SENR Picks

April 29, 2020

SENR Picks with Gabriel Karns

SENR Picks:  Gabe Karns
Tracking Migration with Citizen Science

Learn about a pioneering online migration tracking database citizens can contribute to in this SENR Picks.

Journey North is a citizen science migration tracking database.  The Monarch butterfly is a focus, but Journey North tracks sightings of other migratory wildlife as well.

This database is timely to share as warm weather is on the horizon and the Monarch butterflies current position surely means Ohio will be getting our first in the next 7-10 days.

The Monarch butterfly is currently being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for potential listing under the Endangered Species Act and the reasons for the butterfly's steep decline are complex.  Monarchs complete an annual multi-generational journey from Mexico to the United States and Canada and back every year.  Monarch butterfly reproduction is dependent upon milkweed as a host plant and connecting plant phenology (when plants grow and bloom) with migratory timing is an important component of understanding the species' dynamics.  The Monarch butterfly is an iconic species, continentally recognized by nearly all citizens, and will take a whole group effort to conserve.


Gabriel Karns is part of the Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Lab and has shared responsibilities with the School of Environment and Natural Resources and The Ohio State University-Mansfield Ecolab.  Part of his research focuses on the role of working landscapes, such as rights-of-way, to provide habitat for pollinators, and he is an active member of the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group and serves on the Monarch Joint Venture's Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program advisory panel. 

Read more about Dr. Karns work to create monarch butterfly and other pollinator habitat here.

SENR Picks is a periodic update on resources and educational materials focused on environment and natural resource topics highlighted by faculty, staff and students of the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Posted on April 29, 2020.

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