Earth Challenge 2020: ask your monarch questions!

In preparation for Earth Day's 50th anniversary in 2020, the Earth Day Network and several partner organizations are seeking input to develop a major citizen science support network. You can provide input by asking important questions about our earth, and groups like the Monarch Joint Venture could get support to answer those questions using citizen science!

The Earth Day Network seeks to better understand air and water quality, pollution, human health, and biodiversity, in order to provide new insights on the state of the environment and find innovative solutions to global problems. They are accepting research questions using the hashtag #EC2020 on Twitter and on their website through Saturday Dec. 15, 2018, and will unveil topics for additional support and resources. Visit their website to find out more about the initiative: https://www.earthday.org/earthchallenge2020getinvolved/

The Earth Day Challenge is an opportunity for monarch conservation, and the other benefits to the environment that come from it. MJV recognizes the monarch butterfly as an ambassador species for pollinators, and that pollinators and other insects face major threats in the face of changing climate and landscapes. Declining populations of insects can have cascading effects, and threaten biodiversity on large scales. Understanding monarchs and their habitat through citizen science, especially considering their international reach, can help us better apply conservation efforts for a large suite of pollinators. Citizen science has helped drive our understanding of monarchs for decades, and this is a great opportunity to expand those efforts!

We encourage you to submit relevant research questions to this program, and demonstrate the multinational support and interest in these topics! Here are some items to consider, and we encourage you to refine or develop your own!

  • What is driving the drastic global decline in pollinators?
  • On what types of land will conservation efforts benefit monarchs and pollinators the most?
  • Using monarchs as a case study, what is the current landscape of habitat for pollinators and how is it changing in the face of changing climate and landscapes?
  • How are declines in pollinators affecting agriculture practices and production worldwide?

Asking and answering questions about monarchs, pollinators and biodiversity can make a difference. If these topics are selected, the Earth Day collaborative will work with relevant parties, such as the Monarch Joint Venture, to develop technologies for data collection and storage, promote monarch and pollinator citizen science through international partners, and support outreach to engage volunteers. Submit a research question by Dec. 15 and help take monarch citizen science to a truly global level!