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"Stick Out Your Tongue" - Saca La Lengua

‘Stick Out Your Tongue’ (‘Saca la Lengua’) is a citizen’s science project that aims to study the mouth’s microbiome and its possible relationship with our environmental characteristics and lifestyle.
This project has involved the public at all three of its levels:
In the third phase, which started 15 September 2015 and ended on January 15th 2016, we are releasing all data of the project. During this phase, we are asking for help from schools, universities and the general public to analyse these data through a contest. We have proposed different challenges at different levels, in statistics, data visualization and bioinformatics.

Volunteer Science

Volunteer Science allows people from all over the world to play online games, take surveys, and donate their data to social scientists. By participating, you give scientific researchers the data they need to answer today's most important research questions.

Each game takes two to five minutes and you don't have to sign up to play. A short game can have a lasting impact.


In CrowdMag project, we explore whether digital magnetometers built in modern mobile smartphones can be used as scientific instruments. With CrowdMag mobile apps, phones all around the world send magnetometer data to us. At our server, we check quality of the magnetic data and make data available to the public as aggregate maps and charts. We have two long-term goals: 1) Create near-real-time models of Earth's time changing magnetic field by combining crowdsourced magnetic data with real-time solar wind data. 2) Map local magnetic noise sources (for e.g. power transformer and iron pipes) to improve accuracy of the magnetic navigation systems.

Biodiversity PEEK

The Biodiversity PEEK (Photography Engaging and Educating Kids) program is a citizen science program designed to actively engage local, disadvantaged, public school children with their local overlooked habitats and wildlife through site-adaptable, hands-on, outdoor exploration, digital photography, and the contribution of real scientific data on an online database. Biodiversity PEEK is inquiry-based and project based learning designed to meet national science standards.

The WQI Project

The WQI (Water Quality Index) Project is a guided citizen science curriculum. It encourages learners to investigate water quality in their community, consider water challenges around the world, and share their findings with other students around the country. The WQI Project is ideal for a classroom or group setting.

Each WQI Project kit provides everything learners need to investigate water quality issues, and everything facilitators need to lead a successful investigation. In purchasing the kit you will receive login information for where you will have access to the exclusive student data map and online resources. The curriculum includes 5 lessons and assessment mechanisms built by certified science educators. The WQI Project aligns to Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards.

South Texas Wintering Birds

Contribute your observations to a database for the state of Texas. Whether you are on a large private ranch, small yard in the city, or public nature area -- if you go birding, we need your sightings. Help us better understand the richness, abundance and changes in bird life in Texas!

NASA's SMAP Satellite Mission

NASA recently launched the SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite which is orbiting the globe every three days to measure soil moisture levels. This data will be used to improve weather forecasts, detail water/energy/carbon cycles, monitor droughts, predict floods, and assist crop productivity.

How accurate is the big data from the satellite? There's only one way to find out and it depends on you to report local data! SciStarter's citizen science community has been called on to help calibrate the accuracy of NASA's satellite mission and to learn more about your soil quality in the process.

Participants from every state will collect and analyze soil samples from September through June.
In this project, you will:

-register your location(s)
-receive alerts when the SMAP satellite is scheduled to fly over you
-scoop a handful of soil, a few times a month (when the satellite is flying over), weigh it, dry it for a day or two, and weigh it again. After some simple conversions, you'll send the data to NASA and be able to compare it to what NASA's SMAP satellite is reporting.

Sign up as an individual or team. One team in each state will receive equipment from NASA needed for this project including a heat lamp and graduated cylinder. SciStarter will sell and loan full kits including a heat lamp, graduated cylinder, and balance. A complete list of materials is available on the sign up form, here: .

Sign up to get trained!

Bugs In Our Backyard

Bugs In Our Backyard is an educational outreach and collaborative research program, providing project-based learning opportunities for K-12 students-- or anyone! The core activity for Bugs In Our Backyard takes advantage of the bugs in your own backyard, schoolyard or neighborhood. Students become citizen-scientists by surveying this diversity of insects and plants. How much insect diversity can you find? How does insect diversity vary over time? How does insect diversity vary across geographic and urban scales? These are some of the questions that can be asked. The survey targets are “true bugs” (what entomologists call Heteroptera) in the eastern US, but activities are designed to be open-ended. Everyone is welcome to get involved. Let’s expand what we know about about insect diversity across rural and urban landscapes!

BioB is part of an NSF-funded research program at Colby College, which will also provide students with insight into the practice of science. Our goal is to engage students with biology by making them citizen scientists. Get involved in ecological surveys of local bugs and their host plants! Produce data to contribute to a growing community database. Connect to the biological diversity in your own backyard!

A series of modular activities on different life science topics, such as biodiversity, growth and development, invasive species, genetics, insects, evolution, urban ecology and statistical analysis, are also being produced. These modules can be scaled to the needs of different classes and grade-levels or used over multiple grade-levels. For older students, survey data are available to be used in hypothesis-testing or exploratory analyses. Teachers are encouraged to modify the activities to their own needs and share success stories.

NOVA Evolution Lab

In NOVA’s Evolution Lab (, phylogenetics—the study of the evolutionary relationships between species—is explored in depth as players evaluate similarities in the traits and
DNA of species and conduct their own investigations in a virtual tree of life. Along the way, players can watch short animated videos that explain the evidence of evolution and illustrate it with specific examples.

The Evolution Lab contains two interactives, Build A Tree and Deep Tree, that were developed by the Life on Earth project based at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Life on Earth is a NSF-funded project led by principal investigator Chia Shen, director of the Scientists’ Discovery Room (SDR) Lab. Shen’s team, including lead developer Florian Block and collaborators around the country, worked for several years to find the most effective ways to make the tree an open-ended space to explore how life formed and continues to evolve.


