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Food


Cropland Capture

By 2050 we will need to feed more than 2 billion additional people on the Earth. By playing Cropland Capture, you will help us to improve basic information about where cropland is located on the Earth's surface. Using this information, we will be better equipped at tackling problems of future food security and the effects of climate change on future food supply. Get involved and contribute to a good cause! Help us to identify cropland area!

Each week (starting Nov. 15th 2013) the top three players with the highest score at the end of each week will be added to our weekly winners list. After 25 weeks, three people will be drawn randomly from this list to become our overall winners. Prizes will include an Amazon Kindle, a brand new smartphone and a tablet.

Thank you very much for helping science and solving the hunger problem!




OSF SciNet

Problem: Scientific citations are frequently constrained by terms-of-use or within proprietary systems making it difficult to see connections in the literature.

Solution: OSF SciNet uses the open source Citelet extension to crowdsource a free, open, and comprehensive metadata dataset of scientific citations and corresponding references to unlock the citation network.

Impact: The dataset generated through this project will make it easier to see the connections in the scientific literature and to promote open science.




Field Photo Library

A photo taken in the field helps scientists and citizens to document changes in landscape, wildlife habitats, impacts of drought and flood and fire, and so on. This Geo-referenced Field Photo Library is a citizen science and community remote sensing data portal, where people can share, visualize and archive field photos in the world. Users can upload, edit, query and download geo-referenced field photos in the library. All photos are also linked with satellite image series images (MODIS), so that people can see the changes over time.




Photosynq-measure plant photosynthesis

We are building a low cost, handheld device which researchers, educators, and citizen scientists can use to build a global database of plant health.

The Photosynq platform starts with a Arduino compatible hand-held device which connects to your cell phone and measures fluorescence and absorbance of photosynthetic plants and algae in a non-destructive way.

These measurements provide a detailed picture of the health of the plant and are used for plant breeding, improving plant efficiency, and to identify novel photosynthetic pathways for energy and crop research. Existing field-portable fluorescence and absorbance devices cost thousands of dollars and are too expensive for plant breeders in the developing world. In addition, these devices use proprietary software and hardware, so each user experience and dataset is isolated.

We believe that phenomic plant data, like genomic data, is a critical global resource and must both be shared and agglomerated to be useful.

Therefore, the devices will automatically sync all user data to the cloud via users’ cell phones, where anyone can see and analyze it. In this way we can create a high quality, open set of photosynthesis data points taken from around the world. Most importantly, the data is taken using the same instrument and protocols, making it highly comparable and consistent.




CyberTracker

CyberTracker Conservation is a non-profit organisation that promotes the vision of a Worldwide Environmental Monitoring Network. Our ultimate vision is that smart phone users worldwide will use CyberTracker to capture observations on a daily basis.

CyberTracker is the most efficient method of gps field data collection. You can use CyberTracker on a Smartphone or handheld computer to record any type of observation. CyberTracker, which requires no programming skills, allows you to customize an Application for your own data collection needs.




Redmap

Redmap (Range Extension Database and Mapping Project) is a citizen science project that invites members of the community to spot marine species that are outside of their usual range (or distribution) at various points around Australia. In collecting this information Redmap is generating a database of "out of range" sightings to assess which species are shifting their ranges and whether these shifts are consistent with warming waters. Redmap is hosted by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.




Where is my spider?

By just taking photos and observing spiders, you can help the Explorit Science Center learn about which climates certain spiders live in and track the distribution of spiders over time.

Join the Explorit’s Community Science Project by finding and recording spiders in your home or neighborhood (as many as you can!). Use your camera or smart phone to take a photo of the spider and submit it online to add to our geographical database.

Spiders have long been thought of a useful natural method of pest control, but how will expected temperature changes or other environmental changes affect the spider’s usefulness as pest-killers and their distribution?

We don't yet know how climate change will impact spiders, and in turn impact agriculture such as crops and farms- but when we understand where spiders are living today, we will be better able to predict what may happen to spiders and agriculture in the future.




iSeeChange: The Almanac

The iSeeChange Almanac is a socially networked weather Almanac for communities to collectively journal their climate experiences -- their observations, feelings, questions, and decisions --- against near-real time climate information.

