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AT: Monarch Workshop – Citizen Science

September 27, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


In Person. Registration Required.

As part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Monarch Stewards certification program, NWF is partnering with members of the CenTex Monarch Alliance to provide the Monarch Stewards’ next level of training, the Monarch Citizen Science Workshop.

Citizen Scientists (also known as Community Scientists) are an important asset to the Tri-National monarch conservation efforts. The monarch butterfly inhabits a wide spatial range, and studying all the habitats that the monarch population covers along its migration pathways requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to increase our knowledge of the monarch ecology. Workshop participants will obtain the technical skills and knowledge to collect monarch-related information in the field and provide meaningful data to the different organizations that are performing some kind of monarch butterfly-related scientific research.

What are the Topics?

The Citizen Science workshop focuses on understanding and using the Monarch Larvae Monitoring Protocol (MLMP), testing for the Ophryocystis elektroscirrhauprotozoan parasite (Monarch health), tagging monarchs (Fall migration tracking), and collecting information on monarch sightings, as well as on reporting to such organizations as Monarch Health Lab, Monarch Watch, and Journey North. Participants will also learn how to efficiently use iNaturalist and the Texas Nature Trackers as social platforms to identify species and collect specific monarch data.

Who should attend this workshop?

The primary objective of this workshop is to train participants on how to educate others about the ecological role of monarchs and the conservation actions that can be taken to help the species. This workshop will strengthen your skills to outreach and educate others about monarch conservation, and in volunteering as Citizen /Community Scientist. We request that every participant agree to share the education and knowledge acquired during this workshop with others by offering presentations or workshops and to volunteer in a Citizen Science activity (i.e. tagging monarchs, testing for OE, implementing the monitoring protocols, or new opportunities to collect scientific data).

Monarch Stewards Certification

After you complete the workshop series (3 Workshops), you will receive a Monarch Stewards Training Certificate issued by the National Wildlife Federation. You will have opportunities to volunteer for local Citizen/Community Science projects, workshops, and other monarch conservation activities.

NWF will issue a certification of completion of this workshop upon request.

Each participant will receive a Dropbox link to Citizen Science materials, supporting handouts, and other resources.

NOTE: Texas Master Naturalists and Native Plant Society of Texas: some Chapters are considering this workshop as an Advanced Training, ask your Chapter’s leader.

The Trainers

Christine Anastas is a Texas Master Naturalist, Master Gardener, and active member of the Native Plant Society of Texas. She has been involved with growing native milkweed plants and monarch citizen science projects since 2012. Her current citizen projects include MLMP, Journey North, Monarch Health, IMMP, and Monarch Watch, and is part of the beta testing for the University of Michigan M3 Monarch Migration Project. She has developed and conducted workshops for MLMP training and community presentations on Monarch and Milkweed conservation.

Carol Clark is a Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist, Texas Master Naturalist, and long-time member of the Native Plant Society of Texas. She administers the Texas Native Bee Co-op Facebook page and chairs the Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas committee. When she isn’t busy teaching others about pollinators or native plants, she enjoys looking after her own colossal Monarch Waystation and wildlife refuge in Cooke County.

Craig Hensley is a Texas Nature Trackers Biologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Craig is a lifelong naturalist and educator, now training community scientists across Texas about iNaturalist and helping document the flora and fauna of Texas. Craig has been educating children and adults about the natural world including monarchs for more than forty years, as well as native plants and their use in gardens. Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Arkansas Tech University and a Master’s in Zoology from the University of Arkansas.

Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón is the National Wildlife Federation’s Director of Climate Resilience Habitats and Monarch Recovery Strategist. Rebeca holds a Ph.D. in Geomatics Engineering from the University of Calgary and an MSc in Environmental Engineering. She has over a decade of experience in monarch butterfly habitat restoration and conservation in the eastern U.S. flyway and Mexico overwintering grounds. As the new Monarch Recovery Strategist, she leads and facilitates the creation of a Federation-wide, science-based monarch conservation strategy, and works with people at different levels and backgrounds to define the best strategies to implement monarch conservation programs. Rebeca also directs NWF’s Monarch Stewards Certification Program.

Log in VMS under AT:Skills Enhancement Courses


September 27, 2023
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78746
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