Journey North Migrating to a New Home

February 5, 2019

We are pleased to announce that, after 25 years, the Journey North program is moving to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. This move represents an exciting crossroads for one of the largest citizen science programs in North America as we look to sustain and grow the program for the future.

Elizabeth Howard, the founder and director of Journey North, and Karen Oberhauser, UW-Madison Arboretum Director, would like to express thanks to Annenberg Learner for their support of Journey North over the first 25 years of its existence. Since 1995, when the internet age was dawning, Annenberg Learner fostered and funded Journey North’s vision to provide an online citizen science platform intended to reach educators and the general public.

Thanks also go out to all the early and current Journey North citizen science pioneers. Today, our Journey North community is contributing over 50,000 sightings per year, making our mission to understand, preserve, and protect migratory species like the monarch butterfly possible. 

Please Support Journey North: We hope that we can count on you to continue to participate by contributing your sightings. We also hope that you support Journey North in its new home at the UW-Madison Arboretum by donating today. Annenberg Learner will lead the effort with a kick-off donation.

About the Arboretum: The UW-Madison Arboretum staff and the land itself make the Arboretum an ideal center for citizen science projects, and home for Journey North. The UW-Madison Arboretum focuses on ecologically sustainable relationships between people and the land through integrative, innovative, and collaborative science, stewardship, education, and public engagement. Citizen science programs, like Journey North, blend these approaches perfectly.

About Journey North: In its 25th year, Journey North is one of North America’s premiere citizen science programs for people of all ages. The project has broad participation, with over 60,000 registered sites in the US, Canada, and Mexico — including families, teachers, schools, nature centers, professional scientists and novices. Journey North provides an easy entry point to citizen science, with simple protocols, strong online support, and immediate results. Reported sightings are mapped in real-time as waves of migrations move across the continent. People report sightings from the field, view maps, take pictures, and leave comments. Journey North was founded in 1994 by Elizabeth Howard who led the project for 25 years. Throughout its history, Journey North has been funded by Annenberg Learner, a division of the Annenberg Foundation, focused on advancing excellent teaching in American schools.

Meet Journey North’s New Coordinator: Nancy Sheehan brings over 20 years of experience with conservation education and citizen science to her job as Arboretum Citizen Science Coordinator-Journey North program. “I am excited to be a part of the Journey North community of citizen scientists. Please know that I, along with my colleagues, will ensure Journey North’s safe migration to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. With your observations and your sightings data entries, you are the voice for migratory species. Together we are gathering information, creating knowledge, and inspiring hope for the next generation of earth citizens”.   

A Final Farewell and Thanks to Journey North’s Staff:  As a bittersweet part of this transition, we bid farewell and thanks to Journey North’s longtime staff, all of whom worked with the project for over two decades: Beth Allen, Julie Brophy, Jane Duden, Mary Hosier, and Rita Welch. 

Founder Elizabeth Howard, Data Manager Cindy Schmid, and Programmer Mark Reeves will continue their work with the project in the near term to ensure the success of Journey North’s transition to its new home.