Founded in April 2012 in Western Colorado, iSeeChange is a public radio and media experiment that fosters multimedia conversations between citizens and scientists about how seasonal weather and climate extremes affect daily American life. From the earliest spring recorded in the history of the United States, a landmark wildfire season, nationwide droughts, and weather records breaking everyday, climate affects every citizen and binds communities together.

iSeeChange is produced by Julia Kumari Drapkin in Western Colorado at KVNF Mountain Grown Community Radio as a part of Localore, a nationwide production of AIR in collaboration with Zeega, with principal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.




uBiome

uBiome is the world's first effort to map the human microbiome through citizen science.

What's the microbiome? The microbiome are the bacteria that live on and within us. It sounds kind of funny, but all of us are actually covered in helpful germs. Many conditions – from diabetes to depression, asthma to autism -- have been found to relate to the microbiome.

uBiome brings this cutting edge technology directly to consumers for the first time. The more data we collect, the more we can learn about this important area of research. We've been featured so far in Wired, Venture Beat, the Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, BoingBoing, and more.




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.




SubseaObservers

Help track the health and abundance of the mid-Atlantic scallop fishery!

Researchers at the University of Delaware have developed a new robot-based approach to surveying marine life the ocean floor. They use Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which can navigate underwater without direct human control, to take photos of marine life in its natural habitat.

By becoming a SubseaObserver you'll play a roll in ocean conservation by helping organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) make better decisions about how to manage the scallop fishery now and for future generations.

As a SubseaObserver you can name your own virtual AUV and choose what part of the mid-Atlantic you'd like to explore.

SubseaObservers also includes information about scallop biology, how the fishery is managed, how AUVs work and where they're used.




Data Detectives

Beginning November 14 through the end of the year, students ages 13-18 around the globe are invited to participate in “Data Detectives”, an engaging web experience to learn about how Big Data will impact their lives and the world they will be inheriting.

Data Detectives is the student component of the Human Face of Big Data, a global crowdsourced project conceived by “Day in Life” series creator Rick Smolan. It aims to help people better visualize the ways big data is shaping our future on this planet, and includes a smartphone app, worldwide events, a large format illustrated book with an interactive iPad app, and a documentary.

The Data Detectives initiative invites students to answer questions, explore fascinating examples of how Big Data is changing their world, interact with real-time data and see how other students around the globe are impacted in similar and different ways.




Geo-Wiki Project

The Geo-Wiki Project is a citizen science network that hopes to improve the overall quality of land use and land cover maps across the globe. They host a variety of projects, all of which use their online Google Earth Application to enlist citizen scientists to improve spatial data. By comparing global land use and land cover data to the aerial photography that appears in Google Earth, you can help improve the validity of important data that is being used to solve important global problems.

Geo-Wiki supports a variety of projects that tackle issues that include climate change, the bio-diversity of plants, and the viability of changing agriculture.

They even have developed mobile apps that allow you to ‘ground truth’ data by adding your own photographs of what’s near you.




Public Laboratory Infrared Camera

Infrared photography can help in assessing plant health, and has been used on satellites and planes for agricultural and ecological assessment primarily by vineyards, large farms and large-scale (read: expensive) research projects. By creating and open-sourcing a low-cost near-infrared camera and working with wetlands advocates, farmers and environmental activists, the Public Lab community has begun to explore grassroots uses for this powerful analytic technique.




MIT Climate CoLab

In the Climate CoLab, you can work with people from all over the world to create proposals for what to do about climate change.

Inspired by systems like open source software and Wikipedia, MIT’s Climate CoLab relies on crowdsourcing to generate, and gain support for, creative new ideas to address global climate change. Activity in the CoLab is organized through a series of on-line contests, on a broad set of subproblems at the heart of the climate change challenge. Topics include increasing the efficiency of energy use, decarbonizing energy supply, changing social attitudes and behavior, adapting to climate change, and geoengineering.

The public is invited to participate by submitting, commenting, collaborating, supporting, and/or voting for proposals. Experts review the proposals and after a judging and public voting process, top proposals are connected with those who can help implement them.

