The Iowa Butterfly Survey Network (IBSN) is a citizen science program coordinated by Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University and dedicated to tracking populations of butterflies in Iowa. Winneshiek County Conservation is a Hub Leader for IBSN, serving as a local contact for area volunteers, conducting trainings, and offering additional assistance as needed.

What is Citizen Science?

Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or part, by nonprofessional scientists, who often volunteers. Projects are often coordinated by professional scientific researchers or organizations. The data collected in citizen science programs is used in scientific research and studies across the world.

What is the Iowa Butterfly Survey Network?

The goal of IBSN is to educate Iowans about butterflies while simultaneously encouraging people to take an active role in conservation. IBSN conducts research using volunteer citizen scientists of all skill levels to collect data for yearly population surveys of butterfly species in Iowa. You can learn more at the IBSN website.

Why Study Butterflies?

Of the 122 species of butterflies believed to live in Iowa, more than one-fourth are listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern, making their long-term survival in Iowa questionable. By collecting butterfly population data, conservationists, scientists, and individuals can learn more about how and why butterfly populations are changing and what can be done to protect Iowa's butterflies.

How can I help?

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer monitor with IBSN must attend a training to learn the appropriate survey and documentation techniques. As a hub leader, Winneshiek County Conservation offers those trainings.

Please read the IBSN Volunteer Monitor Guidelines to get a better feel of what IBSN volunteers do.

You may also attend trainings hosted at Reiman Gardens in Ames or by any other hub leader in the state. Check the IBSN website for information on those trainings.