BUGSS stands for Baltimore UnderGround Science Space. We are a community lab for amateur, professional, and citizen scientists and a place to be curious about biotechnology and have fun responsibly.

Track a Tree

Are you are a regular visitor to your local woodland? If so, Track a Tree needs your help to record the spring timing (or phenology) of the UK’s woodland trees and the flowering plants that grow beneath them. Track a Tree aims to find out how much woodland species vary their seasonal timing, and how tree leafing affects the flowering of plants on the woodland floor.

We need volunteers to become citizen ecologists and record trees in their local woodland during spring, visiting on a weekly basis if possible. Track a Tree recorders are asked to monitor their chosen trees from before they budburst until they come into leaf, so the key recording period is usually between March and May. Track a Tree monitoring involves selecting a tree (or trees!) and revisiting it throughout spring to record its leafing stage and monitor the flowering plants beneath it.

As spring temperatures rise the leafing of trees is getting earlier and we are interested in testing whether woodland flowers can keep up with this change. With the help of citizen ecologists monitoring trees across the UK, we can see whether woodlands in warm parts of the country do as well as those from colder areas.

The Track a Tree project would suit anyone who regularly visits their local woodland; individuals, families, education groups… all are welcome to take part! Download the field guide from our website, get recording and share your observations to see how they compare with the rest of the UK.

The Dental Arcade Game

Are you fascinated by forensic science? This project is run by a real life forensic anthropologist, and is about teeth. It is designed to gather information about your age, ethnicity and the teeth you have in your mouth, to see if what we think we know about when teeth erupt is accurate.

At the moment, if an unknown body is found, forensic scientists (forensic anthropologists and forensic odontologists) examine the teeth and work out how old the person was when s/he died by noting which teeth have erupted, and comparing this to reference data. This data then gives the scientist an age range, which can help the police narrow down the list of possible people that the body could be. The problem is that this data is out of date, and there is lots of variation between populations.

That's where YOU come in. We can improve this data set by getting as many people as possible to complete our survey. That way, we can build up a mega-database of ages and tooth eruption and ethnicities, and build up a really useful bank of data for scientists to use in the future.

Water - a global experiment with hydrogels

Thousands of people all over the world are taking part in Water: a global experiment with hydrogels. Pupils explore the effects that hydrogels – a man-made product – has on the water cycle before sharing their results with other classes across the globe. Not only are all the activities engaging but they also support learning and curriculum coverage. So why not make it part of your lessons?

FreshWater Watch

FreshWater Watch is Earthwatch's global research project which aims to involve at least 100,000 people in a program to research and learn about fresh water. The purpose of FreshWater Watch is to safeguard the quality and supply of fresh water, our planet's most precious and vital resource.

Participants have the opportunity to become citizen scientists and take an active role in scientific data gathering. As a citizen scientist, you will join a global community working together to promote freshwater sustainability.

South African Penguins

Ninety percent of the penguin population on Robben Island has disappeared over the past 100 years. You can help conserve their habitat and protect their population.

NOVA Cybersecurity Lab

The Cybersecurity Lab is a game designed to teach people how to keep their digital lives safe, spot cyber scams, learn the basics of coding, and defend against cyber attacks. Players assume the role of chief technology officer of a start-up social network company that is the target of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. In the game, players must complete challenges to strengthen their cyber defenses and thwart their attackers.

The Cybersecurity Lab is a great resource for STEM educators who want to teach their students best practices for staying safe online and introduce them to computer science principles and the architecture of online networks.

Wisconsin's Water Action Volunteers

Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a statewide program for Wisconsin citizens who want to learn about and improve the quality of Wisconsin’s streams and rivers. The program is coordinated through a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin – Cooperative Extension.

Leaf Pack Network

What is the Leaf Pack Network®?

A Hands-On Stream Ecology Investigation Based on Real Science!

Science involves more than simply collecting data. Science is also the process of communicating and sharing results, initiated through inquiry.

The Leaf Pack Network® is an international network of teachers, students, and citizen monitors investigating their local stream ecosystem. Through the Leaf Pack Experiment, monitors use tree leaves and aquatic insects to determine the health of their stream and to understand its ecology.

Individuals participating in the Leaf Pack Experiment and Leaf Pack Network® engage in the full process of designing an experiment, conducting research and communicating their results. Leaf Pack can also easily be implemented into any curriculum and fulfills many state and national science standards. Watch your students become empowered and energized learning about their local watershed!

Floating Forests

Floating Forests asks you to help us uncover the history of Giant Kelp forests around the globe. Most algae and animals that live on the seafloor can only be sampled by SCUBA divers or dredging up samples from the deep. This kind of data requires a ton of (really fun) effort to collect, but it means we’re limited in our knowledge of changes in their abundances through time. But Giant Kelp is amazing - it can grow up to a foot a day and forms lush canopies that can be seen by some of the earliest satellites man put into space!


Nature’s best kept secret is a wonder molecule called RNA. It is central to the origin of life, evolution, and the cellular machinery that keeps us alive.

In this Lab you’ll play the role of a molecular engineer by solving RNA folding puzzles. Then take your skills to Eterna, where you can design RNAs that could be at the heart of future life-saving therapies.

