The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History was founded on the concept of the Citizen Scientist – individuals that don’t necessarily have formal scientific training but are in touch with their natural surroundings. Often they contribute to the body of scientific knowledge through research-related tasks such as observation, measurement, or computation.
At CCMNH we have an active bird banding program that monitors the species of birds passing through the Cape and records age, sex, health, and other pertinent data that is shared with state and federal agencies. Banding provides information on the migratory patterns, behavior, life span, causes of death, etc., and help us to understand how best to provide conservation assistance.
Our volunteers also have worked on documenting vernal pools across the Cape, a “head-start” terrapin program, herring and horseshoe crab counts, identifying the plant life on the over 400-acres surrounding the Museum, educating children about ecosystems, an archaeological dig on Wind Island.
Anyone can be a citizen scientist, all that is needed is a curiosity of your surroundings and the desire to get out into nature and then share your findings.