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Wissahickon Creek Watch Program

The WVWA is looking for a dedicated group of volunteers to help monitor the health of the Wissahickon Creek and its tributaries! The Citizen Scientists will be trained in water quality monitoring, primarily using visual assessments. Each volunteer is assigned a 1-­2 mile section on public land from the headwaters in North Wales to Fairmount Park. They will submit data for algae cover, animal observations, erosion, percent shade and a myriad of other indicators of stream health. Additionally, there will sub-­group of Creek Watchers known as the “Wading Team” that will take samples from the stream to determine the amount of nutrients, dissolved oxygen and water temperature. The WVWA held training sessions in July and monitoring will begin in August. The dates of the next training sessions are to be determined.




Loss of the Night

How many stars can you see where you live? The Loss of the Night App (available for Android devices) challenges citizen scientists to identify as many stars as they can in order to measure light pollution. The app is fun and easy to use, and helps users learn constellations as they contribute to a global real-time map of light pollution.

Stargazing is a fantastic way to engage young scientists, but this ancient past time has become increasingly difficult in growing urban areas. Help scientists understand the effects of light pollution and learn about your night sky!

You don't need to leave the city to take part, in fact, the app is designed specifically for use in very polluted areas.

The more stars you observe, and the more often you run the app, the more precise the data for your location will become. As the seasons change so do the stars in the sky, and since there aren't so many very bright stars it is extremely helpful if urban users do measurements in each season.




Lost Ladybug Project

Partnering with Cornell's Lost Ladybug Project, the Museum hopes to census the ladybugs found in our region. We have historic data of ladybug species in Los Angeles County, but we don't know how much it has changed — we need your help to find out.




Bat Detective

Bat Detective is an online citizen science project which allows visitors to the website to take part in wildlife conservation by listening out for bat calls in recordings collected all over the world.

By sorting the sounds in the recordings into insect and bat calls, bat detectives will help biologists learn how to reliably distinguish bat 'tweets' to develop new automatic identification tools.

Bats use lots of different types of sounds, from singing to each other to find a mate, to using the echoes from their tweets to find their way around. Usually bat sounds are inaudible to humans as they are too high for us to hear, but special 'time expansion' ultrasonic detectors convert these sounds to a lower frequency, and visitors to the Bat Detective website can listen to these unique recordings and help distinguish different sounds.

One out of every five species of bats is threatened with extinction and better automatic identification tools are desperately needed to quickly process vast amounts of sound data collected by volunteers from the bat monitoring programme iBats who survey bat populations each year.

Bats are found all over the world from local parks to pristine rainforests and monitoring their population trends provides an important indicator of healthy ecosystems. Developing new tools that allow biologists to interpret population trends from sound will allow bats' tweets to act as a way to track environmental change.

Bat Detective was developed at University College London, Bat Conservation Trust, Bat Life Europe with the Citizen Science Alliance.




ZomBeeWatch

ZomBee Watch is a citizen science project sponsored by the San Francisco State University Department of Biology, the San Francisco State University Center for Computing for Life Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. ZomBee Watch was initiated as a follow-up to the discovery that the Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis is parasitizing honey bees in California and possibly other areas of North America.

ZomBee Watch has three main goals.

1. To determine where in North America the Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis is parasitizing honey bees.

2. To determine how often honey bees leave their hives at night, even if they are not parasitized by the Zombie Fly.

3. To engage citizen scientists in making a significant contribution to knowledge about honey bees and to become better observers of nature.

You can help in finding out where honey bees are being parasitized by the Zombie Fly and how big a threat the fly is to honey bees. So far, the Zombie Fly has been found parasitizing honey bees in California, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington. We are teaming up with citizen scientists (like you!) to determine if the fly has spread to honey bees across all of North America.




Dragonfly Migration

We need your help to better understand dragonfly migration in North America. Although it spans three countries and has been documented since the 1880s, North American dragonfly migration is still poorly understood, and much remains to be learned about migratory cues, flight pathways, and the southern limits of overwintering grounds. Become part of an international network of citizen scientists and help monitor the spring and fall movements of the 5 main migratory species in North America, or report on these species throughout the year at a pond or wetland of your choice.





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