header green line bottom border

At sports stadiums

Urban Buzz

At any given moment we’ve got animals living under our feet – some of them for 17 years at a time. An underground universe populated by mysterious creatures, digging… feeding… emerging.

Sometimes their underground homes get paved over, or flooded, or have a bucket of bright green toxic sludge poured on them. Scientists want to learn more about what happens to cicadas when they’re down there for so long – so they need your help. Go out with your students, parents, kids, grandparents, friends, dogs, friend’s dogs and collect some dead bugs and send them to us! (Yes, you heard that right.)

Cicadas are sensitive to changes in their environment, especially temperature and the availability of trees.

As more people populate the planet… we build cities and homes and those come with roads and sidewalks and pollution. Have you ever noticed that the sidewalk is hotter than the grass? The cicadas noticed that, too. These rising temperatures are sometimes called an “urban heat island” – which sounds like a lovely place to visit, right?

Researchers are studying how cicadas are responding to environmental changes associated with urbanization (humans building more buildings and paving more land) by measuring the wonkiness (“abnormalities and asymmetry”) in cicada wings and legs.

The Great Backyard Bird Count

The next count is being held February 17-20, 2017

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event during which bird watchers count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are located around the world.

Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where birds are. Unfortunately, no single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

Anyone, from beginning bird watchers to experts, can participate in the The Great Backyard Bird Count. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like during each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy, and it helps the birds. In addition, yearly data collection makes the information more meaningful and allows scientists to investigate far-reaching questions.

Hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada.

Picture Pile

In Picture Pile you can help science solve global problems like climate change and hunger by sorting with other players picture piles!

The sorting works quite similar to the popular dating app Tinder. You see an image and the game asks you a question like “Do you see tree loss over time?”. You can now answer by dragging the image to the right to say “yes” or left for “no”. In addition if you are unsure you can swipe the image down to say “maybe”.

Fastest lift

The aim of this project is to identify the lift with the top speed in your area. To take part in this mission, you will need an Android device (phone or tablet) and the Sense-it app.

Play to Cure: Genes in Space

Help researchers cure cancer.

The problem:

We know that faults in our genes can lead to cancer cells forming. This can be linked to the amount of genes in our cells - sometimes we have more and sometimes we have less.

It can take years for scientists to analyze all of their genetic data, but with thousands of citizen scientists playing Genes in Space, the process is greatly accelerated.

How it works:

First, you plot a galactic route. In the context of the game, you're choosing your flight path, but these “space coordinates” are actually a visualization of DNA data, and you're showing our scientists where the genetic variations are which may lead to cancer.

Then you collect Element Alpha, a mist like substance that can be traded for ship upgrades. It actually represents the same DNA data that has just been mapped – which means our scientists have two perspectives on the same sample, from one player.

And we’ve added an asteroid field. This makes the gameplay more engaging and challenging. You need to dodge or shoot a multitude of asteroids to complete a stage.

Each data sample is analyzed multiple times for accuracy. Don’t worry about making mistakes - the more people who use Genes in Space, the more accurate the results will be and the faster data can be translated into new ways to beat cancer.


PressureNet is a network of crowdsourced weather sensors. We automatically collect atmospheric pressure measurements using barometers in new Android devices. We're sharing this live data with scientists and researchers to improve weather forecasting. Soon we'll provide you with a weather forecast based on everyone's live, shared data!

We're going to make new weather models using the data that PressureNet automatically collects - these models should produce forecasts that are significantly more accurate than any other method! Since the data is collected using smartphones, we can gather way more data about the atmosphere than ever before.

Until we make forecasts, PressureNet shows you the raw data. The pressure data is displayed in graphs so that you can see both your own data as well as other regions' graphed over time. We've just added animations as well, so you can watch storms moving across a region. Furthermore, you can now report what the weather is where you are! Current weather conditions automatically refresh every twenty minutes to keep it accurate.

PressureNet has been featured on BBC World Service, Wired Science, and MIT Technology Review.

L.A. Nature Map

The L.A. Nature Map hosted by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is an interactive map that displays local plant and wildlife observations.

Our Southern California region is a hotspot for urban biodiversity. With your help, we can show Angelenos and the world the diversity of nature all around us. You can contribute to this citizen science project by sending photos of plants and animals.

The L.A. Nature Map is created in collaboration with iNaturalist.

RASCals (Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern California)

RASCals is designed to improve our knowledge of native and non-native reptiles and amphibians in southern California. This region is home to 22.5 million people and has experienced dramatic urbanization and habitat modification. We need your help in documenting reptiles and amphibians throughout the region so that we can examine how various species have responded to these habitat changes. We are interested in native and non-native species and in observations in all types of habitats, from relatively pristine habitats to heavily modified, urban habitats, such as backyards, schoolyards, and urban parks. This project is conducted in collaboration with iNaturalist.


SENSR is a tool to create, share and manage a citizen science project running on mobile devices to harness the power of citizen scientists.

