legislation. Volunteers work with either a Dane County Parks Friends Group or partner organization to help collect data at specific areas throughout Dane County. Not all partner organizations have projects hosted at a Dane County Park. 



Frog & Toad Survey: 

Several Dane County Parks Friends Groups host seasonal surveys. Contact them to learn more. 

Bats & Birds

Bats and Birds Monitoring:


Bumble Bee Monitoring: 

Monarch Tagging & Monitoring: 

Dragonfly Monitoring:

Freshwater Mussels:

Water Quality

Stream Monitoring:
For stream health monitoring in Dane County, there are two Water Action Volunteer (WAV) coordinators that volunteers can connect with. 

Several Dane County Parks Friends Groups hold related events throughout the year. Contact them to learn more. 


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provides a number of additional opportunities on their Citizen Based Monitoring webpage. 


Independent Research & Collection 

For scientific projects that have the potential to disturb park areas, visitors, and wildlife, individuals and groups can apply for our Research and Collection Permit (PDF). This permit is needed for activities related, but not limited to, specimen collection, soil disturbance, and equipment installation. Activities involving non-mechanized observation are permitted without a permit.



If you have questions about community science projects, contact:
Dane County Parks Volunteer Program 
(608) 220-9678