Not all scientists wear lab coats! If you’re feeling inspired by the natural world and want to be a naturalist, check out these amazing citizen science opportunities. Citizen scientists help professional scientists by gathering observations and data from across the globe. The projects listed below are all part of important scientific projects. Be a part of science today!
- iNaturalist – Participants download an app to their smartphone, take photos of animals and plants they observe in the wild, and upload the data for discussion and use by scientists and nature enthusiasts.
- Winterberry – Adults and K-12 youth from rural and urban Alaska collect data on berry ripening and loss during Fall and Winter. Since 2016, 28 communities and 1,090 participants have been a part of Winterberry.
- Late Bloomers – Rural Alaskans investigate flower bud primordia developmental stages and late blooming flowers. This project has been operating since 2017.
- GLOBE Observer – Operated by NASA, GLOBE allows participants to submit observations of the natural world.
- Nature’s Notebook – Participants study phenology, or how plants and animals respond to seasonal change, by uploading observations throughout the year.
- Alaska Weeds ID – Gardeners and naturalists use this project to identify invasive weeds, protecting Alaska’s ecosystem and ensuring healthier native plant species.
- Bumblebee Watch – Keep track of bumblebees! Take and upload photos, identify bee species, and discuss with bee experts.
- Budburst – Study blooming plant species, track plant lifestyles, and share your observations to help scientists learn about how plants transition between seasons.
- EDDMapS – Report invasive plant and animal species to understand how animal populations change and help naturalists protect local ecosystems.