Citizen Science Projects

Posted by: Suzanne Beckman

Friday, September 29, 2017

Bird Sleuth

BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study and real data collection through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s citizen science projects. Each BirdSleuth module encourages students do what “real” scientists do: ask questions, collect data, look for patterns and evidence, test ideas, draw conclusions, and share results. Each module scaffolds one or more citizen science projects, and includes lesson plans, student journals, a reference guide, and a resource kit containing such tools as Focus Cards, CD-ROMs or DVDs, books, and full-color posters.


Even though they only travel a few feet, earthworms undergo a “vertical” migration each spring after the ground thaws. The appearance of the first earthworms is a welcome sign of spring, and is often closely tied to the arrival of the first robins.

Monarch Waystation

Monarch Watch strives to provide the public with information about the biology of monarch butterflies, their spectacular migration, and how to use monarchs to further science education in primary and secondary schools. We engage in research on monarch migration biology and monarch population dynamics to better understand how to conserve the monarch migration. We also promote protection of monarch habitats throughout North America.

Project Budburst

Project BudBurst is on a mission – to get you outside taking a moment to observe how plants in your community change with the seasons. When you share your observations with us, they become part of an ecological record. Spending time outside with plants is calming, educational, and just plain fun. Scientists and educators can use the data to learn more about how plant species respond to changes in climate locally, regionally, and nationally.

National Wildlife Federation: Ecoschools Program

Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their schools and curriculum.

The Eco-Schools program was started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. It was identified by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003. Currently, there are over 59 countries around the world participating in the program.

The Eco-Schools program strives to model environmentally sound practices, provide support for greening the curriculum and enhance science and academic achievement. Additionally, it works to foster a greater sense of environmental stewardship among youth.

Nature’s Notebook

Nature’s Notebook is a national, online program where amateur and professional naturalists regularly record observations of plants and animals to generate long-term data sets used for scientific discovery and decision-making.

Lost Ladybug

Across North America ladybug species composition is changing.  Over the past twenty years native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare.  During this same time ladybugs from other parts of the world have greatly increased both their numbers and range. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low.  We’re asking you to join us in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare.

Got Dirt?

We would like to enlist your help in collecting dirt/soil samples for one of our companies, Lodo Therapeutics Corporation (Lodo). Lodo focuses on the discovery of new lifesaving antibiotics to combat drug-resistant bacteria by tapping into the diverse genetic information contained in soil bacteria. Information encoded in bacterial genomes (not experimental serendipity) drives the discovery of new medicines. Not constrained by traditional culture-based approaches to natural products drug discovery, Lodo Therapeutics has unlocked a vast trove of overlooked compounds evolutionary selected for processes essential for life.

Lodo is looking to collect as many diverse soil-types as possible from different environmental conditions throughout the United States. At this time, we are especially interested in collecting soil samples from the Midwest, the South and the Rocky Mountain States — though we would happily take any new soils. If you would like to help Lodo’s research by providing a soil sample (or two), please visit ( and we will send you a Soil Collection Kit to help collect and process samples. Once we receive your soil sample(s), an Amazon Gift Card will be emailed to you as a thank you for your help.

We hope you’ll help contribute to our research efforts. If you (or your friends) believe you can help, please do so (and feel free to forward this message along to someone who can help us, if possible).

Ant Picnic


Pl@ntNet is a citizen science project available as an app that helps you identify plants thanks to your pictures. The benefits for you : the scientific name and the common names of the plant in front of you, a huge pictures datasets of the plants around you, and some information about these plants.

The benefit for us : if you contribute your observation with the GPS activated, the scientists behind the app will use these information to track species populations (e.g., invasive plants) and will increase the recognition capacities of the app.

In the end, the mutual benefits of our project will only make the app better and better thanks to your contributions!

Backyard Bark Beetles

Why is the project important?

The beetles we collect, called bark and ambrosia beetles, are important to the environment because some species help clean up dead wood. Unfortunately, other species are pests that can wipe out entire populations of some tree species. These beetles are also economically important as some can attack fruit trees. The beetles are so small that they are easy to transport yet hard to find and are now becoming a growing threat to our forests and crops!

Photosynq (Advanced Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)
PhotosynQ allows researchers, educators, farmers, and citizen scientists to collect, analyze, discuss and share plant photosynthesis related data using a low-cost handheld device.

ISeeChange is empowering communities to observe how weather and climate affect their environment. The ISeeChange Almanac is a global online platform for members to post about what they notice changing in the environment and the impacts. Each sighting and community post is synced with weather and climate data and broadcast to the community to investigate bigger picture climate trends.

The ISeeChange Tracker is a collaboration with NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory Mission. The mobile app allows community members to follow investigations over time and help NASA ground truth the details that earth observation satellites can’t see from space- including the impact of weird weather and climate on our daily lives.

Globe at Night

The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health. More than 100,000 measurements have been contributed from people in 115 countries during the campaigns each winter/spring over the last 9 years, making Globe at Night the most successful light pollution awareness campaign to date!

The Leaf Pack Network

The Leaf Pack Network® is an international network of teachers, students, and citizen monitors investigating their local stream ecosystem. Through the Leaf Pack Experiment, monitors use tree leaves and aquatic insects to determine the health of their stream and to understand its ecology.

Individuals participating in the Leaf Pack Experiment and Leaf Pack Network® engage in the full process of designing an experiment, conducting research and communicating their results. Leaf Pack can also easily be implemented into any curriculum and fulfills many state and national science standards. Watch your students become empowered and energized learning about their local watershed!

Monarch SOS



Monarch SOS is a field guide created by Naturedigger, LLC in cooperation with the Monarch Joint Venture. It is the first monarch app developed by scientists which covers monarch identification in all life cycle stages, confusing look-alikes and numerous milkweed species (monarch’s larval host plants), frequently encountered in North America.

The public can now use the app to participate in data collection for monarch research projects.

Bumblebee Watch

Bumble Bee Watch is a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees. This citizen science project allows individuals or groups to: 1) Upload photos of bumble bees to start a virtual bumble bee collection; 2) Identify the bumble bees in your photos and have your identifications verified by experts; 3) Help researchers determine the status and conservation needs of bumble bees; 4) Help locate rare or endangered populations of bumble bees; 5) Learn about bumble bees, their ecology, and ongoing conservation efforts; and 6) Connect with other citizen scientists.




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Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.