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Great Lakes Worm Watch

Main Project Information
Presented By University of MN
Goal Help researchers map earthworm distribution and species richness
Task Conduct earthworm surveys.
Where Global, anywhere on the planet
Description

The Great Lakes Worm Watch needs citizen scientists to conduct earthworm surveys in forests and other habitats anywhere in North America.

Earthworms are not native to the Great Lakes Region; they were all wiped out after the last glaciation. The current population, brought here by early Europeans, is slowly changing the face of our native forests, but very little is known about the distributions of earthworm and earthworm species across the region. While valuable, this type of information is labor-intensive, and it is difficult for researchers to get funding to do this kind of work. Citizen scientists can help.

There are several ways to get involved:

1. Document earthworm occurrences: This involves collecting and sending earthworm specimens with location information to Great Lakes Worm Watch. These specimens will be archived at the University of Minnesota, and the species and location information will be added to the project database.

2. Collect habitat data: Great Lakes Worm Watch would like data from all habitat types, especially natural ecosystems like forests, woodlands, and prairies. In addition, data from habitats dominated by human activity are also of value, such as farm fields, pastures, and parks. Depending on your level of interest and expertise, you can choose to conduct a general or detailed habitat survey. You can use the instructions and data sheets developed by the project coordinators to make the data easily transferable to the database.

3. Conduct soil surveys: In addition to earthworm and habitat data, Great Lakes Worm Watch is also interested in getting data about the soil conditions at sites in which you sampled for earthworms. You can use the instructions and data sheet developed by project coordinators to make the data easily transferable to the database.

Get started! Anyone can make a BIG difference when it comes to containing the spread of exotic earthworms!

How to Join Click the "Request to join" button on this page to instantly notify the project leader of your interest!
or

The project website provides instructions and data sheets for conducting your own earthworm, habitat, and soil surveys in the “Conduct your Own Surveys” section: http://greatlakeswormwatch.org/team/conduct.html

If you feel you need more help in designing a study, you can contact the project coordinators with particular questions at:

Great Lakes Worm Watch
Natural Resources Research Institute
University of Minnesota
5013 Miller Trunk Highway
Duluth, MN 55811-1442
218.788.2710
greatlakeswormwatch@gmail.com

Project Timing This project can be conducted from spring through first hard frost in the fall.
Website http://greatlakeswormwatch.org/team/index.html
Social Media
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Just once
Average Time Less than an hour
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity While fishing, On a hike, On a walk, run, At school, At home
Training Materials http://www.nrri.umn.edu/worms/team/conduct.html
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags citizen science, earthworms, great lakes, invasive
Project Updated 05/12/2017