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Current Research & Community Science Updates


Month of July

Welcome to the Research and Community Science monthly schedule! The Urban Ecology Center will be opening to the public in a limited capacity starting July 10th. Please check the home page of our website for the most recent updates. Outdoor volunteer opportunities are available, so please be sure to read below!

Weekly In Person Bird Walks:

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Our weekly bird walks at the three UEC branches are open to the public. These run every Tuesday at Menomonee Valley, every Wednesday at Washington Park, and every Thursday at Riverside Park from 8:00-10:00am. Register here.

Volunteer Opportunities

We are excited to offer in person volunteer opportunities for our summer field season! We miss you all! Masks are now recommended, but are not mandatory for outdoor volunteer opportunities. If you need to go to the bathroom, we do require masks when going indoors. You can find the plethera of volunteer opportunities on our calander. We have volunteer surveying opportunities ranging from bumble bees to snakes to bats!

Virtual Events:

Weekly Virtual Backyard Naturalist Lecture Series

Most Fridays at 9:00am CST

Come join us for weekly Friday virtual lectures on the amazing life that exists in our backyards. Each week will focus on a different Backyard Naturalist topic from birds to archaea. We will cover it ALL, one week at a time! Register here.

Upon registration, you will be sent an email containing the link to the Zoom session. Look for this email 1 hour prior to event start time. (If you do not see this email, it might be based on your personal email filter settings - be sure to check your spam folder)

If you love the Backyard Naturalist Lecture series so much, we encourage you to subscribe to a summer subscription or buy a season for a friend! 

You can find all the previously recorded lectures on Backyard Wildlife and on an Introduction to eBird series here.


The lectures for the month of July are as follows:

Journey to Break Free from Plastics

What are nurdles? How does microplastic enter the waterways? Can we solve the plastics problem? Join the co-founder of Plastic-Free MKE, Meenal Atre, in learning about the plastic problem and how to reduce the use of it.

Bumble Bee Conservation in Your Backyard

Discover the life history, ecology, and habitats of our native bumble bee species. Guest lecturer, Susan Carpenter is one of Wisconsin’s experts on bumble bee conservation, the rusty-patched bumble bee, and citizen-based monitoring.

Good Night and Wood Duck – Backyard Naturalist

The Wood Duck may be one of the most visually stunning creatures around. For a baby wood duck its first task may be to jump 50 feet to the ground! We’ll take a closer look at this extraordinary backyard fowl.

Who wouldn’t want to be able to walk on the ceiling and taste foods with their feet? They’re everywhere, like them or not so might as well be fascinated by them. Join us for fly stories and catch up on the buzz!

Vulture Shock – Backyard Naturalist

Vultures might be one of the most maligned creatures around but they perform a critical service and many cultures around the world revere them. We’ll take a close look at this “cathartic” backyard creature.


Please stay safe and as always, Happy Researching! - Maggie, Haley, Ethan, Tim

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