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Michelle Prysby

Virginia Master Naturalist Program Coordinator, Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech

Michelle Prysby

Michelle Prysby has been a researcher, promoter, and enthusiast of public participation in scientific research since 1997 when she launched the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project as part of her graduate thesis in Ecology at the University of Minnesota. She has enjoyed experiencing PPSR from many different perspectives: scientist, educator, coordinator, and citizen scientist. Having worked for several years as the Citizen Science Director 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 Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. She coordinates the Virginia Master Naturalist program, a volunteer program that involves Virginians in natural resource education, science, and stewardship. Through this program, she collaborates with five of Virginia’s state agencies and dozens of other partner organizations to involve volunteers in conservation projects. Some current PPSR projects for the Virginia Master Naturalist program include a study of the effects of land cover changes on vernal pools, BioBlitzes in local parks, and wildlife surveys for the state’s Wildlife Action Plan.