Check out the SciStarter feature of the Climate CoLab: http://scistarter.com/blog/2013/08/stop-collaborate-and-vote-mit-climate-colab .




eButterfly

eButterfly is a citizen science project that helps document butterflies in Canada. By creating a user profile and documenting observed butterflies, citizens can help scientists better understand butterfly distribution in Canada. Users can also track which butterflies they have observed on a dynamic map application, and share photos with the eButterfly community.

The 2,045 eButterfly records of over 170 species help the Canadian Facility for Ecoinformatics Research at the University of Ottawa's Department of Biology better understand how butterflies adapt to environmental change. Eventually, the data you collect will help contribute to the preservation of Canada’s great biodiversity.




UF Native Buzz

Solitary bees and wasps in your own backyard!!!

Native Buzz is a citizen science project created by the University of Florida (UF) Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab. Our goal is to learn more about the nesting preferences, diversity and distribution of our native solitary bees and wasps, share the information gained and provide a forum for those interested in participating in the science and art of native beekeeping (and wasp-keeping!).

Here at University of Florida Native Buzz you can keep track of your own native buzz nest site and see the results of other participant’s nest sites.




MammalMAP

THE BROAD PICTURE: The aim of MammalMAP is to update the distribution records of all African mammal species. Through collaborations with professional scientists, conservation organisations, wildlife authorities and citizen scientists across Africa, we consolidate all reliable and identifiable evidence (camera trap records, photographs) of current mammal locations into an open-access digital database. The database software automatically generates online distribution maps of all recorded species which are instantly visible and searchable. The information consolidated within MammalMAP will not only yield crucial information for species conservation policies and landscape conservation policies, but provides an excellent platform for educating the public about African mammals and their conservation challenges.

WHY MAMMALMAP IS NECESSARY: In Africa, our knowledge of mammal distribution patterns is based largely on historical records. However, the last three centuries have seen extensive human-modification of African landscapes with the associated conversion, compression and fragmentation of natural land. With further land development presenting a likely reality for the future, the effectiveness of mammal conservation efforts depends on ecological records being updated so that they accurately reflect mammal distribution patterns in the 21st Century. With MammalMAP we plan to conduct these ecological updates over the coming years, by mapping the current distribution of mammal species (including marine mammals and small mammals) across Africa.

HOW MAMMALMAP CONTRIBUTES TO CONSERVATION: The conservation benefits of this research are multiple. First, the comparison of these updated distribution records with both historical and future records will enable the detection of species’ distribution changes in response to human-related and climate-related habitat changes. These change detections will assist the guidance of continent-wide conservation policies and decision making processes. Second, the research will promote and facilitate interdisciplinary and international collaboration amongst scientists and conservation practitioners, with potential benefits to the advancement of conservation science. Finally, both the project input stage (data collection) and output stage (data dissemination) will offer interactive, dynamic and widely applicable education tools suitable for both formal and informal education sectors.

THE WHERE AND THE HOW OF MAMMALMAP: The area of interest for MammalMAP is the whole of Africa. To achieve this we collaborate with scientists, conservation organisations, wildlife authorities and citizen scientists across the continent. Our methods involve consolidating evidence of mammal occurrence in a given location (camera trap records, photographs and other reliable records) into a digital database hosted by the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town. In time, we will use the records in the database to generate distribution maps for all recorded species, in the same way that the ADU has done for birds, reptiles, frogs and butterflies.




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/




Trumpeter Swan Watch

By 1900, Trumpeter Swans were extirpated from their nesting and wintering areas in Central and Eastern North America. Their historic migrations to southerly wintering sites were totally destroyed. In recent decades wild nesting populations of Trumpeters have been successfully restored in several northerly states and Ontario. Most swans now winter near their northern breeding areas, but an unknown number are pioneering southward where they are beginning to establish use of more southerly wintering sites.

Little is known regarding the numbers and groupings of southward migrants, the location and characteristics of the sites they are pioneering, the duration of use, or problems they may be encountering. By providing information through Trumpeter Watch, observers can help document the changing distribution of wintering Trumpeter Swans and help identify potential new southerly wintering sites.




