Growing BEP's Community Science Programming

Dear Bears Partnership Community, 

​​Did you know the Bears Ears region is home to many sensitive and rare – and fascinating – species? One of my favorites is the Eucosma Navajoensis, an endemic moth that has only been spotted near Valley of the Gods. I have yet to see one – but I am hoping I will get to when I’m out on the field again for our volunteer Community Science programs.

Bears Ears Partnership’s volunteer programs provide hands-on opportunities for visitors of all ages and backgrounds to help protect and learn from this unique landscape. Through partnerships with Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and nonprofit partners, our volunteer service projects make a tangible difference to the Monument and improve everyone’s visiting experience. This year, I have been working hard to expand our Community Science program, building off of the success of last year’s first annual Butterfly Count and Bird Count - (you can listen to KZMU’s radio show about our first butterfly count, last August, HERE!). 

Our efforts to monitor species here in Bears Ears contribute to national and even international efforts to understand the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, and how the Monument can be a refuge for sensitive species. The data we collect together can support efforts of researchers, agencies, and databases to inform ongoing studies – and our trainings also emphasize the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

To create a robust Community Science cohort, we need funding to equip our volunteers with the materials they need to be safe and successful out in the field. We’ll be hosting our second annual two-day butterfly count in July, our first-ever Moth Week in late July, first-ever Bat Week in October, and a second-annual Bird Count in December. We’ll also be offering trainings for monitoring Mexican Spotted Owls, and eventually collaborating with local school programs to encourage lifelong learning.

This week, our goal is to raise $5,000 to help us get materials like butterfly nets, data equipment, Go-Pro cameras, and other items to assemble toolkits for these Community Science projects. 

Bears Ears Partnership could not do the work we do without the generous help of volunteers – and to make sure our volunteers have a fulfilling experience, we rely on the generous gifts from supporters. Thank you for supporting conservation efforts that incorporate community science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and for your continued support of all of our volunteer programs.

Thank you, 

Ricky Begaye, BEP Volunteer Manager 




Interested in learning more about our volunteer program? 

Learn more about bep's volunteer program

Don't miss these upcoming community science volunteer opportunities: 

Beef Basin Butterfly Count: Saturday July 13

Cedar Mesa Butterfly Count: Sunday July 14

Moth Week: Saturday July 20-Sunday July 28