This project is part of the NOVA Labs platform

BC Cetacean Sightings Network

Twenty-three species of cetaceans and sea turtles have been recorded in the waters of British Columbia, Canada. Many of these populations are 'at-risk' and under-studied.
The B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network (BCCSN) collects sightings of cetaceans and sea turtles in the waters surrounding British Columbia, Canada using a network of citizen scientist observers. Our observer base is diverse, from interested citizens to lighthouse keepers, ecotourism professionals, mariners and recreational boaters. Anyone can participate and reports are made via an on-line form, toll free number, email, or supplied logbook. Look for our smartphone app, WhaleReport, available now for free download from the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Spot A Ladybug

Did you ever wonder how ladybugs got their spots?

I am working with a extremely interesting type of ladybug called the Harlequin ladybug, or Harmonia axyridis. This ladybug can vary in the way they look with respect to both color (they can be red, orange, yellow, and black) and spot number (they can have anywhere from zero spots to twenty-two spots).

This projects uses citizens to understand what these ladybugs look like across continents! Knowing how the Harlequin ladybug's look varies will help determine, genetically, how so much variation exists.

Asteroid Mappers: Vesta Edition

Help us map the surface of asteroid Vesta using images from NASA' Dawn spacecraft. Measure the sizes and positions of craters and other surface features.

Why do we care about craters? Craters can tell us a lot about what’s happening on a planetary surface. One of the main uses of craters is to tell ages. The age of Vesta’s surface is really important to know, because it was probably one of the very first objects to fully form in the solar system.


If you've ever wondered what your child is thinking or what it's like inside your newborn's mind, you're not alone.
The single most amazing computational engine known to mankind is your child's mind.

We're hoping to learn more about how babies and children learn by enlisting the help of their most dedicated and curious observers: their own parents!

By participating in a quick online activity with your child and submitting a webcam recording of his/her responses, you can contribute to our collective understanding of the fascinating phenomenon of children's learning.

In some experiments you'll step into the role of a researcher, asking your child questions or controlling the experiment based on what he or she does.

Traditionally, developmental studies happen in a quiet room in a university lab. Why complement these in-lab studies with online ones? We're hoping to...

...Make it easier for you to take part in research, especially for families without a stay-at-home parent

...Work with more kids when needed--right now a limiting factor in designing studies is the time it takes to recruit participants

...Draw conclusions from a more representative population of families--not just those who live near a university and are able to visit the lab during the day

...Make it easier for families to continue participating in longitudinal studies, which may involve multiple testing sessions separated by months or years

...Observe more natural behavior because children are at home rather than in an unfamiliar place

...Create a system for learning about special populations--for instance, children with specific developmental disorders

...Make the procedures we use in doing research more transparent, and make it easier to replicate our findings

...Communicate with families about the research we're doing and what we can learn from it

Cat Tracker

Cats are mysterious, dangerous and far more unpredictable than one might expect from an animal that is theoretically, domesticated. Some of the mysteries of cats relate to where they go and what they do; this is especially true of cats that go outdoors. We open our doors. They leave. Just where they go, we can’t be sure. Or rather we couldn’t be sure, until now. With your help, we’re investigating the movement of domesticated cats across the landscape. We want to know: Where do they go? What are they eating? What do they bring home, microbially speaking?


Visionlearning is a digital resource for science students and educators. Visionlearning contains free open access lessons covering a range of STEM topics. There is a Classroom feature where students can bookmark modules and glossary words for future reference and where teachers can assemble the materials into a learning management system. We also welcome professional scientist and educators to contribute to our learning materials.

Counting Weddell Seals in Antarctica

Have your students help scientists count Weddell seals using satellite imagery.

Many people think seals on the ice are easy to count. There is no place for them to hide when they are out of the water. They are not afraid of people so don’t run away, and if they are with a pup, the adult stays in the same location for several days. However it is not that easy. There are seals all over the place as new cracks in the ice create new suitable locations for feeding and many seals move to these new areas. Counting individuals is difficult unless they are tagged because it’s hard to know if we counted this one yesterday or not. To solve these problem scientists are using satellite images that can take a picture of a large area at one moment in time. They then can count them using a computer.

In this activity, we ask for your help in counting the seals using satellite images. Scientists need all the help they can in creating an accurate count. We hope you will take the time to join our team and help do the counting as the images come in several times every season.

Study Adélie Penguin breeding

From November to January, classrooms take part in a virtual field study of Adélie Penguins as they breed, brood and rear their chicks in Antarctica. Photos of selected penguin families from Cape Royds Antarctica are posted to the website for students to follow on a daily basis. Weather data, event journal and background information about penguins is also provided. Students keep a field notebook gathering and analyzing their own data about each penguin family using the same process of the field biologist. This real time, long term activity provides students a window into the harshness of Adélie penguin life and the work of field scientists. Predation, competition and environmental challenges all affect the penguin’s ability to raise chicks. Witnessing these events themselves helps students begin to understand the world around them and the remote location of Antarctica. This project offers a real time daily field experience with outcomes we cannot predict.

Amphibian Conservation and Education Project

The Amphibian Conservation Education Project aims to empower educators, students, and individuals to become involved in amphibian conservation efforts.

Through this project, participants will become field scientists by analyzing water quality and testing amphibians for the disease, Chytrid Fungus. Collected data is then used by local herpetologists (scientists who study reptiles and amphibians) to gain a better understanding of the species of amphibians being affected by the disease and where Chytrid is being spread.

Notes from Nature

Most natural history collections are housed in museum cabinets, where they are not easily available to citizens and researchers. The Notes from Nature transcription project addresses this problem by digitizing biological collections one record at a time! Help museum staff and scientists by transcribing the labels and ledgers that have been meticulously recorded and stored over the past century. In many cases these are the only historical records of species distribution available. Join us in unlocking this important information - take some notes from nature!

