Several years ago, Mosquito Hill naturalists decided to conduct a full biotic inventory of plant and animal species on the nature center's 430 acres. This inventory would determine the number of species on the property, not the total number of individuals.
While the nature center does monitor bird species on a daily basis, and has done so since the nature center's inception, the staff wanted to broaden the data being collected to include insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, trees and plants. An inventory of this magnitude takes a large amount of time, resources and manpower to complete. Thus, Bridging The Gap, was created.
The goal of the Citizen Based Monitoring (CBM) project, Bridging The Gap, is to continue a biotic inventory of the nature center property while using, and at the same time promoting and enhancing, the talents and involvement of our currently under-utilized middle school students in Northeast Wisconsin. Thanks to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Partnership Program grant, the nature center received funds to purchase monitoring supplies and offset the transportation costs for visiting student researchers.
By creating a spatial grid on the property, the nature center can employ the students to collect flora and fauna data on each plot and report it on an online depository. This allows each student to conduct careful observations, become familiar with plant and animal identification characteristics, learn how to use a variety of field guides, become proficient in mapping, develop team building skills, and hold them accountable for information collected due to the online data reporting and documentation.
By partnering with Fox Valley Technical College, the nature center was able to recruit several Natural Resource students to lay out the spatial grid on the grounds, create the inventory data sheets and directions, and gather the necessary supplies for the actual research project.
Attention all middle school and high school teachers!
The Mosquito Hill Nature Center biotic inventory is a great, hands-on learning project for your students. All research supplies and materials are provided and transportation costs (up to $100) can be reimbursed. Please email naturalist, Jessica Miller, for more information.
Biotic Inventory Data Sheets (doc)
Biotic Inventory Instructions (doc)
Biotic Inventory Tasks (doc)
Habitat Descriptions (doc)
GPS Instructions (doc)
Backpack Checklist (doc)
Poison Ivy ID Sheet (doc)
Nettle ID Sheet (doc)
Biotic Inventory Materials and Uses Presentation (pdf)
Teachers: To submit data, please use this form (pdf).