In 2006 the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began funding an intensive investigation on the ranges and distributions of dragonflies and damselflies- collectively known as Odonata- in Minnesota; this project was called the Minnesota Odonata Survey Project (MOSP). Over several years of field collections and museum work, MOSP succeeded in databasing nearly 10,000 specimens, including 24 new state records and hundreds of new county records. MOSP conducted workshops in which volunteers were trained in proper field survey techniques and identification of Odonata, effectively mobilizing a massive group of citizen scientists to assist the state in its data collection. Once MOSP officially ended in 2012, a core group of devoted odonatologists, many of whom started as MOSP volunteers, worked to form a nonprofit organization to continue studying and educating the public about these amazing insects. The Minnesota Dragonfly Society (MDS) was afforded 501(c)(3) status effective April 18, 2013.
The mission of MDS is to ensure conservation of Minnesota’s dragonflies and damselflies through education and research.
MDS not only offers a wide range of educational workshops to promote awareness of Odonata, but also hosts field surveys to continue monitoring dragonfly species distributions within Minnesota. In 2015, MDS helped to support and host over twenty dragonfly workshops/talks as well as surveys across the state. From training naturalists and teachers, to encouraging youth to take to the great outdoors, MDS caters to expert-level entomologists as well as novice beginners.
Each field season brings new approaches of educating and involving the public, while at the same time doing real Odonata research. YOU can help by becoming an MDS member, donating, attending a workshop, submitting new records, become a volunteer and by inviting others to get involved. Are you in?