As a volunteer for VCE, you need not scale high peaks to count songbirds. But we wouldn't mind if you did. We won't ask you to leap into a cold lake to place a loon nesting platform. But it would great if you were into that sort of thing. And if you don't know a fern from a fritillary, we don't mind.
Did you know that you don’t need a background in science to be a Community Scientist? From backyards and bogs to mountains and meadows, you'll find many ways to get involved and make a real contribution to wildlife conservation. If you'd rather not muck around a swamp or hike to a summit, you can still volunteer for VCE – even from the comfort of home.
Which Community Science Project is Right for You?
Here are some options for you to explore. You’ll find more information by following the links listed for each project – or feel free to contact us with your questions. We hope you’ll join us!
Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas
Beginner to expert. Many of us are familiar with the nonnative Asian Lady Beetle, but did you know that 35 native lady beetle species have been historically documented in Vermont? Unfortunately, 12 of these species have not been seen since the 1970's. It's a mystery we're eager to solve! Help find Vermont's Lost Lady Beetles »
Beginner to expert. A real-time, online checklist and photo storage program, e-Butterfly is providing a new way for the butterfly community to report, organize and access information about butterflies in North America. Help us track butterfly populations across North America on e-Butterfly, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life. Visit e-Butterfly »
Beginner to expert. A real-time, online checklist program, Vermont eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. A simple and intuitive web-interface engages thousands of participants to submit their observations or view results via interactive queries into the eBird database. Help us track bird populations across the state using Vermont eBird, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life. Visit Vermont eBird »
Beginner to Expert. From backyards to mountain summits, join hundreds of other community naturalists and biologists as we document and share biodiversity at iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life. Visit iNaturalist Vermont »
Vermont Vernal Pool Monitoring Project
Beginner to expert. Volunteers will visit “adopted” pools on an annual basis to assess biological and physical metrics. Ongoing monitoring will help assess the health of these vital wetlands. Learn More »
Vermont Vernal Pool Atlas
Beginner to expert. Like geocaching or a treasure hunt, volunteers help to “field-verify” suspected pools, most of which we have identified by viewing aerial photos of Vermont and picking out spots that appear to be pools. Learn more »
Beginner to expert. LoonWatch volunteers can join us for a single day during our annual loon count in July or can monitor a lake or pond on a regular basis. In each case, LoonWatchers provide VCE with essential data on the management, protection and continued recovery of Common Loons across Vermont. Learn more »
Vermont Loon Conservation Project
Beginner to expert. Help rescue injured loons, respond quickly to lake for a survey, help build and place nest warning signs and rafts, and more. Learn more »
Competent to expert birders. Choose from more than 100 montane hiking routes across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine and survey 3-6 points on a hiking trail any morning in June for ten montane bird species and red squirrels. Learn more »
Eastern Whip-poor-will Project
Beginner to expert. We conduct surveys in May and June. Keen listening, a vehicle to travel between roadside survey points, and the willingness to survey after dark are needed. Learn more »
Vermont Forest Bird Monitoring
Expert birders. Help track long-term changes in populations of interior forest songbirds. Initiated in 1989, the FBMP is now one of the continent’s longest-running studies of forest bird population trends. Learn more »
Vermont Breeding Bird Survey
Expert birders. A cooperative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Canadian Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Research Centre to monitor the status and trends of North American bird populations. Following a rigorous protocol, BBS data are collected by thousands of dedicated participants along thousands of randomly established roadside routes throughout the continent. VCE coordinates and surveys routes across Vermont. Learn more »
Beginner to expert. We have priceless bird observation records from nearly a century ago through the 1990s. Fine on paper, they become even more valuable when they join the vast data we now have in eBird. Our corps of virtual naturalists help us enter these observations. Contact us if you'd like to learn more about this project!