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Michelle Prysby

Virginia Master Naturalist Program Coordinator for Virginia Tech


Michelle Prysby has been a researcher, promoter, and enthusiast of citizen science since 1997 when she launched the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project as part of her graduate thesis. She has enjoyed experiencing citizen science from many different perspectives: scientist, educator, coordinator, and citizen scientist. Having worked for several years at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, she has a special interest in citizen science programming at environmental education centers and is a co-author of a publication on this topic. Currently, Michelle is a

Cooperative Extension faculty member in the Department of Forestry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She coordinates the Virginia Master Naturalist program, a volunteer program that involves Virginians in natural resource education, citizen science, and stewardship.


Citizen Science at Environmental Education Centers  tiny PDF icon

Citizen science can be a valuable tool for educational programming at environmental education centers, nature centers, and other non-formal education institutions. Likewise, these institutions are an excellent resource for scientists looking for citizen scientists. This presentation will highlight the special opportunities and challenges of citizen science in the nature center setting, using examples from Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and the Virginia Master Naturalist program. A case study will be the citizen science component of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, an effort to document all species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The lessons learned may be applied to biological inventories of any scale that involve citizen scientists.

Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.

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