Vital Signs Maine

Where are the invasive species in Maine? Where aren’t they? Students, educators, citizens, and scientists are working together to find out.

As part of the Vital Signs community you can help steward the 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, 6,000 lakes and ponds, 5,000 miles of coastline, and 17 million acres of forest that are threatened by invasive species.

Together we are using scientific tools and habits of mind to look for native and invasive species in local habitats. We are sharing what we find and do not find online. We are contributing to a greater understanding of our shared environment.


In 2012, scientists in Montreal warned Canadians to expect there will be fewer outdoor skating days in the future.* Their predictions are based on the results of data taken from weather stations across Canada over the last fifty years. In some parts of Canada, they warn there may one day be no more backyard rinks at all. Remember the story of how Wayne Gretzky learned to play hockey on the backyard rink his father made for him in Brantford, Ontario? The scientists’ report says some day that will no longer be possible – at least, not in Brantford.

This prompted a group of geographers at Wilfrid Laurier University to create RinkWatch. We want people from coast to coast to coast to tell us about their rinks. We want you to pin the location of your rink on our map, and then each winter record every day that you are able to skate on it. Think of it as your rink diary. We will gather up all the information from all the backyard rinks, and use it to track the changes in our climate. The RinkWatch website will give you regular updates on the results. You will be able to compare the number of skating days at your rink with rinks elsewhere, and find out who is having the best winter for skating this year.

Marine Metre Squared

Marine Metre Squared (MM2) is an easy way to survey the intertidal community. Monitor a 1m x 1m square patch of your local shore once every season by recording the animals and plants that live there.

Take part in special scientific studies and fun educational challenges such as hunting for pest species, looking for evidence of animals breeding, and measuring seaweed growth.

Help others identify their new finds with the online forum. Submit your own questions and encourage others around New Zealand to take part.

The perfect project for families looking for holiday activities, schools and community groups looking for ways to engage with and improve their local environments.

See the project website for survey protocols, forms and resources to help you with your surveys. Resources are available for both rocky and sandy and muddy shores.


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.


Panamath is a free-standing software that can be used to assess number sense - your intuitive recognition of numbers and their relationship. Researchers in laboratories throughout the world have utilized this research tool in studies of number knowledge, mathematical acuity, and learning in general.

Curious? Use Panamath to test your own number sense, read more about the research being done or download the software and adapt it for your own research or educational purposes.

Utah Water Watch

Utah Water Watch (UWW) is a water quality education and data collection program that seeks to increase awareness about the importance of water quality and promote stewardship of Utah’s aquatic resources.

UWW is a partnership between USU Water Quality Extension and the Utah Division of Water Quality that creates a way for the public to help in monitoring Utah’s lakes and streams. This is a free program for volunteers of all ages to monitor water quality once a month and report the data to water managers.

Public Laboratory Spectrometer

A spectrometer is a ubiquitous tool for scientists to identify unknown materials, like oil spill residue or coal tar in urban waterways. But they cost thousands of dollars and are hard to use -- so the Public Lab community has designed its own.

This open hardware kit costs only $35, but has a range of more than 400-900 nanometers, and a resolution of as high as 3 nm. A spectrometer is essentially a tool to measure the colors absorbed by a material. You can construct this one yourself from a piece of a DVD-R, black paper, a VHS box, and an HD USB webcam.

Public Lab has also created open source software to collect, analyze, compare, and share calibrated spectral data. We've even made an experimental version which converts your cellphone into a spectrometer.

Public Lab community members have used this new tool to identify dyes in "free and clear" laundry detergent, to test grow lamps, and to analyze wines.

Now we need your help in collecting data to build a Wikipedia-style library of open source spectra, and to refine and improve sample collection and analysis techniques. We imagine a kind of "SHAZAM for materials" which can help to investigate chemical spills, diagnose crop diseases, identify contaminants in household products, and even analyze olive oil, coffee, and homebrew beer.

World Community Grid

Cutting-edge techniques allow scientists to conduct computer-based experiments that significantly accelerate research, allowing them to tackle ambitious projects that were previously unfeasible. But pioneering scientists often don’t have access to computers big enough to match their ambitions. World Community Grid harnesses spare power from your devices and donates it directly to these scientists.

Through the contribution of over 640,000 volunteers and 460 organizations, World Community Grid has enabled researchers complete the equivalent of thousands of years of work in just a few years and enabled important scientific advances in cancer treatment and solar energy. Without this support, a lot of this important science just wouldn't get done.

But there's still a lot more to do. We need your help! Join at and start supporting critical humanitarian research today.

Ancient Lives

Ancient Lives allows citizen scientists to help transcribe ancient papyri texts from Greco-Roman Egypt. The data gathered will help scholars reveal new knowledge of the literature, culture, and lives of Greco-Romans in ancient Egypt.

The 1,000 year old transcripts were originally found by researchers in 1896 in the city of Oxrhynchus, often called the ‘City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish’. Over the next decade, over 500,000 fragments of papyri were uncovered and the collections stands today as largely unstudied. That is why Ancient Lives needs your help to measure fragments and transcribe Ancient Greek characters.

The project is a collaboration between researchers at Oxford University and several other international groups.


FieldScope is a community web-mapping tool that promotes student engagement as citizen scientists and involves them in learning through mapping. By combining easy data integration with powerful mapping visualization, FieldScope is on the cutting edge of community mapping.

The application is accessed online and is requires no installation. Students are able to upload field data photos and other media as well as collaborate with other students and scientists, and perform analysis on existing data. There are many rich projects to choose from, including mapping water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, investigating watershed dynamics, and mapping rivers and streams in the National Parks.

