Citizen Science Projects

Image: Class looking at wildlife at the field station


The Field Station is home to several citizen science projects, designed to get the public involved with science research, exploration and education. Hiram College students and faculty in the sciences often lead projects, and non-science faculty, staff, students and the community take an active role in data collecting and more.

Current Projects

Citizen science involves the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists. The following citizen science projects, currently underway, are open to the entire community:

Phenology is the study of recurring biological phenomena and their relationship to weather. The Ohio State University Phenology Gardens have been set up to record the changes in phenology events across the state of Ohio. The trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials planted in the OSU Phenology Garden network sites are monitored for first and full bloom, which will assist with identifying insect activity. They are also monitored for native pollinator activity.

The Portage County site for the OSU network is located at the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station. Citizen scientists collect bloom data and pollinator data and upload it to the OSU Phenology Network website. In addition, they maintain and expand the garden as required.

Long-term monitoring of butterfly populations began in 2013 and was spearheaded by alumnus, Patricia Bohls (‘15).  Each summer, Hiram College students, faculty and the community identify butterflies along a 45-minute walking loop along the hiking trails.  Information on this project and how you can get involved can be found at the trailhead pavilion.

Each July, the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station participates in National Moth Week by having a nighttime community event. This citizen science program contributes to an on-going effort to catalog moth species diversity across the globe.