Many State Parks Offering Virtual Programing

(UNDATED) – With people sheltering at home, many parks are doing virtual programming. Have you tried any?

Indiana State Parks have programs listed on the DNR Calendar at Look for the word “virtual” and check them out.  

Now is a great time to study your frog calls at

April is Citizen Science Month. Being involved in a citizen science project is a great way to learn about the nature around you and help at the same time. Here are a few citizen science opportunities you can explore:

Indiana Phenology is seeking volunteers to collected plant phenology data. Phenology is the study of observable seasonal life cycle changes in nature, such as leafing, flowering and fruiting of plants or in migratory, feeding and reproductive behavior in animals. 

The goal is to gather data on the leafing, flowering and fruiting of common native plants in all 92 counties of Indiana to document the impacts of environmental change in Indiana. Partners include the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN), an organization dedicated to collecting, organizing, and sharing phenological data and information to aid decision-making, scientific discovery, and a broader understanding of the science of phenology.  Long-term observations of plant and animal life stages are recorded by volunteer and professional scientists in a national phenology program called Nature’s Notebook. All observations are freely available through the USA-NPN website. 

To find out how you can help visit

iNaturalist- Indiana City Nature Challenge

There are three Indiana cities participating in the City Nature Challenge this year-South Bend, Fort Wayne area and Indianapolis, which combined covers a large part of Indiana. This is a friendly, collaborative effort to document the wildlife found all around us using the iNaturalist app. Check out the project page for information

NestWatch is a nationwide monitoring program designed to track status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds, including when nesting occurs, the number of eggs laid, how many eggs hatch, and how many hatchlings survive. The database is intended to be used to study the current condition of breeding bird populations and how they may be changing over time as a result of climate change, habitat degradation and loss, expansion of urban areas, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals. To find out more visit

eBird is a simple app that allows you to quickly record bird sightings as a way of creating a personalized list of what you’ve seen and learned. It is for all levels of birders to use. The data from eBird can be used by scientists to explore bird biology on a global scale. To learn more about eBird, visit:  


Given the vastness of Indiana, you may be the first to notice an invasive species growing. You can use the citizen science tool EDDMapS to report your observations. It is free and easy to use. EDDMapS tracks invasive species across Indiana and there have been over 130,000 county reports. It is also a helpful website for learning about invasive species identification.  To learn more about reporting invasive species with EDDMapS, visit:

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow network – simply known as CoCoRaHS – is an international (North America) program that offers an opportunity for anyone — young or old — to become a volunteer observer of precipitation. Local television, radio, and newspaper outlets can use the volunteer reports to share information from rural and small communities as well as larger cities. Climatologists study the data and look for changing weather patterns and historical trends. Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses CoCoRaHS reports to help determine if a county may qualify for federal funding after a severe storm.  Your observations can help while also becoming a significant contribution to the official climate record of Indiana. CoCoRaHS came to Indiana in February of 2006 and has over 500 active observers of all ages from across the Hoosier State. Indiana was one of the first states in the Midwest to join this international network, which consists of over 20,000 volunteers. CoCoRaHS is a volunteer, grass-roots network dedicated to the monitoring of precious water resources.  Organizations involved in agriculture/gardening, public safety, and natural resources management will find great benefit from contributing to this data network, that is available free of charge to anyone through the website.

CoCoRaHS represents an important way to monitor precipitation trends that can significantly affect our daily lives. To learn more about CoCoRaHS, what is involved, how to join, etc., please join one of our upcoming CoCoRaHS Overview and Training webinars:

Thursday, April 16 meeting invitation:

Topic: CoCoRaHS Informational and Training

Time: April 16, 2020 (6 PM ET / 5 PM CT) (US and Canada)

 Join Zoom Meeting

 Meeting ID: 195 934 470

Friday, April 17 Meeting Invitation: 

Topic: CoCoRaHS Informational and Training

             Time: April 17, 2020 (10 AM ET / 9 AM CT) (US and Canada)

 Join Zoom Meeting –

 Meeting ID: 110 143 581

Want more citizen science opportunities? Visit  and fill out the search boxes to learn about other projects.

Purdue University Webinars

Some interesting webinars are being offered by the  Exotic Forest Pest Educator from Purdue University 

Spring 2020 Schedule

April 22 at 11 a.m. ET – Forest Invaders to Watch for and How to Manage Them Part 1: Emerald Ash Borer, Thousand Cankers Disease, and Asian Longhorned Beetle

Something chewing up your tree trunks? This webinar will cover the basics of identification and treatment of three major invasive woodborers: emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, and thousand cankers disease. It will also include instruction on the identification of the host plants of invasive species.

Register here:

April 29 at 11 a.m. ET – Forest Invaders to Watch for and How to Manage Them Part 2: Spotted Lanternfly, Gypsy Moth, and Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

What’s that on your tree? We’ll tell you about how to identify, treat, and where to find three invasive species to watch out for on the outside of your trees: spotted lanternfly, hemlock wooly adelgid, and gypsy moth. The program will also include instruction on the identification of the host plants of invasive species.

Register here:

May 13 at 11 a.m. ET- Integrating Chemical and Biological Control of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: A Resource Manager’s Guide

Register here: 

Missed one of the webinars? Watch recordings from the spring 2020 season.

Is this the end for American beech? – Recording here:

Long-term impacts and management of emerald ash borer – Recording here:

CEU credits are offered but vary by webinar. Contact Elizabeth Barnes at for more details.

Can’t watch it live? No problem! All webinars are recorded and posted online after the talks. Register to be emailed the link when the video is posted!