BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has". -Margaret Mead
WHAT IS CITIZEN SCIENCE? Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories.. Citizen scientists may make observations of the natural world or engage in other kinds of efforts that require large participation. There are many citizen science projects to consider joining. Check out the Citizen Science Central list maintained by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
WAYS TO BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST:
eBIRD is a program that allows citizen/users to report any bird seen anywhere and is the biggest volunteer-based data collection in the world. eBird’s goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence. Bird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. Learn more.
The Great Sunflower Project started in California in 2008 to better understand the reason for and impact of declines in bee populations. The idea behind the project is to plant flowers, observe how many and how often bees visit those flowers, and then enter that information into a database on The Great Sunflower Project Web site. The project has since expanded so that citizen scientists can also plant Bee balm, Cosmos, Rosemary, Tickseed, and Purple coneflower for the purposes of this research.
Migratory Dragonfly Partnership invites citizen scientists to join a growing community working together to increase scientific knowledge about North America’s five main migratory dragonfly species. In North America, migrations are seen annually in late summer and early fall, when thousands to millions of insects stream southward along coasts, lake shores, and mountain ridges from Canada down to Mexico and the West Indies, passing along both coasts of the United States and through the Midwest.
UW-Madison Center Limnology Progect: Help Us Monitor Mendota: Is Clear-Water Phase a Memory? Measuring the zooplankton, called Bythotrephes longimanus, or “the spiny water flea” (SWF) that is eating our native algae-grazing friends, the tiny crustaceans called Daphnia. This is important because, as phosphorus pollution leads to algae blooms and lower water quality, we are also losing the critters that keep that algae at bay
The Wisconsin Citizen Based Monitoring Network is a comprehensive stakeholder collaboration designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring efforts by providing coordination, communications, technical and financial resources and recognition to members of the Wisconsin citizen-based monitoring community. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Extension received funding through Wisconsin’s Wildlife Action Planning Grant to maintain the network. Here are just a few of the projects.