(information last updated January 2019)

Ongoing Projects:

Federal Project(s) Operating in the State:

The National Park Service (“NPS”) hosts multiple citizen science projects at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore:


  • The Dragonfly Mercury Project uses citizen scientist volunteers to collect dragonfly larvae to assess mercury levels in the water. See Citizen Science, Indiana Dunes, Nat’l Park Serv., (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). 
  • Climate Effects on the Culture and Ecology of Sugar Maple: Under this project volunteers collect sap and test sugar content to better understand the effects of climate change on sugar maple trees in the region. See id.
  • The FeederWatch Program uses volunteers to record and identify birds at Indiana Dunes, which helps “scientists determine if certain birds are increasing or decreasing in population, potentially identifying at-risk species of bird.” Id.  

State Project(s):

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”) is tasked with creating a volunteer water quality monitoring program. Ind. Code § 14-25-7-12.5; see also infra “Use of Information.” Hoosier Riverwatch is a volunteer water quality monitoring program sponsored by IDEM that has been operating since 1994. See Hoosier Riverwatch, Ind. Dep’t of Envtl. Mgmt., (last visited Feb. 7, 2019); see also Hoosier Riverwatch, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


The Indiana Clean Lakes Program is a volunteer water monitoring and education program developed by IDEM’s Office of Water Quality and administered through Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. See Indiana Clean Lakes Program, Ind. U., (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (“IDNR”) hosts the Summer Bat Roost Monitoring Project, which “uses volunteers to collect information on the distribution, occupancy and abundance of bat colonies throughout Indiana.” Summer Bat Roost Monitoring Project, Ind. Dep’t of Nat. Resources, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).

Collection of Information:

Surveillance Law:

“A person who knowingly or intentionally places a camera or electronic surveillance equipment that records images or data of any kind while unattended on the private property of another person without the consent of the owner or tenant of the private property commits a Class A misdemeanor.” Ind. Code § 35-46-8.5-1(b).

Research Permit:

“A Scientific Purposes License is required by state law in Indiana Code 14-22-22 for activities pertaining to the capture/handling/collection of wild animals for scientific purposes, including scientific education.” Scientific Collectors/ Purposes License, Ind. Dep’t of Nat. Resources, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). 

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No. An element of trespass is that the intruder be “denied entry” by the owner or the owner’s agent.  Ind. Code § 35-43-2-2(b)(1). A person may be “denied entry” by notice against trespassing that is personally communicated, posted by a sign “likely to come to the attention of the public,” or identified by “purple marks on trees or posts around the area where entry is denied” Id. § 35-43-2-2(c)(1), (2) & (4).

Trespass on Agricultural Property:



“A person who…not having a contractual interest in the property, knowingly or intentionally enters the…property of an agricultural operation that is used for the production, processing, propagation, packaging, cultivation, harvesting, care, management, or storage of an animal, plant, or other agricultural product, including any pasturage or land used for timber management, without the consent of the owner of the agricultural operation or an authorized person” is guilty of criminal trespass—a class A misdemeanor. Ind. Code § 35-43-2-2(b)(5)(A).


If a person trespasses on the property of an agricultural operation and knowingly or intentionally causes property damage, the offense is a Level 6 felony if the property damage is between $750 and $50,000 and a Level 5 felony if the property damage is at least $50,000. Id. § 35-43-2-2(b)(8).

Other Provisions:

See infra “Critical Infrastructure Laws.”

Drone Laws:

Aerial Harassment Law:

“A person who operates an unmanned aerial vehicle in a manner that is intended to subject another person to harassment commits remote aerial harassment, a Class A misdemeanor.” Ind. Code § 35-45-10-6.

State Parks: 

“A person must not… knowingly land, taxi, take off, park, or moor on DNR property an unmanned motor-driven airborne device; except at a site designated for that purpose or pursuant to a license.” 312 Ind. Admin. Code. § 8-2-8(i)(2); see also Drones and Motor-Driven Airborne Devices on DNR Properties, Ind. Dep’t of Nat. Resources, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


Critical Infrastructure Laws:


Trespass committed on “a scientific research facility, on a key facility, [or] on a facility belonging to a public utility” is a Level 6 felony.  Ind. Code § 35-43-2-2(b).


A “key facility” means: a chemical manufacturing facility; refinery; electric utility facility; water intake structure or water treatment facility; natural gas facility; gasoline, propane, liquid natural gas, or other fuel terminal or storage facility; pulp or paper manufacturing facility; pharmaceutical manufacturing facility; or a hazardous waste storage, treatment, or disposal facility. Id. § 35-31.5-2-179.

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person who stalks another person commits stalking[.]”  Ind. Code § 35-45-10-5(a).


“As used in this chapter, ‘stalk’ means a knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened.  The term does not include statutorily or constitutionally protected activity.”  Id. § 35-45-10-1.

Drone Law:

See supra “Drone Laws.”

Use of Information:

Although our research is incomplete, this provision could be construed to allow the use of information collected by citizens.

Explicitly Allows:

IDEM is tasked with establishing “a program under which volunteers may monitor the water resource and provide monitoring data to the [Indiana Natural Resources Commission], [IDEM], and the United States Geological Survey.” Ind. Code § 14-25-7-12.5(a).  Data collected through the program may be “collected and disseminated by the commission . . . and . . . used by the commission in conducting the continuing assessment of the availability of the water resource.” Id.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that “there is good ground to support” the claim.  Ind. R. Trial P. 11(A).

Authentication or Chain of Custody:


“To satisfy the requirement of authenticating or identifying an item of evidence, the proponent must produce evidence sufficient to support a finding that the item is what the proponent claims it is.”  Ind. R. Evid. 901(a).

Expert Testimony:

Indiana courts find “Daubert helpful, but not controlling, when analyzing testimony under Indiana Evidence Rule 702(b).”  See Turner v. State, 953 N.E.2d 1039, 1050 (Ind. 2011). 


Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.