April Webinars: Introduction to Caterpillars Count! Citizen Science Project

You are invited to learn about the project *Caterpillars Count!*, which enlists members of the public to count insects and other arthropods found on the foliage of trees and shrubs.

Learn how to set up a site, conduct bug surveys, and submit and visualize your data with a free mobile app at one of three webinars in April!


  • Each week, monitor tree branches and identify insects to order (i.e., beetle versus caterpillar versus cricket, etc.).
  • Try out the protocol by playing our Virtual Survey Game
  • Visualize and explore data on arthropod phenology, composition, and density across North America.
  • Make use of existing Educator Resources or create your own.


  • Nature Centers, Environmental Education Centers, parks, schools, summer camps, or private backyards
  • Anywhere in the world with woody vegetation


  • Middle-schoolers through adults can conduct surveys, but elementary-aged children can also participate as long as an adult supervises data collection.
  • Some sites are run by a single dedicated individual while others engage everyone in the community interested in learning more about the natural world.


  • We are interested in understanding how insects are responding to climate change, and how those responses compare with that of other widely studied organisms like birds. Are sufficient insects available as bird food when birds are breeding? Are some insect groups shifting their seasonal timing more than others?
  • A number of alarming studies have suggested insects are undergoing widespread declines. We need more monitoring of insect abundance and biomass to understand these trends.
  • You can help provide important baseline data in your area!


If you still have questions after perusing the website and the FAQ, feel free to reach out to us at caterpillarscount@gmail.com.

Allen Hurlbert
Department of Biology
University of North Carolina