With students able to contribute and interact alongside scientists, meaningful science is sure to happen!

Moon Mappers

Help scientists with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter better understand the structure and history of the lunar surface: identify, measure, and classify images of craters on the moon. Your efforts will help us define the places future missions will study closer - including perhaps even future human missions.

Mountain Watch

Mountain Watch is an ongoing trail-side citizen science program that tracks plant development, aka phenology, of a small set of alpine and forest plants In the Eastern Appalachian mountains and other Northeast areas.

AMC is also a partner with the USA National Phenology Network, the National Park Service, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in the
AT Seasons project, the new endeavor to track plant and animal development along the AT corridor. Similar to AMC’s Mountain Watch, AT Seasons ( will provide much needed information on climate impacts at upper elevations.

These citizen science programs are components of the Appalachian Mountain Club alpine ecology and climate science research being conducted in the Northeast mountains.

General teaching material on phenology can be found here:

Journey North

Journey North invites you to join in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Share your local observations with people across North America. Track the coming of spring through the migrations of monarch butterflies, robins and hummingbirds, the budding of plants, changing day length and other natural events. Predict when plants will emerge and bloom with Journey North Tulip Test Gardens. Track changes in day length to find ten Mystery Classes hidden around the globe. Explore weekly news updates, migration maps, photos, video clips, live cams, lessons, and other resources. Journey North exemplifies best-practice instruction and is one of the nation's premiere citizen science projects.

School of Ants

The School of Ants project is a citizen science study of the ants that live in urban areas, particularly around homes and schools.

Teachers, students, parents, kids, junior-scientists, senior citizens and enthusiasts of all stripes collect ants in schoolyards and backyards using a standardized Do-It-Yourself collection kit (involving Pecan Sandies cookies and index cards!) Participants send in their ants and our team of ant experts identify the ants and map their biodiversity around the US.

Thanks to the many School of Ant participants we’re already starting to get a much better picture of the native and introduced ants with whom we share our backyards and sidewalks.


Currently over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Being continuously surrounded by traffic jams, construction sites and urban events, city dwellers are typically exposed to a considerable amount of noise. NoiseTube facilitate sound measuring at any place and any time through a mobile app which exploits basic smartphone functionalities, namely microphone, wireless connectivity and localisation through GPS. Through these three components NoiseTube transforms already ubiquitous smartphones into highly portable, accessible sound measurement devices, enabling all citizens to measure ambient sound levels whenever and wherever they please.

The NoiseTube website collects all user measurements and visualises them on Google Maps. Given enough measurements for a particular area, we can construct noise maps of comparable quality to those produced by governments today, which are of a very different kind. Indeed, pollution maps are typically created through computer simulations based on general statistics, such as the average number of cars in the city. They are backed up only by limited amounts of sound measurements because current measuring methods are expensive and thus not very scalable. The resulting maps give an average but not at all a complete view on the situation, entirely missing local variations due to street works, neighbour noise &tc.

NoiseTube is user-friendly, free and open source and is used by citizens all over the world, for individual use as well as for measuring campaigns by citizen action groups. It is a tool with which citizens can estimate the quality of their daily environment and how it is affected by their behavior, and as such provides support for awareness-building as well as for undertaking bottom-up, citizen-steered actions to solve local issues.


MySwan is a citizen science project for people who love swans. Just record your black swan sighting on the interactive map, and you can make a valuable contribution to research on the behavior and movement of swans.

After you submit your sighting, you'll get an instant report about the swan, with interesting information about its history and recent movements.

Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life is an online, collaborative project where you can learn about any species on Earth, as well as contribute information and submit photos. This global initiative seeks to create an "infinitely expandable" resource for all of our planet’s 1.9 million known species.

The Encyclopedia of Life draws from existing databases, such as AmphibiaWeb and Mushroom Observer, and sponsorship from a number of leading scientific organizations. The scientific community and general public can contribute to this growing body of knowledge by posting images to an EOL partner like iNaturalist or Flickr, or posting comments to any species page. In addition, citizen naturalists with a demonstrated commitment to quality science can apply to become curators who are responsible for maintaining the project's vetted content.


Phylo is a game in which participants align sequences of DNA by shifting and moving puzzle pieces. Your score depends on how you arrange these pieces. You will be competing against a computer and other players in the community.

Though it may appear to be just a game, Phylo is actually a framework for harnessing the computing power of mankind to solve a common problem -- Multiple Sequence Alignments.

A sequence alignment is a way of arranging the sequences of DNA, RNA or protein to identify regions of similarity. These similarities may be consequences of functional, structural, or evolutionary relationships between the sequences. From such an alignment, biologists may infer shared evolutionary origins, identify functionally important sites, and illustrate mutation events. More importantly, biologists can trace the source of certain genetic diseases.

Traditionally, multiple sequence alignment algorithms use computationally complex heuristics to align the sequences. Unfortunately, the use of heuristics do not guarantee global optimization as it would be prohibitively computationally expensive to achieve an optimal alignment. This is due in part to the sheer size of the genome, which consists of roughly three billion base pairs, and the increasing computational complexity resulting from each additional sequence in an alignment.

Humans have evolved to recognize patterns and solve visual problems efficiently. By abstracting multiple sequence alignment to manipulating patterns consisting of coloured shapes, we have adapted the problem to benefit from human capabilities. By taking data which has already been aligned by a heuristic algorithm, we allow the user to optimize where the algorithm may have failed.

