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Citizens Can Contribute Information about Wyoming Biodiversity


August 7, 2014 — The University of Wyoming offers a website where citizens can contribute information and learn about the state’s biological diversity.

UW’s Biodiversity Institute has created the Wyoming Biodiversity Citizen Science Initiative -- WyoBio -- that allows citizens to contribute personal biodiversity observations. 

WyoBio is a tool for citizens, students, teachers, parents, researchers and others to explore data and information about Wyoming’s biological diversity. Interested persons can contribute data regarding their own sightings of plants and animals, view their own and their friends’ data on a map and download lesson plans. Start by visiting www.wyobio.org.

Using WyoBio, citizens can search for which species of Indian paintbrush are found in Wyoming or determine the elevations at which pikas are found.

“Immediately upon putting data into the website, you will be able to see that observation on the map, and compare it to other information available through WyoBio,” says Brenna Marsicek, Biodiversity Institute project coordinator.

“We seek to bring together many or all of the different citizen science datasets collected and maintained by a variety of groups across the state, making all Wyoming biodiversity data available to anyone who’s interested, from anywhere,” she says.

“WyoBio offers excellent potential for collaboration around the state with scientists, educators, children and citizens,” says Jason Katzmann, secondary science education instructor at the University of Wyoming at Casper. “The program helps students to learn about our state’s biodiversity.”

Katzmann says he uses WyoBio in his education courses to show aspiring teachers how to engage students in nature and technology.

Additionally, the aim is to create educational experiences for K-12 classrooms connected with Wyoming biodiversity data so that students and citizens become more knowledgeable about, and connected with, organisms and ecosystems within the state. Lesson plans that directly connect science standards with activities relating to WyoBio will be available on the website.

For more information, contact Marsicek at (307) 766-6240 or email brenna.marsicek@uwyo.edu.

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