Research and Citizen Science: Gear Shift

Written by Anne Reis
    Thursday, 03 October 2013
Photo Credit: Matt Flower Photo Credit: Matt Flower

October marks a bittersweet time in the annual cycle for the Research & Community Science crew. Summer is over, and along with it, go the warm temperatures, lush vegetation, and abundant wildlife. Many animals are starting to head south for the winter or are making their way toward hibernation areas. Additionally, we have come to the end of our 3-year Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) research and restoration grant from the EPA that helped create the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum. On the bright side, it's now the time to process the variety of data we have collected over the past three field seasons and start looking for trends or changes!

Oct 2013 Summary

With the help of 166 volunteers (thank you, volunteers!!), we conducted over 160 wildlife surveys and tracked almost 130 species in the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum this field season alone! Check out the graphic to the right for summary data of our bat, bird, frog & toad, invertebrate, small mammal, snake and turtle monitoring projects.

We are still processing moth and other invertebrate species, so species numbers will likely jump dramatically in a few months. Stay tuned for more information. You may be interested to know which species we encountered this season in the new Arboretum. Check out the species listed below. 

Bird Banding
American Goldfinch
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
Blackpoll Warbler
Brown Creeper
Common Grackle
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Gray Catbird
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Magnolia Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Palm Warbler
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-winged Blackbird
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Slate-colored Junco
Song Sparrow
Swainson’s Thrush
Swamp Sparrow
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Bird Walks
Click on link to view a list on eBird.org

Big Brown Bat
Little Brown Bat
Eastern Red Bat
Hoary Bat

Frogs & Toads
American Bullfrog
American Toad


Painted Turtle
Northern Map Turtle
Snapping Turtle
Spiny Softshell
Red-eared Slider (unconfirmed; possible escaped pet)

Dragonflies and Damselflies
American Rubyspot
Ebony Jewelwing
Blue-Fronted Dancer
Eastern Forktail
Powdered Dancer
Northern Spreadwing
Common Green Darner
Autumn Meadowhawk
Common Whitetail
Eastern Pondhawk
Halloween Pennant
Twelve-Spotted Skimmer
White-Faced Meadowhawk
Widow Skimmer

Butler’s Gartersnake
Common Gartersnake
Northern Brown Snake

White-footed Mouse
Meadow Vole
Eastern Chipmunk


The Research & Community Science Team is still conducting bird walks and bird banding (at all three branches), but bat, frog, invertebrate (dragonflies and moths), mammal, snake, and turtle monitoring projects are over for the season. Make sure to sign up for the Weekly R&R for more information on fall and winter research opportunities. If you are interested in data, please contact Anne Reis, GIS Specialist, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get involved in indoor volunteer opportunities. We will appreciate help in processing the data for the 2012-2013 Research and Community Science Annual Review. In the meantime, check out last year’s Annual Review on our website.

Anne Reis

Anne Reis

Anne has conducted research on a variety of topics including cranberries, potatoes, wetlands, lichens, tamaracks, and most recently bats. She has a B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture from UW-Madison and a M.S. in Biological Sciences and a GIS Certificate from UW-Milwaukee. Anne is the GIS Specialist at the Center and enjoys reading, mapping, gardening, and spending time outside with her husband and daughter in the Riverwest neighborhood.

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