Kids Contribute to Wildlife Research in Citizen Science Series

NORFOLK — Northeast Nebraska Youth can take part in scientific research, all while having fun outdoors.

On Thursday evening, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission hosted its second citizen science series of the season at the district three headquarters in Norfolk. Wildlife education assistant Jamie Bachmann explains the projects allow kids to participate in scientific understanding.

“Tonight we did the Lost Ladybug Project, and the idea was to collect ladybugs and identify them. Then we would upload the data we collected, some of these little kids, and that information will be used by the project creators to understand population dynamics within ladybug populations. We have a non-native, invasive species that are competing with our native ladybugs and we want to understand.”

Bachman says the citizen science series is about giving kids the chance to be curious about the natural world.

“We were looking for ladybugs today, but while we were sweep netting we also found many other kinds of insects, and that is going to ‘what kind of insect is this,’ and continue this self-education and instill this sense of curiosity that is just innate in young children already.”

While not many hunters and fishers in Nebraska need another reason to buy their licenses, Bachman says the purchases are a big part of why these programs are free.

“Through them purchasing hunting and fishing licenses they are major supporters of education, of wildlife education, in the state of Nebraska”

Bachman says the remaining citizen science projects are the Firefly Watch on June 20, and a Monarch Larval Monitoring Project on July 11. Family Fishing Night will also take place at Skyview Lake in-between band sets on Thursday night’s Music in the Park. Poles, instruction and bait will all be provided.

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