Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Field Guide to Citizen Science

One of the things that is suggested for high school students applying to college is to boost the activities they do. In a book I read, there was the idea of contributing to scientific research and the citizen scientist movement. 

So, I checked a book out of the library called The Field Guide to Citizen Science - How You Can Contribute to Scientific Research and Make a Difference by Darlene Cavalier. 

Citizen science brings science within reach by connecting two critical ingredients: you and teams of scientists who need and value your help for authentic research. Citizen science has contributed a lot to entomology - especially in terms of monarch butterfly migration. 

In the mid-1990s, citizen science was key to climate change negotiations. British scientists found that birds were laying their eggs earlier in the year because of climate change. They were able to share this information that climate change was not a "future" problem but a "now" or urgent one. 

Citizen scientists share the characteristics of being curious, concerned, and not bystanders.

There are so many great ideas and projects to get involved with at home and in the community. The first step is to create an account on This helps you keep track of your contributions and find a relevant project to participate in.

Some of the ones that stood out for me and are ones I'd enjoy doing are: 

- C-BARQ and Fe-BARQ - create standardized evaluations of cat and dog temperament and behavior. Add each pet you want to evaluate to your online portal.

- Smithsonian Transcription Center - to make historical data more accessible for research and discovery. 

- Stall Catchers - to speed up Alzheimer's research. Play games online to report stalled, clogged blood vessels in moving images of mouse brains. 

- Project Feeder Watch - to monitor backyard feeder birds.

- The Great Sunflower Project - to identify where pollinators are declining and improve habitat.

- What's in Your Backyard - to assist with the discovery of life-saving antibiotics.

- Stream Selfie - to help map and monitor all the streams in the United States.

- Globe at Night - to raise awareness about light pollution around the world.

- Budburst - to help scientists by observing seasonal changes in plants.

- iNaturalist - to contribute to a global database of biodiversity data.

- Project Squirrel - to help scientists better understand tree squirrel ecology.

1 comment:

Rita said...

I had known of a couple of these but there are many more than I expected. :)