Community Science Projects

MNFI and other organizations train volunteers in the methodology and protocols scientists use to identify and collect data on various species and habitats.

Report Species Observations to MNFI

Community scientists contribute to the heritage database through reports of species observed while exploring in Michigan. Their information informs scientific research, aids in land use and conservation planning, and provides needed information for decision makers. Submit information online or print out our field forms at:

Participate in Projects

Vernal Pool Patrol

The Vernal Pool Patrol is a community science-based program organized by Michigan Natural Features Inventory and implemented by many program coordinators and community partners across the state. Since 2012 the program has grown from a few in-person workshops to a 3-part virtual training series with various field trainings hosted across the state each year. Volunteers are taught vernal pool ecology and biodiversity and then trained to follow a standard protocol to collect data for the Michigan Vernal Pool Database.

Visit the Vernal Pool Patrol Website

Michigan Bumble Bee Atlas

The Michigan Bumble Bee Atlas is a community science project led by Michigan Natural Features Inventory to train community scientists to engage in the collection of valuable bumble bee data on species presence and habitat associations.

Visit the Michigan Bumble Bee Atlas page

Osprey Adopt-A-Nest

Osprey Adopt-A-Nest is a community science program that utilizes interested volunteers to monitor osprey nests throughout all of Michigan and track the reproductive success of nesting pairs. The program is managed by Great Lakes Audubon and MNFI assists with data collection.

Visit the Osprey Adopt-A-Nest Program

MISIN - Invasive Species

Invasive species present an enormous threat to Michigan native diversity - second only to habitat destruction. MNFI staff work cooperatively with the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) to provide educational materials and to promote early detection, identification, and treatment strategies for invasive species. MISIN relies on community scientists to report their observations of invasive plants. Download the app on your smartphone and help battle invasive species with early detection.

Visit the MISIN Website

Other Biodiversity Related Community Science Efforts