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Michelle Skog, center, her husband Jason Skog, left, from Eagan, and Sabrina Greene, from Inver Grove Heights, collect plant and animal specimens from LeVander pond in South St. Paul, just off Thompson and Highway 52, Wednesday evening June 18 2014. The three are volunteers with the Dakota County's Wetland Health Evaluation Program and monitor the health of three ponds in South St. Paul. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

From rainfall to seasonal changes, Minnesota citizen scientists gather data for researchers

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ST. PAUL -- In the name of science, Minnesotans are counting loons at the lake cabin, listening for frogs and peering at milkweed for monarch caterpillars. They’re catching dragonflies, measuring the clarity of local streams and noting the date when the first lilacs bloom.

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