Allie Cunningham directs Woodwell’s citizen science program, Science on the Fly, which partners with a network of fly fishers to sample their local rivers monthly in order to analyze long-term changes due to climate change. So far, citizen scientists have collected samples from over 350 locations which allows Cunningham and other researchers to see trends in nutrient concentrations and use data to influence policy.
Cunningham is an experienced angler herself, and has worked as both a guide and fly shop employee. She is also an avid outdoorswoman who has conducted field research on water quality in mine tailing sites. She believes that involving other fly-fishing enthusiasts in water sampling helps foster a connection between anglers and their environment, encouraging them to act as stewards for the rivers in which they fish. Cunningham helps lead Science on the Fly as it facilitates transformation by providing the right tools and education.