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Getting Started

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Community scientists provide valuable data for monarch conservation through the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program (IMMP). If you are interested in participating in the IMMP, there are multiple steps you'll take to prepare for monitoring. Read the steps below or watch our "Getting Started" video. Before participating, sign our Volunteer Waiver here.

  1. Sign up: Register an account in the IMMP Data Portal, where you'll select a site and enter data. (Instructions for doing so are provided here).
  2. Sign our Volunteer Waiver before collecting data.
  3. Select & register your monitoring site: You may select a site of your choosing or adopt a random IMMP priority site. Select the "Choose a Site" tab in the IMMP Data Portal to view the IMMP map. Once you've chosen a site, select the "Register Your Site" tab to officially register the site.
  4. Acquire permission: If you are not the landowner, you will need to acquire permission to access the site. Both the landowner and monitor must sign a Landowner Agreement Form. You may complete a paper form and upload it when registering your site in the IMMP Data Portal or fill out the electronic version. Both forms and instructions are found under Additional Resources.
  5. Choose activity(s): Activities include surveys of milkweed and blooming plants, monarch eggs and larvae, adult monarchs, and investigations of monarch survival and parasitism. You may start with one or two activities and add more as you become familiar with your site and protocols.
  6. Become trained: Attend an in-person training or complete training online.
  7. Obtain monitoring materials: You may purchase your own materials or order a monitoring kit through the Monarch Joint Venture store.
  8. Set up your monitoring plot: Before arriving at your site, you should have an idea about how your monitoring plot will fit within your given site. Locate your plot boundaries before conducting the activities.
  9. Complete Site Description form: You must complete the Site Description form each time you visit your monitoring site. If your site is managed for conservation, complete the Conservation Management History form (once). Click here to download the current datasheets.
  10. Monitor your site: Complete your chosen activity(s).
  11. Submit data: Record data on paper datasheets and enter them into the online IMMP Data Portal before the end of the calendar year. Check to make sure you have entered each record correctly before submitting.