Meet Paige Cunningham, one of the citizen scientists (and naturalist and educator!) featured in our podcast:
Where do you work?
The monarch work I do is a volunteer position with The Monarch Monitoring Project which is under the guidance of New Jersey Audubon. My other job is as a freelance naturalist and art educator.
What do you study?
The Monarch Monitoring Project is involved in tagging monarchs, counting roost sites, doing daily census on migrating monarchs, and educating the public about the monarch butterfly in general; metamorphosis, migration, food source, and habitat needs.
What are three titles you would give yourself?
I would say I'm an artist, educator, and community builder.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I'm not walking around Cape May, NJ with a net in hand, I'm playing with kids and adults creating art. I also enjoy swimming, hiking, reading, gardening, traveling and reading children's books.
What do you like most about science?
What I enjoy most about our field work is the interaction with the many people; locals, visitors, young or old, that we encounter. It's amazing to see their eyes light up when you talk about the monarchs and their migration, when they get to touch a butterfly, when they know they can plant milkweed to attract monarchs to their yard, and especially when they see the roosting of monarchs by the thousands! Many people become teary eyed at the sight. I know I cry at the sight of the first monarch back in Cape May every year.