We were recently awarded a grant from The Alongside Wildlife Foundation to support our citizen science research project: The Ants of Oklahoma!
For the past few years, Diane and I have been talking and writing about some of the cool ants we have discovered in Oklahoma. In 2017, we decided we could do more. Based off a few models of ant citizen science projects (e.g. The School of Ants: http://www.schoolofants.org/), we started collecting data using standardized methods with students from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. While one of our goals was to collect data to answer a variety of ecological questions, another goal was to just get people outside enjoying nature.
Thus far we have had 90 participants and hope that number grows in 2018. Our next set of data is scheduled to be collected in a couple of weeks and we are excited to see if our 2018 results are similar to 2017. With support from The Alongside Wildlife Foundation, we will now be able to accommodate more participants and create a travelling collection that we can share at outreach and Bioblitz events around the state. Should be fun!
Please check out The Alongside Wildlife Foundation at their website: https://alongsidewildlifefoundation.org/