Citizen Science

     

Students that Change the World

Wildlife Safari Park offers Citizen Science programs from monarch tagging to amphibian and water conservation. Programs can be reserved at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium or at the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari. Both locations offer classes and workshops. 
 
Citizen Science programs are where kids and adults help make important discoveries. Take an epic journey with monarchs or leap and learn with frogs and toads! You and your students can be a part of helping better understand the world around us. Reserve your workshop today by calling our Conservation Coordinator at (402)738-2092 or contact Educate@omahazoo.com.  
 
Open your students’ eyes to what they can do in their own communities, neighborhoods and backyards!
 
 

Available Citizen Science Programs 

Private Citizen Science Workshops are available by reservation three weeks in advance. Minimum participants in a reserved workshop is 5 people with minimum age of 6 years old. Cost is $16/person unless reserved with a Campout program then adults are free. Cost includes supplies and equipment use. Workshops run 2 hours in length and can be reserved any day of the week.
Available Topics (See Below for more details)
  • Pollinators (Bees or Butterfly Focus)
  • Amphibians
  • Light Pollution
  • Water Quality
  • Invasive Species
  • Urban Birding
  • Others Topics available (seasonally)
Contact the Conservation Coordinator in the Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or Educate@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about topic availability and reserving your spot today. 
 
 

4C (Clean Creeks Conservation Crew)

4C is an immersive program, open to all curious and concerned citizens, who are interested in the health of our creeks and value their conservation. Together, we discover what a healthy creek looks like, perform biological and chemical monitoring tests, explore living organisms within that ecosystem and work toward the conservation of clean creeks in our own backyards.  
 
Contact the Wildlife Safari Park Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or scouts@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about training programs. 

ACEP (Amphibian Conservation Education Program)

Close to 6,000 known species of amphibians live in our world; however, many are going extinct at an alarming rate. Currently, almost 2,000 species are threatened with extinction; that is nearly 1/3 of the planet's amphibians. This percentage is considerably higher than other groups. For example, 23% of mammal species and 12% of bird species are at risk. In order to accurately assess the level of threat, a great deal of research needs to be conducted. 
 
Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari aims to develop an understanding of how a mass decline of amphibians will affect the balance of nature; and to give area youth the opportunity to conduct a statewide amphibian survey to determine the viability of amphibian habitat and health. We cannot save amphibians alone. They need your help and you can make a difference. 
 
Contact the Wildlife Safari Park Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or scouts@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about training programs. 

FrogWatch USA Volunteer Training

Become a FrogWatch USA citizen scientist and join a community monitoring frogs and toads through the nation. Learn how you can help protect these important animals by gathering information on calling frogs and toads at wetlands in your community and adding your observations to a national dataset.   
 
FrogWatch USA has established an expansive network of chapters across the United States, hosted at Association of Zoo & Aquariums-accredited zoos and aquariums, nature centers, and similar organizations. Chapters are led by chapter coordinators - trained experts in the program - who mentor volunteers in their community and host training sessions to recruit new ones. The Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari is a certified chapter. 
 
Contact the Wildlife Safari Park Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or scouts@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about training programs. 

Salamander Conservation

Wildlife Safari Park needs your help! We are on the lookout for tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum), a species that was last spotted in this area almost 10 years ago.We are looking to you for help in collecting data to see if they are still in eastern Nebraska!
To Document Salamanders in your Area
 
Contact the Wildlife Safari Park Education Department at (402) 738-2092 with the following information about your salamader find should you spot one: Name, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Phone Number, Email Address, Location, GPS Location, General Description and Comments.
 
Remember, please do not touch or disturb the salamander, just let us know where you saw it. It’s that simple!
For more information contact the Wildlife Safari Park Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or scouts@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about training programs. 

4B (Bees, Butterflies, Birds, and Beetles) Pollinator Program

Why are they important for more than just your garden blooms, and what can we do in our own backyards to protect them? Join our conservation crew as we learn to identify beneficial backyard pollinators and create and enhance their habitats. Bee empowered to protect pollinators!
 
Contact the Wildlife Safari Park Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or scouts@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about training programs. 

