Citizen Science

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UCSC does cutting edge green research, and students have many opportunities to get involved. See Internships and Volunteer Opportunities.

Open source tools such as sensors.


New Miniseries Shows How Ordinary Citizens Can Help Advance Science—and Be a Part of Solutions: From the lead crisis to fracking, citizen scientists are doing much more than just reading about the issues. 4/17

Science for Citizens is searchable. Environmental projects.

Crowdsource Science includes OldWeather gathering meteorological data from naval logs of U.S. ships from as far back as the mid-19th century, which can be used in climate models. 12/12


New App Lets You Document Weather and Climate Trends to Help NASA Scientists 7/16.

UCSC research on starfish disease 11/13. Mysterious epidemic devastates starfish population off the Pacific Coast (video) PBS 1/14. You can help do citizen science research. 5/15 update.

An Elegant Tool Called Squidpop That Scientists Want to Crowdsource: The device is so easy to use, researchers are asking for a “squidpop blitz” for World Oceans Day. 6/16.

Santa Cruz Mycoflora Project: you can do citizen science Christian Schwarz, co-author of the forthcoming book Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast 1/16. See 'Shrooms.

Citizen scientists are helping to glean sea-ice and weather data from logbooks of old whaling vessels to gain a better understanding of Arctic climate change. 2/16.

ProPublica needs your water use info 3/15

How A Rise In Backyard Beekeeping Can Help Teach City-Dwellers About Climate Change 6/14. NASA's Honeybee Net, citizen science.

World’s largest climate modelling experiment: is a distributed computing, climate modelling project.We run climate models on people’s home computers to help answer questions about how climate change is affecting our world, now and in the future. Sign up now and help us predict the climate.

Our Radioactive Ocean: New crowdsourced project seeks to monitor #Fukushima radiation in the Pacific 1/14.

Butterflies are in trouble, you can help 11/13. Help map Monarch butterflies see also Journey North see also Insects page.

iNaturalist, an online mapping and social network for naturalists 7/13.

Crowdfunded science suggests that coal-hauling trains cause air pollution 11/13. see Air page.

SF Baykeeper Seeks 2013 Volunteer Pollution Investigators 7/13.

Bees are in trouble (so we will be too) but you can help get info. More on bees

Help track Tsunami debris, also take pictures of king high tide to help predict sea level rise. 12/12.

Rinkwatch tracks global warming 2/13

Scientists at the Belly Button Biodiversity Project wanted to engage the public. They started to culture the bacteria in people's navels as a way to remind them about the life living on their bodies. In the process, they discovered diverse organisms, some of them completely new to science. (audio). 4/13.

Encyclopedia of Life is an online, collaborative project where you can learn about any species on Earth, as well as contribute information and submit photos. This global initiative seeks to create an "infinitely expandable" resource for all of our planet’s 1.9 million known species.

Help explore the ocean floor. The HabCam team and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution need your help! 9/12.

Identify species and ground cover in images of the seafloor, and help create a library of seafloor life in the habitats along the northeast continental shelf.

The Great Sunflower Project, a citizen science project to get info on bees, which are in trouble (and so we will be too. 4/12

Open Source Science TEDtalk video 3/12

Wildlife Watch allows you to input data and see results of others

Project Budburst.

Shark Spotting

Marine Invasive Species.

The Urban Ant Collector app is an Android app that allows you to collect and record data just like a professional scientist.

WildObs (from "wildlife observations") participants capture memorable wildlife encounters and put them to work.

The Coral Reef Monitoring Data Portal is a new tool designed to support, enhance, and widen the scope of existing monitoring efforts in Hawaii.

COASST is a network of citizen scientists that monitor marine resources and ecosystem health at 300 beaches across northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.

Operation RubyThroat observes hummingbird migration and/or nesting behavior and share information with peers across North and Central America. The resulting data on hummingbird behavior and distribution are submitted to a central clearing house, analyzed, and then disseminated to scientists through the Operation RubyThroat website. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) are the most widely distributed of the 339 species of hummingbirds, occurring in all ten countries of North and Central America. They come frequently to nectar plants and backyard sugar water feeders and are easily observed. Nonetheless, many aspects of the birds’ natural history are not well understood.

The Urban Forest Map is a collaborative effort to map every tree in the city of San Francisco. is a public database documenting ocean conditions. We are especially interested in jellyfish washing up, but we also track red tides, squid and mammal strandings, and other indicators of ocean health.

What's Invasive? Use your mobile phone to help us locate invasive plants. See also.

National Park Service internships provide learning opportunities through activities such as wilderness re-vegetation, assistance with preservation and restoration projects, water quality monitoring, surveying, educational cave tours, or assisting resource management staff. Internships offer an interesting and educational experience in some of the most beautiful areas of the country. Many parks offer opportunities for internships. A centralized list of internships, however, is not available. If you are looking for an internship in a park, the National Park Service suggests that you select one or more parks that interest you and contact them directly. Information on how to contact a park is available on each park's Web site. For a complete list of parks, visit the following website:

Habitat Stewards are volunteers trained by the National Wildlife Federation to help people create and restore wildlife habitat in their communities. Stewards lead efforts to build wildlife habitats, provide information about conservation and environment initiatives, and organize landscapes in public places and home settings.

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, the first and oldest Citizen Science project, at over 110 years, is also one of the largest, with 60,000+ person-days of efforts and more than 50 million birds counted each year. The CBC has contributed greatly to the science of bird conservation with hundreds of publications, including many in important scientific journals. From December 14 through January 5 each year, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition through the generations. Year-round bird count.

Redwood Watch needs volunteers to take photographs of redwood trees and submit them to researchers. Your data will help researchers understand where redwoods survive and help track redwood forest migration over time.

FrogWatch USA is the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums)’s flagship citizen science program that allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads.

Bee Hunt

ChargeCar makes electric vehicles more practical and affordable by sharing GPS data from your regular car trips. Contributing your commute data to ChargeCar helps us better understand the driving habits and needs of everyday commutes. You do not need an electric car to contribute to our project.

The Marine Mammal Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured, sick, and orphaned marine mammals. The Center relies heavily on a dynamic volunteer work force comprised of more than 800 individuals from Mendocino to San Luis Obispo counties. Volunteers handle everything from cleaning pens to preparing food, updating medical charts, administering antibiotics, and taking blood samples.

The Living Roof Project is a citizen science program that gives community members an opportunity to learn about the California Academy of Science's unique roof ecosystem and to contribute to important baseline data regarding the many plants, birds, and arthropods that inhabit and utilize the Living Roof’s 2.5 acres of green space.

World Water Monitoring Day