All alignments were generously made available through UCSC Genome Browser. In fact, all alignments contain sections of human DNA which have been speculated to be linked to various genetic disorders, such as breast cancer. Every alignment is received, analyzed, and stored in a database, where it will eventually be re-introduced back into the global alignment as an optimization.

Let's play!

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!

High Country Citizen Science Project

The High Country Citizen Science Project trains citizen scientists to participate in back-country surveys to collect data on the number and distribution of mountain goats, bighorn sheep and pikas, three species of concern in the high country of Montana's Glacier National Park. This contribution will enable the park to more effectively manage these species and their habitats.

Concern about wildlife in Glacier’s alpine and sub-alpine areas is growing. High country habitats are highly vulnerable to impacts from climate change and invasions of insects and plant diseases. Mountain goat and pika population declines have been documented in areas outside of Glacier. The primary goal of the project is to collect baseline information about population size and distribution and to monitor population trend over time.

Participants attend a one-day classroom and field-based education program. Participants learn about species identification, management concerns, and how to observe and document observations of each species. They also learn how to use field equipment such as spotting scopes, compasses, and global positioning system (GPS) units. Once trained, participants select survey sites from a list of mapped locations and hike to sites to conduct a one hour observational survey on mountain goats and bighorn sheep or pikas. Hiking distances vary between 3 to 15 miles one way. During pika surveys participants traverse talus (boulder) fields looking under rocks for signs of pikas.

Since 2005, the Glacier National Park Citizen Science program has engaged trained park visitors, staff, and volunteers to collect scientific information that would otherwise be unavailable to resource managers and researchers due to lack of personnel or funding. For citizen scientists, the rewards are a sense of stewardship and a greater awareness and understanding of the park’s resource issues. For the park, it provides a wealth of data that can be used to increase understanding of our natural resources, offering an opportunity to get much-needed baseline information about key plant and animal species.

Project NOAH

Noah is a mobile phone app that allows nature lovers to document local wildlife and add their observations to a growing database for use by ongoing citizen-science projects.

Using the Noah mobile application, users take a photograph of an interesting organism, select the appropriate category, add descriptive tags, and click submit. The application captures the location details along with the submitted information and stores all of it in the species database for use by efforts such as Project Squirrel and the Lost Ladybug Project.

In addition, users can see what kinds of organisms are nearby by searching through a list or exploring a map of their area, all on a mobile phone.

Noah is all about discovering and documenting local wildlife. We work with research groups and organizations to help gather important data and we want you to help by logging recent spottings on your mobile phone. Missions can range from photographing specific frogs or flowers to tracking migrating birds or invasive species or logging the effects of the oil spill.

ClimatePrediction is a distributed computing project that aims to produce predictions of the Earth's climate up to the year 2300 and to test the accuracy of climate models. To do this, the project needs people around the world to volunteer time on their computers - time when their computers are on but not being used at full capacity.

The project needs you to run a climate model program on your computer. The model will run automatically in the background whenever you switch your computer on, and it should not affect any other tasks for which you use your computer. As the model runs, you can watch the weather patterns evolve on your unique version of the world. The results are sent back to project coordinators via the Internet, and you will be able to see a summary of your results on the website. ClimatePrediction uses the same underlying software, BOINC, as many other distributed computing projects and, if you like, you can participate in more than one project at a time.

Climate change, and our response to it, are issues of global importance, affecting food production, water resources, ecosystems, energy demand, insurance costs, and much else. Current research suggests that the Earth will probably warm over the coming century; Climateprediction should, for the first time, tell us what is most likely to happen.

Viburnum Leaf Beetle Project

Participants in this project monitor gardens, parks, or school yards throughout the spring and summer to identify viburnum leaf beetles. As a citizen scientist, you gather data that researchers can use to help stop the spread of this pest, reduce the damage it causes, and help us all be better prepared for future invasions by exotic pests.

The viburnum leaf beetle is an invasive, non-native beetle that first appeared in New York State along Lake Ontario in 1996, and has steadily spread. It has been reported in Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and parts of Ohio, as well as Ontario, the Canadian Maritime Provinces, and British Columbia. It is a voracious eater that can defoliate viburnum shrubs entirely. Plants may die after two or three years of heavy infestation.

The Viburnum Leaf Beetle Project teams gardeners, landscapers, 4-H groups, school classes, and others with researchers at Cornell University. With your help, researchers can learn more about the viburnum leaf beetle by tracking its expanding range, learning which viburnum species it likes or dislikes, assessing how much damage the beetle causes, determining how weather and other factors affect its lifecycle, and identifying which management tactics effectively limit pest populations.

Jug Bay Jug Bay Macroinvertebrate SamplingSampling

Maryland's Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary needs volunteers to collect, count, and identify macroinvertebrates (small animals without backbones) in its streams. The sanctuary is in southern Anne Arundel County, 20 miles east Washington, D.C., and 18 miles south of Annapolis, Maryland.

One indicator of good water quality is a diverse and abundant population of macroinvertebrates. A dip in oxygen levels or a plume of pesticide can make a stream inhospitable to more sensitive animals.

Benthic macroinvertebrates--ones that dwell on the bottom of streams--can reveal much about the health of their watery environment. Since these animals more or less stay put, they are reliable indicators of water quality at each sampling site.

If you like to hike and wade in shallow streams, this project is for you! Monitoring takes place several times a year, and each sampling takes about two hours in the field and another two hours of processing in the lab.

Tracking Climate in Your Backyard

Tracking Climate in Your Backyard seeks to engage youth in real science through the collection, recording, and understanding of precipitation data in the forms of rain, hail, and snow.

