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New England Basking Shark Project

The New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA) invites beach walkers, boaters, fishermen, and divers to report their sightings and send in their photos of basking sharks and ocean sunfish seen in our New England waters. Your data will help scientists monitor the local populations and better understand their migration patterns.




Sevengill Shark Tracking in San Diego

A citizen science project which allows local divers photo document encounters with Sevengill sharks (Notorynchus cepedianus). The Sevengill Shark Sightings is a portal through which data is entered into the 'Wildbook' pattern recognition algorithm program.

Two pattern recognition algorithms are used to analyze the freckling patterns of each shark to determine which animals are returning each year.




Wildbook for Whale Sharks

The Wildbook for Whale Sharks photo-identification library is a visual database of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounters and of individually catalogued whale sharks. The library is maintained and used by marine biologists to collect and analyze whale shark sighting data to learn more about these amazing creatures.

The Wildbook uses photographs of the skin patterning behind the gills of each shark, and any scars, to distinguish between individual animals. Cutting-edge software supports rapid identification using pattern recognition and photo management tools.

You too can assist with whale shark research, by submitting photos and sighting data. The information you submit will be used in mark-recapture studies to help with the global conservation of this threatened species.of this threatened species.




The Shark Trust: Great Eggcase Hunt

The Shark Trust’s Great Eggcase Hunt was established in 2003 and has been engaging the public in hunting for empty shark, skate and ray eggcases along the UK coastline ever since. Thanks to its supporters, the Trust now has an extensive and ever expanding database of eggcase records, which continues to provide crucial information about the distribution of British sharks, skates and rays (collectively known as elasmobranchs).

An eggcase, which is also known as a mermaid’s purse, is a tough leathery case that protects the embryo of a shark, skate or ray. Each eggcase contains one embryo which will develop over several months into a miniature version of the adult. There are over ten species of skate and ray, and only a few species of shark in UK waters that reproduce by laying eggcases on the seabed. Each species’ eggcase is different in shape and size, which allows us to identify them. Eggcases remain on the seabed until the juvenile has hatched, and then the empty eggcases often get washed up on beaches and can be found amongst the seaweed in the strandline – we’re also keen to hear about eggcases that are seen in-situ while snorkelling or diving!

In recent decades, several species of shark, skate and ray around the British coast have dramatically declined in numbers. The empty eggcases are an easily accessible source of information on the whereabouts of potential nursery grounds and will provide the Trust with a better understanding of species abundance and distribution.

The Great Eggcase Hunt currently receives funding from Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF), and this assures the continued expansion of this exciting, flagship project. The Shark Trust is building upon the existing project, which represents one of the UK’s most popular marine volunteer recording programs, and encouraging more international records. The Trust is currently collaborating with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to establish the project in the USA, and is developing resources for species found along the New York coastline. A smartphone app is also in development and aims to encourage more people to take part and record their eggcases.




Precipitation ID Near the Ground (PING)

The National Severe Storms Laboratory needs YOUR help with a research project!

If you live in the area shown on the map, the Precipitation Identification Near the Ground project (PING) wants YOU to watch and report on precipitation type.

PING is looking for young, old, and in-between volunteers to make observations—teachers, classes and families too! We have collected tens of thousands of observations since 2006, already making PING successful because of your help.

PING volunteers can spend a little or a lot of time making observations. The basic idea is simple: the National Severe Storms Laboratory will collect radar data from NEXRAD radars in your area during storm events, and compare that data with YOUR observations.

Why? Because the radars cannot see close to the ground, we need YOU to tell us what is happening. Scientists will compare your report with what the radar has detected, and develop new radar technologies and techniques to determine what kind of precipitation—such as snow, soft hail, hard hail, or rain—is falling where.




American Gut

The Human Microbiome Project and other microbiome projects worldwide have laid an important foundation for understanding the trillions of microbes that inhabits each of our bodies. However, opportunities for the public to get involved in such research has been limited. Now, American Gut gives you an opportunity to participate and to compare the microbes in your gut to those in the guts of thousands of other people in the US and elsewhere. American Gut is a project built on open-source, open-access principles. Our data are for the good of understanding and will be shared both with participants and with other scientists.





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