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Displaying items by tag: community science

We know COVID-19 is affecting everyone in Milwaukee County in many different and difficult ways. We are now spending a lot of time indoors living, working, and teaching as we care for ourselves and one another through physical distancing. However we also know that nature has incredible healing and calming powers that we want you to take advantage of during this stressful time. Whether that is in your backyard, in a park, or even through your window, we hope you have the chance to interact with the outdoors. Before you head outside, please abide by all health and social distancing recommendations by the CDC as well as by local health officials as they can change with every passing day. Please use your best judgment as your safety and ultimately the public’s safety is of utmost importance.

Thursday, 13 February 2020 16:44

A Sucker for Sapsuckers

One of my earliest interactions with a bird happened when I was a child. However, it was not actually with a bird, but instead an interaction with the source of its food. Every year as a child my family and I would pack up the car and head up to the great north woods to our log cabin situated on a small lake. In front of our cabin there was a birch tree just feet from the edge of the lake.

Friday, 02 August 2019 10:44

The Natural Bird GPS

I have always been interested in the unique physiology and behavior of our local avian friends; however, my internship this summer with the UEC has further sparked my interest in their migratory patterns. As one of the Community Science and Research Interns, I had the unique opportunity to travel to Door County for the annual Bioblitz. This event consists of several passionate scientists from around the state meeting and conducting biological surveys for an area of interest- basically a bunch of nerds doing what they love. As a part of this, I had the chance to participate in bird banding.

Bring your friends and family and help us count and document the different animal species in the parks we manage this summer during our Mini-BioBlitzes.

Before we get any further, what the heck is a BioBlitz? Well, a BioBlitz is typically a 24-hour event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species of plants, animals, fungi, and any others organisms as possible in one area. The goal is to create a snapshot in time of everything that is present.

Experience the nocturnal biodiversity and ecological richness of the natural areas around our three branches during a 2-hour Mini-BioBlitz on July 22nd at Washington Park, August 19th at Riverside Park and August 21st at Menomonee Valley.

Perhaps you remember dancing through the cool grass on a summer night, eyes carefully fixed on small, fleeting glimpses of light as they traveled silently through the air. You’d reach out and quickly grab into the darkness, and, if you were lucky, the spaces between your fingers would illuminate a bright green – leaving your face glowing with wonder. Many people have a joy of catching fireflies and watching them dazzle the night air. It can truly be a breathtaking experience.

Thursday, 28 February 2019 15:11

Story of a Young Scientist

Because of your support, our next generation of environmental scientists is growing. Up and out the door at 6 a.m., Analiese is ready to dive into the latest Community Science research project at the Urban Ecology Center! It’s not how you’d expect an 11-year-old might start her day. But for Analiese, walking a few doors down to the UEC at daybreak was a weekly routine during the summer of 2018.

Thursday, 31 January 2019 06:47

Where Art Meets Ecology

I got started volunteering at the Urban Ecology Center through small mammal monitoring in the summer of 2012 and have been fortunate enough to help with that project at least a few times every summer since, alongside numerous other projects. These opportunities and the UEC have helped me get to where I am professionally, granted me steady friendships, taught me so very much, and, most importantly, welcomed me, enthusiastic quirks and all, with open arms.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 15:03

Costa Rica 2019

costarica1

Costa Rica 2019: Charismatic Megafauna!

We are excited to offer an eco-travel expedition to explore the amazing biodiversity and unique cultural history of the Republic of Costa Rica! With the largest percentage of protected areas of any country and plans to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, the New Economics Foundation rated Costa Rica as the greenest country in the world. The wildlife in Costa Rica is also extraordinary - did you know that Costa Rica is home to as many as 225 mammals and 913 species of birds?

Speaking of wildlife, this is the Urban Ecology Center’s first time leading a trip to Costa Rica in the summer to take advantage of two magical wildlife spectacles:

First, we will be witness to the breeding grounds of Humpback Whales that spent the winter near Antarctica and are now returning to tropical waters to give birth to the calves that have been developing inside them all year.

seaturtle

Second, we will be present along the Caribbean Coast during the sea turtle nesting season as they return to their natal beaches to give birth. These are two natural events you will not want to miss!

And when we’re not looking for these two wonders, we’ll explore the amazing natural areas and biodiversity that bring visitors from around the world, while also looking into social and economic forces that contribute to some of the best examples of sustainability on a national level.

Reserve your spot today!

costarica

Can you spot the crocodile in this shot? Photo: Global Water Forum

When

August 1-12, 2019 (12 days, 11 nights)

Highlights

  • Tortuguero National Park during turtle nesting season: a unique area where the primary avenues of exploring are the many naturally-formed canals through primary rainforest. This area was preserved primarily to protect sea turtles and jaguars.
  • Tirimbina, an 850-acre, mid-elevation rainforest with a strong focus on environmental education.
  • Visiting Arenal: volcano, hot springs, and a chocolate tour (what more could you want?!)
  • Whale watching tour at Marino Ballena National Park
  • Wilson Botanical Garden, to see one of the largest plant collections on the world
  • Visiting the Paramo, the highest elevation tropical ecosystem

Itinerary

  • Click here for a sample of our itinerary!

arenal volcano blog size

Arenal Volcano, where you'll relax in hot springs, enjoy a chocolate tour, and more!

Cost

The price for this 12-day trip is (all-inclusive except for airfare):

$3375 for single occupancy

$2,595 for double occupancy 

$1600 for children sharing a room with an adult

Click here to pay your deposit and reserve a spot


If you are interested in this trip, have questions, or would like more information, contact Tim Vargo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (414) 964-8505


The Urban Ecology Center Eco-travel program offers a unique way to explore local and international destinations while exploring issues around sustainability. Your participation supports the Urban Ecology Center’s mission.

Top photo by Carlos Roberto Chavarría

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 15:55

Nashvilles in November?

You may have noticed that bird walks comprise the majority of community science opportunities at the Urban Ecology Center this time of year. And while our species counts may look closer to the temperature these days (if we’re lucky), there are still discoveries waiting to be made. Last week both our Menomonee Valley and Riverside Park bird walks found something we’ve never found before: a Nashville warbler in November!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 15:38

A gift of an American Beaver skeleton

Late last February, we received an email from a community member about a beaver found dead in Riverside Park. This news was especially disheartening to us considering the near celebrity status the Milwaukee River Greenway beaver couple had gained not only publicly, but amongst staff. We had watched the activities of the beavers in Riverside Park for nearly five years and enjoyed hearing the stories from other staff and community members about their encounters.

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Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Spring Adventure Day: Survival Challenge - Cancelled - Cancelled

Riverside Park

Monday, April 6th

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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Papermaking - Cancelled

Riverside Park

Monday, April 6th

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

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