Girl reading at Debris Day 2015

Spring into Citizen Science

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 at
  • 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 at
  • 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.