Monarch Tagging

Monarch Butterflies migrate large distances from Mexico, where they winter, to central and northern United States. To gain a better understanding of their populations and migration patterns, citizen scientists tag monarchs in late summer early fall when monarchs are in their “Super Generation” on their way back to Mexico. The tags are in conjunction with MonarchWatch.org and the University of Kansas that take the data collected during the tagging and monitor migrations.   
 
Contact the Wildlife Safari Park Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or scouts@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about training programs. 
Public tagging events will be held at Wildlife Safari Park and at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in September.  Event is open to the public and free with membership to Wildlife Safari Park or paid admission.  
 
Public Tagging Dates at Wildlife Safari Park
 
Sunday, September 19, 2021 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Sunday, September 26, 2021 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm  
  • Please meet the Conservation Education Staff at the Lower level of the Butterfly Garden behind the Berniece Grewcock Butterfly and Insect Pavilion.  
 
Public Tagging Dates at Omaha's Henry Door Zoo & Aquarium 
 
Saturday, September 18, 2021 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Saturday, September 25, 2021 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Please meet the Conservation Education Staff at the Visitor's Center near the Playground and small animal exhibits. 

Butterfly Conservation

Worldwide, there are nearly 17.500 species of butterflies, grouped into five families: Hesperiidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, and Nymphalidae. Close to 750 species inhabit the United States and Canada, most notably the Monarch and Regal Fritillary that can be found in Nebraska and surrounding states. 
 
Approximately 3 percent of butterfly species are threatened with extinction. This decline in butterfly populations is attributed primarily to habitat loss due to urbanization and agriculture. As populations continue to decrease, a growing need to more closely monitor species is developing. Because there is little distinction between some types of butterflies, identification and classification proves to be a challenge. Very few Lepidopterists (scientists who study butterflies and moths) exist; therefore monitoring population sizes and ranges of butterfly species is a daunting task. 
 
Nationwide, butterfly counting events have become popular for families, schools, and hobbyists alike. Not only do they provide a valuable learning experience, but they also allow individuals to partake in citizen science. By participating, citizen scientists are able to provide researchers with useful data. Lepidopterists are able to utilize information collected from butterfly counts to pinpoint regions or species of interest for additional studies. 

Conduct a Butterfly Survey

Learn More About Butterflies and Moths

Contact the Wildlife Safari Park Education Department at (402) 738-2092 or scouts@OmahaZoo.com to inquire about training programs. 

Park Work Days

Does your troop or pack need to complete a Community Project for the year?  Do you need Community Service Hours? We'd love to have you come and help us at the Park! The Wildlife Safari Park follows the Leave No Trace Principals and will expand upon its importance to the ecology around us. Groups and individuals can pick up trash, pull cedar trees, help with trail maintainance and much more. Park work days are the third Saturdays of each month from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. Guests can meet at the Darrald Harsh Wildlife Education Center at Wolf Woods in the lower parking lot. Reservations are not required but to ensure that there are enough supplies for all, please email us to let us know that you are planning on coming. **Admission is not included and must be paid at the front gate or entrance can be gained with Wildlife Safari Park membership. (Community Service hours will be signed off on after hours are completed). 
 
Fee: Park Admission or Free with Wildlife Safari Park Membership
When: Third Saturday of Each Month April - October  9:30 am to 11:00 am 
Where: Meet at Education Building in Wolf Woods Parking Lot
 

Equipment to bring with you (optional):

  • leather gloves or garden gloves
  • buckets with handles
  • wheelbarrows or wagons
  • rubber boots
  • hats
  • sunscreen/bug spray
  • long pants/long sleeves
  • garden sheers/pruners (over the age of 12 yrs.old)
  • shovels/small hand trowels
 
Please feel free to bring water bottles & coolers with snacks or lunches. The Wildlife Safari Park allows food and non-alcoholic drinks to be brought into its facility and there are lots of great outdoors spaces to enjoy a picnic lunch. Don't forget the checkered picnic blanket! 
 
For extra dates outside of the planned Saturdays, please contact our Conservation Coordinator at (402)738-2092 or contact Educate@OmahaZoo.com