"Know how to listen..." 

- Plutarch

Results from the 2014 MDP Volunteer Survey are in!

The success of the MDP is due in large part to our citizen scientist volunteers, who dedicate their valuable time to help us investigate dragonfly migration in North America. Information should always flow in both directions, though, and so every year we ask you to share your opinions and ideas with us. This year, more than 450 citizen scientists, e-newsletter recipients, and short course attendees provided thoughtful feedback about their experiences with the MDP, including our website and online resources. Respondents reflect the diverse community of MDP volunteers, encompassing educators, naturalists, gardeners, farmers, students, retirees, researchers, artists, and many more who share a love of dragonflies.


We were pleased to find that, from Master Naturalists observing dragonflies at National Wildlife Refuge wetlands to teachers using Pond Watch as an environmental teaching tool for students at their community ponds, most volunteers report being "Very Satisfied" or "Extremely Satisfied" with their overall MDP experience (65% of respondents).  Many respondents indicated they were unfamiliar with or didn't use MDP online resources, but those that do state an appreciation for the monthly e-newsletters and MDP Facebook page (71% and 77%, respectively).


Of course, even though 25% of respondents said they had no barriers to participating in MDP projects, there are always a few hurdles to overcome. Many people said time is a major limiting factor, but unfortunately, although we sympathize, we can't help with that! However, almost 39% of respondents feel their limited knowledge of dragonflies is a major barrier to their participation, and 64% would like to have online quizzes to help hone their skills in dragonfly identification. 



Many would also like to see additional trainings offered in their area (75%) and on the website (78%). This sends a clear message; we hope to add online quizzes this year, and have the new mobile app for identification and reporting launched in time for fall migration season. We also urge people to check out materials for identification and general information under the Resources tab on the MDP web site. In addition, participants continue to feel that the website needs improvement, and planning is underway to make the website more user-friendly and interactive this year.