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Get Involved: Open Space & Natural Resources - Researcher

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Do you wonder what attracts a certain species of bird to nest in a certain area, or can you figure out why layers of rock seem to reappear in unsuspected places? Sharpen up your inner sleuthing skills to systematically investigate natural resources or possibly habits of trail users on Douglas County Open Space properties to establish facts and reach new conclusions.  Become a citizen scientist (or maybe you are already a scientist) and help others understand our properties better through you revealing work.  Your research can also help determine how lands will be managed for plants, wildlife, and other components of ecosystems.  Help a research project for a day or embark on a long-term project.


  • Research projects are dependent on the needs of the Open Space property  
  • Guidance from Douglas County Open Space Staff to initially create the project is required. 
  • Special tools, materials, access, and procedures for each project will need to be determined and followed. 


  • Indoor and outdoor trainings at various sites may be held for Researchers and procedures for Special Projects.  
  • A variety of Volunteer Naturalists, Trail Crew Volunteers, local resource specialists, and Douglas County Open Space staff members can contribute a wealth of information and assistance for Volunteer Researchers. 
  • Complete First Aid and CPR Certification and a background check with Douglas County.  
  • Naturalist training is available
  • Douglas County Ethics Training
  • Get to know the Open Space properties and natural resources, helpful contacts, trails, and history of the land, and how to maintain or improve the resources.   
Volunteer Benefits:
  • Opportunity to meet and work with people with similar interests. 
  • Opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and contribute to knowledge of the land     
  • Receive training to understand research procedures
  • Acquire feelings of accomplishment and taking part in sharing knowledge and providing facts to be used for land management practices. 
Educational - Research
Botany, Geology, Environmental Ed/Interpretation, Gardening/Agriculture, Monitoring/Research, Writing/Editing

Ready to get involved?

Apply online to become a volunteer.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652