Citizen Science | The Topeka Zoo

Citizen Science

What is citizen science?

Citizen science is where members of the public get involved in helping scientists collect research data. This research benefits plants and animals on a local, national, and international scale, as increased knowledge of a species allows conservationists to know if/where they need to focus their efforts. This is a great activity for kids and families, as little training is needed to join in these campaigns.

Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science at Zoo

The monarch butterfly migration is soon upon us and your Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center, in partnership with the Kansas Museum of History, will be waiting for them!  In efforts to help this declining species, we will be offering free monarch butterfly education programs and tagging events. These two-hour classes will be held at the Kansas Museum of History, where the first portion will be an indoor, interactive education program where audiences learn about monarch butterflies, their importance, and how to safely catch them. Guests will then go outdoors to the museum’s prairie and will be given nets to catch, tag, and release the monarchs. Data collected from these classes will be sent to the citizen science organization Monarch Watch, who will use this information to help preserve and protect this beautiful species.

These classes will be given four separate times during the migration. The dates are as follows:

  • Monday, September 18th, from 5:30-7:30 at the Kansas Museum of History
  • Wednesday, September 20th, from 5:30-7:30 at the Kansas Museum of History
  • Tuesday, September 26th, from 5:30-7:30 at the Kansas Museum of History
  • Thursday, September 28th, from 5:30-7:30 at the Kansas Museum of History

Please note: You must attend the education program in order to receive a net to catch the butterflies.

Pre-registration is required and the classes can sell out, so please register as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the Education Department at 785-368-9137 or

Click here to register online! 

To learn more about Monarch Watch and the work they do, follow this link:


Other Citizen Science Campaigns

The following list includes some other hands-on citizen science campaigns that you can become involved in:


For questions about citizen science or the zoo’s monarch events, please contact the Conservation and Education Department at 785-368-9137 or