MountainNature.com works with your Research Program

MountainNature.com values its relationship with researchers and scientists. Our goal is to create an online community where conservationists, naturalists and scientists can meet, collaborate and work towards the common goal of protecting our mountain landscape. We want to bring many different stakeholders together. While most conservation groups, research projects, and other organizations will want to maintain their own site, MountainNature.com is designed to work as a conduit, bringing amateurs and professionals together.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What's in it for you as researchers?
As scientists, you must balance the ability to collect data with the ever increasing cost of conducting research. A single radio collar costs thousands of dollars in monitoring costs. We cannot provide direct funding, but we can offer access to a user base of dedicated outdoors people, naturalists, conservationists and birders. Our sightings database will allow you to access the combined experiences of this large group. 

We may be able to assist in raising money indirectly. For instance, if someone were to record a sighting or search the field guide for the gray wolf, MountainNature.com could perhaps integrate a link to adopt a wolf. This is only one possibility, but through such partnerships, we can all benefit.

How do researchers access MountainNature.com data?
MountainNature.com needs to balance the privacy concerns of its users with the needs of our research partners. In order to receive data from MountainNature.com, you must first apply using our online research application. We will process your application, and upon approval, work with you to make the data as relevant as possible. If you have specific data requirements, we may also (within reason) be able to add additional tracking fields to our sightings forms. For instance, if you needed to know about specific observable behaviors, we could add a field to our form for this purpose. In most cases, we will design password protected reports customized to your unique requirements, and viewable only by you. In other cases, users will fill in forms which will be forwarded to you as they submit them.

What does it cost?
We currently do not charge non-profit research programs for access to data reports. There may be a one-time fee if extensive customization is required to make the data compatible with your system. Most systems though can import comma delimited data or excel spreadsheets, so we can usually find a workable cost-free system. We do charge corporate researchers a nominal fee for access to our sightings data.

We also ask that MountainNature.com be allowed to publish your photographs or research results (not exclusively), to add value for our users.

What about the Access to Information Act?
Before a record is made available to outside sources, the person recording that sighting must first choose to make it public. We need to balance the privacy of our users with the needs of researchers, so we always give our users the right to opt out and keep their records private. In addition, before they can record sightings, they must register with MountainNature.com and agree to the terms of usage of the sightings database. 

What's in if for MountainNature.com?
We are not a large, well financed corporation, but a small, independently owned company. This has both good and bad aspects. While we cannot pour money into this site in an attempt to be everything to everyone, we also do not have the large profit expectations of a large corporation. We make our money through product sales and personal guiding service.