Spring into Citizen Science
August 23, 2022

Looking for a new project? Spring is a great time to join a citizen science program, where you can share your own observations about nature with scientists. Citizen science volunteers can collect far more data than science researchers can alone, playing an important role in scientific discovery!

Make discoveries where you live. Here are just a few projects you can participate in as a citizen scientist:

  • Monitor Weather: Every drop counts! Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) volunteers learn how to measure precipitation using a rain gauge and hail pad, record their data and report their measurements online. Data collected by volunteers complements observations made by the National Weather Service and is used by local meteorologists, researchers, emergency managers, farmers, outdoor enthusiasts, teachers and others. Sign up to become a volunteer observer with CoCoRaHS.
  • Observe Plants and Animals: With flowers starting to bloom and wildlife reappearing, it's the perfect time to help scientists looks for changes in the timing and patterns of the seasons by documenting observations of plants and animals in your area. This program is called Nature's Notebook, and it's managed by the USA National Phenology Network.
  • Record Bird Sightings: Take advantage of spring migratory patterns to record your bird observations using eBird, a real-time, online checklist that feeds into one of the world's largest and fastest-growing biodiversity data resources. Your contribtions will help scientists map the abundance and distribution of bird species across the world. 
  • Pondlife - Our Tiny Neighbors: Join microbiologist Sally Warring as she explores the giant world inside of a pond. From our friends at the American Museum of Natural History.
  • Snapshot Safari: Citizen scientists from around the world are needed to identify wildlife caught on camera. With millions of images ready to be classified, participants have the opportunity to search for wildlife in remarkable ecosystems featuring a variety of habitats, such as the unique Karoo and Fynbos vegetation of South Africa, the great wildebeest migration of Tanzania, and the recovering wildlife populations of Mozambique.
  • ISeeChange: Join a global community that posts about what they notice changing in the environment. Each post is synced with weather and climate data and broadcast to the community to investigate bigger picture climate trends. Over time, community members can track how climate is changing season by season and understand its impacts on daily life.
  • SciStarter: Browse over 3,000 projects and events searchable by location, scientific topic, and age level. SciStarter also supports researchers in managing projects, including best practices for engaging participant partners.
  • Nature's Notebook: Discover and document changes in nature near you. Nature's Notebook monitors phenology across the country.