FrogWatch USA is AZA's citizen science program and provides individuals, groups, and families opportunities to learn about wetlands in their communities by reporting on the calls of local frogs and toads.
Frogs and toads have served as important cultural symbols for centuries; this can range from symbolizing fertility in ancient Egypt, luck in Japan, and rain gods for some Native American cultures to Kermit the Frog's status as a modern-day celebrity. Frogs and toads have been vitally important in the field of human medicine and compounds from their skin are currently being tested for anti-cancer and anti-HIV properties.
Frogs and toads also play an important role, serving as both prey and predator, in wetland ecosystems and are considered indicators of environmental health. Many previously abundant frog and toad populations have experienced dramatic population declines both in the United States and around the world and it's essential that scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines. Learn more about how the AZA community is involved in amphibian conservation.
AZA is in the process of identifying a new managing organization for FrogWatch USA. We appreciate all of our Coordinators and Volunteers and everything you have done for this program. FrogWatch USA volunteers will continue to have access to resources through this website and access to review and submit data to the FieldScope platform. After December 2021, please direct all inquiries to local chapters.
Volunteers are the foundation of the FrogWatch USA community - these trained individuals listen for frogs and toads during evenings from February through August and submit these observations to a national online database. Monitoring through FrogWatch USA can be an enriching experience that allows one to connect with nature and also contribute to amphibian conservation efforts. Learn more about becoming or continuing as a FrogWatch USA volunteer.
FrogWatch USA has established an expansive network of chapters across the United States, hosted at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, nature centers, and similar organizations. Chapters are led by chapter coordinators - trained experts in the program - who mentor volunteers in their community and host training sessions to recruit new ones. Learn more about starting a FrogWatch USA chapter or explore some of the resources available for current chapter coordinators.
AZA has partnered with several organizations to support FrogWatch USA, with each partnership yielding a unique benefit to the program. Learn more about the partners and the online tools, course credit-yielding training, educational toys, and public television shows that have been created.
Volunteers, chapter coordinators, researchers, and anyone with an interest in frogs and toads can explore the data through FrogWatch USA's innovative online data entry, mapping, and analysis platform, developed by the National Geographic Society. These data are readily available for ongoing analyses to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important animals.
Since the program's inception, volunteers have helped gather an immense amount of high-quality data. Use these links to view some of the reports generated from the data:
The Citizen Science Academy, hosted by the Chicago Botanic Garden, provides online professional development resources for educators in order to support the effective implementation of Citizen Science projects and activities that focus on ecology and environmental sciences. In CSA520 - Introduction to Citizen Science: Explorations in Educational Settings, participants will become familiar with five successful Citizen Science projects, including FrogWatch USA; each of which is especially suited to both formal and informal education settings. This is a 30-day self-directed course with suggested Unit deadlines which will be completed with a cohort of other educators. Participants also have the option to sign up for graduate level continuing education credits from Colorado School of Mines.
From 2010-2015, AZA partnered with the National Geographic Society (NGS) on an Informal Science Education award from the National Science Foundation. In this project, NGS developed and evaluated a web-based software platform called FieldScope to support citizen science projects involving geographic data, thereby helping the public engage in scientific research about the world around them. This award helped make FrogWatch USA a more collaborative citizen science program, where data are now freely accessible via an engaging online interface. The award also supported the growth of the chapter network, which has both increased data quality and quantity while improving the volunteer experience.
FrogWatch USA has developed an extensive social media presence to connect with volunteers in meaningful ways. A seasonal newsletter is also released several times throughout the year to update volunteers on program updates and announcements, in addition to sharing interesting findings. Explore the various ways you can connect to FrogWatch USA online.
To learn more about the AZA FrogWatch USA program, contact your local FrogWatch chapter.