SENSR provides a simple and easy way to obtain a custom data collection application running on mobile devices for your project.

If you are running a grassroots project for science, education, environmental conservation, community monitoring, or other reason, and are seeking ways to expand citizen scientists' participation in contributing data, SENR can help you create a mobile data collection tool for your project.

It is part of a research project at Carnegie Mellon University. Please try out if you are seeking ways to harness citizens' power of data collection.

Kinsey Reporter

Kinsey Reporter is a global mobile survey platform to share, explore, and visualize anonymous data about sex.

Reports are submitted via smartphone, then explored at http://KinseyReporter.org or downloaded for off-line analysis.

The Kinsey Institute is exploring new ways to record and describe people's sexual experiences worldwide. We are also exploring new ways for people to be connected while protecting their privacy. We hope to reach people with all kinds of different ideas, beliefs, and experiences, and who might be willing to report on sexual behaviors, regardless of who is involved and where it is observed. By using Kinsey Reporter, you contribute to research on human sexual behavior. We ask you to act ethically, in the role of a good journalist or "citizen scientist." Submit what is true and accurate to the best of your ability.

Ideally, you would submit a report within 24 hours of the event you are reporting. The report can be about yourself or someone else. It is all anonymous. Kinsey Reporter includes surveys about various sexual activities and other intimate behaviors. These surveys cover sexual behaviors and events, sexual health issues, violence reports, public displays of affection, and other unique behaviors and experience. A 'survey' in this case is a report of information shared by many individuals on a topic of interest; it is not based on a random or representative sample of a community or population.

To ensure that reported data is strictly anonymous, you can only select among the provided tags when answering a question. However, contact us to suggest new surveys, questions, or tags.

To protect the anonymity of the reports even in sparsely populated areas, we aggregate reports over time. A report is not published until a sufficient number of reports have been received from the same location, and then all of those reports are recorded with a randomized timestamp. The more sparsely populated your area and/or the higher the geographic resolution you select, the longer the delay until your report appears. Therefore, in a sparsely populated area, you might want to select a lower resolution (e.g., state/region or country), to minimize the delay until your report becomes public.

Interactive visualizations of the data are available on the KinseyReporter.org website. The anonymous data we collect is also publicly available to the community via an Application Programming Interface (API), documented on the KinseyReporter.org website. We welcome your feedback.

Kinsey Reporter is a joint project of the world-famous Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (KI) and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (CNetS), both at Indiana University, Bloomington.


AirCasting is an open-source, end-to-end solution for collecting, displaying, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. The platform consists of wearable sensors that detect changes in your environment and physiology, including a palm-sized air quality monitor called the AirBeam, the AirCasting Android app, the AirCasting website, and wearable LED accessories. By documenting and leveraging health and environmental data to inform personal decision-making and public policy, the AirCasting platform empowers citizen scientists and changemakers.

Brown marmorated stink bug locations

The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive insect species that has become an damaging pest of a wide variety of fruit, vegetable, grain, and ornamental crops. This stink bug species also enters homes and can be a nuisance pest. Our webpage allows citizens to report the presence and severity of this stink bug species in their home, yard, farm, or commercial nursery.

Tracking ring-billed gulls

More than 10,000 ring-billed gulls have been marked near Montreal, Quebec with individually coded bands to track their movements throughout their annual cycle. We are more specifically interested by their post-breeding dispersal and their fidelity to their colony. Repeated observations of individuals also allow us to estimate annual survival. This is part of a larger study that aimed at understanding the behavior and population dynamics of these birds within an integrated management framework.

Bumble Bee Watch

Bumble Bee Watch (www.BumbleBeeWatch.org) is a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees. This citizen science project allows individuals or groups to: 1) Upload photos of bumble bees to start a virtual bumble bee collection; 2) Identify the bumble bees in your photos and have your identifications verified by experts; 3) Help researchers determine the status and conservation needs of bumble bees; 4) Help locate rare or endangered populations of bumble bees; 5) Learn about bumble bees, their ecology, and ongoing conservation efforts; and 6) Connect with other citizen scientists.

Find out more at http://www.bumblebeewatch.org/contents/about/

Dragonfly Swarm Project

The Dragonfly Swarm Project uses the power of the internet to allow everyone to participate in a large-scale study of dragonfly swarming behavior. Participants observe dragonfly swarms wherever they occur, make observations of the composition and behavior of the swarm, then submit a report online.

Data is compiled from the reports by an aquatic entomologist with a passion for dragonflies. Her goal is to use the data collected from participants for two purposes: 1) to publish data from a massive number of dragonfly swarms in the scientific literature, making this information available to scientists, and 2) to provide information about this behavior to the public. Many people see dragonfly swarms and are curious about what they see. The creator of this project hopes to provide answers to the curious while simultaneously collecting information from eye-witnesses to improve our overall knowledge of this fascinating behavior.