The purpose of this project is to encourage youth, specifically ages 8-12, to better understand the scientific process by engaging them in the collection of meaningful meteorological data in their community. In this way, youth develop an understanding of scientific methods and standardization, and by recording and sharing their data through a citizen science project, they recognize the importance of accurate data collection. The citizen science portion of the project, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, collects precipitation data for scientific analysis and for use by the National Weather Service, the USDA, emergency managers, insurance adjusters, teachers and students, engineers, and others. We believe that when youth know they are contributing data to real, scientific cause, their engagement levels rise.

This National Science Foundation-funded project is a collaboration between the Paleontological Research Institution, which has experience in professional development and informal education, New York State 4-H, which provides an excellent outreach base and fosters hands-on, experiential learning for youth, and the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, which runs a citizen science project to record precipitation measurements in an online database.


The first continental phenology project in the southern hemisphere, ClimateWatch allows every Australian the opportunity of becoming a citizen scientist by observing and recording data on a number of plant and animal species.

Climate change is affecting rainfall and temperature across Australia. As a consequence, flowering times, breeding cycles and migration movements are likely to change as a result of also changing. However, scientists have very little data available to understand the impacts of this. You can help.

By observing the timing of natural events (the study of phenology), such as the budding of flowers, falling of leaves and the appearance of migratory birds, the data you collect and record will help shape the country's scientific response to climate change.

Become a regular ClimateWatcher by recording what you see in your backyard home, on the move, or on one of over 40 ClimateWatch trails in gardens and parks across Australia.

Record sightings online, or through the free ClimateWatch smartphone app.

The Shark Trust: Great Eggcase Hunt

The Great Eggcase Hunt is a Shark Trust citizen science recording project, which encourages people to get out on the beach and look for mermaid's purses (the eggcases of sharks, skates and rays) and then record what they find!

An eggcase (or mermaid’s purse) is a tough leathery case that protects the embryo while developing. 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. Eggcases varies in shape, size and features - these differences allow us to identify which species they came from. Once the juvenile has emerged, the much lighter empty eggcases can wash ashore 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.

Thanks to public recording, the Trust now has an extensive database of eggcase records, which continues to provide crucial information about the distribution of British sharks, skates and rays (elasmobranchs).

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 will be developing identification resources for species found along the New York coastline.

The Great Eggcase Hunt ID guide is now also available at your fingertips as a smartphone app has been launched for Apple devices and is available in the app store now! This dedicated app offers tips on how to hunt, an encyclopedia of British egglaying sharks, skates and rays, full ID guide entries, a step-by-step identification tool, and a recording form with the capacity to upload photos and record the exact GPS location. An Android version is coming soon!

Evolution Megalab

Evolution Megalab asks volunteers to survey banded snail populations in Europe to help map climate change effects.

Did you know that thanks to a common little snail you can find in your garden, in the park or under a hedge, you can see evolution in your own back yard?

Evolution is a very slow process. Life on Earth started about three-and-a-half billion years ago! It's the tiny changes accumulating over a long, long time that got us here. And you can see some of those tiny steps by joining the Evolution MegaLab.

It may look like banded snails are dressed-to-kill, but really they are dressed not to be killed. Banded snails are a favorite food of the song thrush, and their various shell colors and patterns camouflage them against different backgrounds. But, in some places there are fewer thrushes than there used to be.

Help us find out

* Have shell colors and bands changed where there are fewer thrushes?

Shell color also affects how sensitive a snail is to temperature.

* Have shell colors changed with our warming climate?


Whether in a shrub, a tree, or a nest box, bird nests are everywhere. Find one, and you can help scientists study the biology and monitor populations of North America’s birds by joining the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch program. Every year, volunteers from across the country visit nests once or twice each week and monitor their progression from incubating eggs to fuzzy chicks to fully feathered adults. They then submit this data to NestWatch where it is compiled and analyzed.

NestWatch helps people of all ages and backgrounds connect with nature. The information that NestWatchers collect allows us to understand the impact that various threats, such as environmental change and habitat destruction, have on breeding birds. Armed with this knowledge, we can take the necessary steps to help birds survive in this changing world.

GLOBE at Night

Six out of 10 people in the US have never seen our Milky Way Galaxy arch across their night sky from where they live. And the problem of light pollution is quickly getting worse. Within a couple of generations in the U.S., only the national parks will have dark enough skies to see the Milky Way.

Too much outdoor lighting not only affects being able to see the stars, but also wastes energy and money, about 2 to 10 billion dollars a year. And it has been shown to cause sleep disorders in people and to disrupt the habits of animals like newly hatched sea turtles that try to find their way back into the ocean but are disoriented by streetlights.

Light pollution may be a global problem, but the solutions are local. To help people “see the light”, an international star-hunting program for students, teachers, and the general public was created called GLOBE at Night. GLOBE at Night is now in its 6th year and is hosted by the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

For 2015 we are collecting your observations during all 12 months of the year! See the dates below and plan to get involved.

January 11-20
February 9-18
March 11-20

April 9-18
May 9-18
June 8-17

July 7-16
August 5-14
September 3-12

October 3-12
November 2-11
December 2-11

Through this program, children and adults are encouraged to reconnect with the night sky and learn about light pollution and in doing so, become citizen scientists inspired to protect this natural resource. Teachers like the GLOBE at Night program, because it lends itself to cross-curricular learning: astronomy, geography, history, literature, and writing. The possibilities are great.

Nature's Notebook

Observe seasonal changes in plants and animals to improve our understanding of climate change impacts.

Changes in climate are affecting plant and animal activity across the nation. These modifications impact our economy, human health, natural resources and agriculture. Join us-help document how things are changing!

