What is Citizen Science?
Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across universities, states, countries, and even whole continents. Now, through the miracles of the Internet, non-specialists from all across the globe are participating too by volunteering their time to submit data and share their experiences. Dubbed ‘Citizen Science’, these programs vary in scope and topic – from enthusiastic local projects to large-scale national endeavors.
Keeping checking in as we’ll add projects regularly, and remember, anytime is a great time to get out there and become involved!
The Adventures and Scientists for Conservation’s Microplastics Project :
Coming from weathered plastic debris or common cosmetics and toothpastes, microplastic particles (those smaller than 5 mm in size) likely pose a massive environmental and human health risk when they enter natural waterways. Join the ASC study the sources, composition, and distribution of microplastics pollution anywhere in the world.
The Dogwood Genome Project: Scientists from the University of Georiga, Tennessee, and North Carolina State are asking Dogwood lovers and science enthusiasts to help them better understand the genetics of this iconic tree. This project will use phenology observations collected through Nature’s Notebook to help breeders develop varieties that are better suited for particular growing zones.
The Marine Debris Tracker is a mobile app by NOAA and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI), located at the University of Georgia. The SEA-MDI uses innovative technologies to spread awareness of marine debris, and provide a simple tool for marine debris data collection. So far, thousands of people have logged and removed over 450,000 pieces of litter all over the world.
Want more? Check out SEA-MDI principle investigator Jenna Jambeck’s Athens Science Cafe from March 2015.
SETI@Home: Want to contribute to science, but hate actually doing anything? Download the SETI@Home screensaver from UC Berkley and let your computer search for extraterrestrial signals automatically during your computer idle time.