Because any given person has to be in the right place at the right time to see a dragonfly swarm, this project isn't possible for a single scientist to do alone. Collecting data from a large network of people is thus the best way to study dragonfly swarming behavior. Participation requires only curiosity and a few minutes of your time, so keep an eye out for dragonfly swarms in your area this summer and send in your reports!

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Butterflies & Moths of North America

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) is seeking individuals to submit their sightings of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars. BAMONA is a user-friendly web site and database that shares butterfly and moth species information with the public via dynamic maps, checklists, and species pages. Data are updated in real time and come from a variety of sources, including citizen scientists. Individuals can get involved by documenting butterflies and moths in their neighborhoods and submitting photographs for review. Collaborating lepidopterists serve as coordinators and oversee quality control. Submitted data are verified, added to the database, and then made available through the web site.

BAMONA also provides free support to partners. Partner with BAMONA to build local or regional species checklists, to get secure data storage, or to set up a project-specific submission and review process. Or, let us know how we can work with you to create a customized solutions for browsing, searching, and visualizing your data. See http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/partner for details and links to partners.

Sound Around You Project

I am building a sound map of the world as part of a study into how sounds in our everyday environment make us feel. We need your help!

We’re asking people across the world to use our new iOS app on their iPhones or iPads (or any recorder) to record short clips from different sound environments, or "soundscapes"--anything from the inside of a family car to a busy shopping centre. Then we ask volunteers to comment on their soundscapes and upload them to our virtual soundscape map.

Recordings and responses will be analyzed by acoustic scientists, and significant findings will be reported on this website.

Sound Around You aims to raise awareness of how our soundscape influences us, and could have far reaching implications for professions and social groups ranging from urban planners to house buyers.


BirdTrack is a free, online and smartphone-based recording tool for birdwatchers to store and manage their own records from anywhere in the world. Everyone with an interest in birds can get involved by recording when and where they watched birds then completing a list of the species seen and heard during the trip.

Exciting real-time outputs are generated by BirdTrack, including species reporting rate graphs and animated maps of sightings, all freely-available online. The data collected are used by researchers to investigate migration movements and distributions of birds and to support species conservation at local, national and international scales.

BirdTrack is year-round and ongoing, making it an ideal project for getting children enthused about birds and migration. Teachers are encouraged to add their school grounds as a BirdTrack site then help their students to record the birds they see and hear.

The success of BirdTrack relies on YOU. Get started today!

Celebrate Urban Birds

Celebrate Urban Birds provides an opportunity for everyone across the country to watch birds and participate in activities focused on birds and neighborhood habitat improvement.

Participants learn about 16 species of birds and watch an area about the size of half a basketball court for 10 minutes to see if they can find any of those birds. Celebrate Urban Birds provides all of the necessary materials to get you started.

An important part of the celebration is to help scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology collect information about the 16 key species of urban birds and the habitats they use. The scientists have created a project that will use data collected from participants to study these resident and migratory birds and their interaction with the urban habitat.

Participants can observe birds and collect data from urban, suburban, and rural locations.

Bay Area Ant Survey

The Bay Area Ant Survey is a citizen science program that gives the public a chance to participate in research by obtaining baseline data for ants living in local counties. The major goals of this scientific survey are to identify local species, chart native ant distributions, and provide baseline data to monitor the distribution of the invasive Argentine ant.

Participants collect ants and send their ant-filled vial and corresponding data sheet back to the Naturalist Center at the California Academy of Sciences. All specimens will be identified and entered in a database by an Academy entomologist. All results are then uploaded to AntWeb where the location and identification of the ants are made public. Your contribution becomes part of the scientific record!

The Lost Ladybug Project

Find and photograph ladybugs! Join us in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone, so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare. NEW - Email us and check our website or Facebook page for new opportunities to help restore native ladybug species.

Across North America, ladybug species distribution is changing. Over the past twenty years, several native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time, ladybugs from other places have greatly increased both their numbers and range. Some ladybugs are simply found in new places.

This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low.

Free downloadable educational materials and activities. Ladybug song!

View 37,000+ ladybug photos submitted so far. See what species of ladybugs have been found near you!

The Lost Ladybug Project database of 37,000 plus ladybug (Coccinellid) photos and locations is located on our website and is open to the public for mapping, graphing, searching, downloading.

Butterflies I've Seen

Butterflies I've Seen allows you to keep track of all of your butterfly sightings.

Once your sightings are logged in the database, you can retrieve them by location, by date, or by species. You can print out a list of all the butterfly species you've ever seen, a "Life List," or you can print out a list of all the butterfly species you've ever seen at a particular location. At the same time, the sightings you enter provide important information that the North American Butterfly Association, the major butterfly conservation organization in North America, will use to help answer scientists' questions about butterfly distributions, abundance, and conservation.

Enjoy the site and the fact that your efforts are increasing our knowledge and helping butterfly conservation!

footer border shadow line