Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Caddisfly Collective?

This a site for caddisfly-focused research! Our first project, over the summer of 2021, is concerned with understanding how caddisflies exist in different urban environments in the U.S. and Canada. We hope to host more projects here in the future! Read more on the About page.

Why do you need my help?

We want to study the effects of cities in as many geographic locations as possible, at least in North America for now! Since the ability to travel is restricted at the moment, we would be grateful for participation from individuals or groups collecting caddisflies in their local area and mailing the specimens to us. We would love to have participants from as many different geographic regions in the U.S. and Canada as possible.

Geographic regions of the U.S. and Canada

We also would be grateful to hear any thoughts you have about the state of rivers, caddisflies, or urban environments in your area! Many environmental issues or ecological patterns are only clear to those local to the area. Sign up to express interest in participating in the collections, or contact us for more information!

What happens when I sign up?

We will get in touch with you to discuss how likely it is you will be able to collect samples, where you can access rivers to set a light trap (we need samples from both urban and natural areas), and your contact information so that we can send you a collecting kit!

What do I get in return?

We will send every participant a thank-you gift for their efforts! This may be t-shirts or stickers, depending on the size of the group collecting together. We will also send you a report of the data from your collection site(s), i.e., the types and numbers of different caddisflies, once the specimens have been processed.

If you are an educator, we can send materials for incorporating this research into your curriculum depending on your students’ interests. You can also let us know if you would like the lead project researcher, PhD student Kelly Murray-Stoker, to give a virtual guest lecture to your students. Just let us know through the sign up submission what work best for your group!

If you are a researcher who is interested in using some of the specimens from the entire project, please let us know when you sign up, and we will be happy to discuss how we can help you!

Disclaimer: there is no financial compensation for volunteering with this project

Where can I collect?

We need collections in paired “urban” and “natural” areas, so whether you live in a city or not, your contribution will be valuable! Collections are done alongside rivers with an ultraviolet light trap (kits will be mailed to participants) around sunset.

We want this to be an enjoyable as well as educational experience for every participant. Above all, please make sure that when participating, you stay in a safe environment, especially because this collecting is done after dark. By participating, you agree to behave responsibly, not trespass on private property, or collect in any area where it is prohibited. If you are not sure whether collecting would be allowed, see the procedure page or contact us for help figuring out what to do.

How can I help if I can’t collect caddisflies?

You can help us get the word out about this project! Post a link to this website on social media or share directly with people/groups you think may be interested in it.