The Smell Experience Project

The Smell Experience Project is collecting stories from people who have experienced a significant change in their sense of smell.

Changes in odor perception can be a symptom of a condition, such as depression, head injury, dementia, or allergies, or a side effect of medication. Because the changes are subjective and difficult to measure, medical professionals often do not ask patients about changes in their sense of smell. As a result, there is little documented information about these changes. Smell Experience Researchers need your help to better understand changes in our sense of smell.

The Genographic Project

The Genographic Project is a five-year anthropological study that uses DNA voluntarily contributed by hundreds of thousands of people to answer the oldest questions we have about ourselves: Who are we and where did we come from? In doing so, the project will create the world's largest survey of DNA samples to map how humankind populated the planet. This database will serve as an invaluable scientific resource for the research community and may ultimately underscore how closely related we are to one another as part of the extended human family.

The Genographic Project uses sophisticated computer analysis of DNA voluntarily contributed by people—including indigenous and traditional populations and the general public—to reveal our migratory history and to better understand the connections and differences that make up humankind. Members of the general public take part in the project by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and submitting their own cheek-swab sample.

World Water Monitoring Challenge

World Water Monitoring Challenge is an international program that encourages citizen volunteers to monitor their local water bodies. An easy-to-use test kit enables everyone from children to adults to sample local water bodies for basic water quality parameters: temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity), and dissolved oxygen.

The results of current and past studies are shared with participating communities around the globe through the organization's online Data & Reports page.

The Great Sunflower Project

The Great Sunflower Project has three programs. The Safe Gardens for Pollinators program which uses data collected on Lemon Queen sunflowers to examine the effects of pesticides on pollinators. The Pollinator Friendly Plants program which is designed to identify the key plants to support healthy pollinator communities. And, the Great Pollinator Habitat Challenge which allows citizen scientists to evaluate and improve gardens, parks and other green spaces for pollinators.

Some bee populations have experienced severe declines that may affect food production. However, nobody has ever measured how much pollination is happening over a region, much less a continent, so there is little information about how a decline in the bee population can influence gardens.

The Great Sunflower Project makes it easy to gather this information. Find a plant you know (or a Lemon Queen Sunflower), observe it for 5 or more minutes and record all pollinators that visit, and contribute data online. You can make as many observations as you want while your flowers are in bloom. Plant, Watch, Enter. Repeat. That's it. And, who doesn't like sunflowers?!

The Great Backyard Bird Count

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 across the continent.

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.

Project BudBurst

Project BudBurst, a NEON citizen science program, is a network of people across the United States monitoring plants as the seasons change. We are a national field campaign designed to engage the public in the collection of important ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants (plantphenophases). Project BudBurst participants make careful observations of these phenophases. We are interested in observations from five plant groups – deciduous trees and shrubs; wildflowers and herbs; evergreens; conifers; and grasses. To participate, you simply need access to a plant.

Supporting and enhancing our understanding of continental-scale environmental change, Project BudBurst data are being collected in a consistent manner across the country for scientists and educators to use to learn more about the responsiveness of individual plant species to changes in local, regional and national climates. Thousands of people from all 50 states are participating and have generated a robust data set that is available for use by scientists and educators to increase understanding of how plants respond to environmental change. Formal and informal educators are finding Project BudBurst an effective approach to engaging their students and visitors in an authentic research experience.
Join our growing community!

Whether you have an afternoon, a few weeks, a season, or a whole year, you can make an important contribution to a better understanding of changing climates. Participating in Project BudBurst is easy – everything needed to participate is on the web site. Choose a plant to monitor and share your observations with others online. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our Ten Most Wanted species.

Project BudBurst is a NEON Citzen Science Program funded by the National Science Foundation.

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!

CoCoRaHS: Rain, Hail, Snow Network

CoCoRaHS, The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages who measure and report precipitation. By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive website, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications.

Each time a rain, hail, or snow storm occurs, volunteers take measurements of precipitation from their registered locations (reports of 'zero' precipitation are encouraged too!). The reports are submitted to the website and are immediately available for viewing. It's educational, but moreover, fun! Just wait until you start comparing how much rain fell in your backyard vs. your neighbor!

The data are used by the National Weather Service, meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities, insurance adjusters, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor and recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community.

Radio JOVE

NASA's Radio JOVE project enables students and amateur scientists to observe natural radio emissions from Jupiter, the Sun, and our galaxy. Participants learn about radio astronomy first-hand by building their own radio telescope from an inexpensive kit and/or using remote radio telescopes through the Internet. They also collaborate with each other through interactions and sharing of data on the network.

The Radio JOVE project began in 1998. Since then, more than 1,600 teams of students and interested individuals have purchased non-profit radio telescope kits and are learning radio astronomy by building and operating a radio telescope. This self-supporting, non-profit program continues to thrive and inspire new groups of students as well as individuals.


Foldit is a revolutionary new computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research.

We’re collecting data to find out if humans' pattern-recognition and puzzle-solving abilities make them more efficient than existing computer programs at pattern-folding tasks. If this turns out to be true, we can then teach human strategies to computers and fold proteins faster than ever!

Knowing the structure of a protein is key to understanding how it works and to targeting it with drugs. A small protein can consist of 100 amino acids, while some human proteins can be huge (1000 amino acids). The number of different ways even a small protein can fold is astronomical because there are so many degrees of freedom. Figuring out which of the many, many possible structures is the best one is regarded as one of the hardest problems in biology today and current methods take a lot of money and time, even for computers.

Foldit attempts to predict the structure of a protein by taking advantage of humans' puzzle-solving intuitions and having people play competitively to fold the best proteins.

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