Greater Yellowstone Trumpeter Swan Initiative

Researchers at the Trumpeter Swan Society need volunteers to report their sightings of Trumpeter Swans in the Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain regions.

Why? By 1900 Trumpeter Swans were extirpated from their nesting and wintering areas in Central and Eastern North America. Their historic migrations to southerly wintering sites were totally destroyed. In recent decades wild nesting populations of Trumpeters have been successfully restored in several northerly states and Ontario. An unknown number are pioneering southward where they are beginning to establish use of more southerly wintering sites. Little is known regarding the numbers and groupings of southward migrants, the location and characteristics of the sites they are pioneering, the duration of use, or problems they may be encountering.

By providing information through Trumpeter Watch, observers can help document the changing distribution of wintering Trumpeter Swans and help increase this vulnerable swan population.




Research Assistant in Tropical Herpetology and Conservation Ecology

We are currently seeking research assistants to join our field team in Ecuador studying the conservation ecology of reptiles and amphibians.

While Ecuador is a relatively small country—it’s roughly the size of Arizona—it stands as the third most diverse country in the world for amphibians (510 species) and is seventh for reptiles (430 species), making it a herpetologically mega-diverse region. Due to the severe deforestation taking place in addition to many other pressures on Ecuador’s fauna, RAEI’s research program aims to study, document, and preserve these rich and unique communities of reptiles and amphibians found within the country’s diverse array of ecosystems.

As we are now in our 8th year working in Ecuador, we have study sites encompassing both the coastal forests in western Ecuador and the Amazon rainforest on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains. The work that research participants will be involved with will primarily consist of conducting night surveys for reptiles and amphibians (however other taxa such as invertebrates are also of interest), animal data collection, and lab work. Lab work consists of more detailed information such as scale counts (for reptiles) and other morphological information, animal measurements, screening for chytrid desease (amphibians), preservation (only when necessary), and acquisition of DNA samples. Diagnostic photographs of all animals are taken. Other tasks include animal handling and general note taking and data organization.




Chestnut Mega-Transect

The goal of the Chestnut Mega-Transect Project is to document the current status of American chestnuts along the Appalachian Trail. Using the idea that the Appalachian Trail is really a transect through a unique US ecosystem, TACF trains hikers to identify and count American chestnuts along the Appalachian Trail as divided into approximately 1 miles segments.




Science Hack Day

Science Hack Day is a 48-hour-all-night event that brings together designers, developers, scientists and other geeks in the same physical space for a brief but intense period of collaboration, hacking, and building 'cool stuff'. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results. Some Hack Days have a specific focus. There have already been very successful Music Hack Days and Government Hack Days. It's time for a Hack Day focused on science!




TuAnalyze

TuAnalyze is an application for recording and sharing measures of your diabetes. The application allows those touched by diabetes to track, share and compare their health information. Contributions will help advance diabetes care and public health response.

TuAnalyze is available to any TuDiabetes community member. The application supports sharing of diabetes information throughout the community and feedback of community-level diabetes information to users.

You can learn more about your diabetes by viewing information on your TuAnalyze app in the My Apps section of your profile. You can compare personal measures of your diabetes to community measures on the TuAnalyze map.

The TuAnalyze app is jointly developed by Children's Hospital Boston and TuDiabetes.




OPAL Biodiversity Survey

The OPAL Biodiversity Survey needs citizen scientists in England to help uncover the diverse range of wildlife in hedges. By contributing, you'll help researchers learn more about the importance of hedges and how we can improve them.

Hedges support many animals by providing them with food and shelter. Berries and seeds are food for birds, while holes beneath the hedge are often home to small mammals. You’ll also discover caterpillars, shieldbugs and many other invertebrates living among the leaves.

By sharing your observations with the project, reseachers can instantly rate the condition of your hedge and offer suggestions on how to improve it.

This is one of five OPAL surveys across England to learn more about the state of the environment. Anyone can get involved. The studies are open to all ages and abilities, and your contribution will be important in helping scientists build up a picture of England's natural environment.




Camas Citizen Science Monitoring Program

The Camas Citizen Science Monitoring Program seeks to engage high school volunteers in the long-term scientific monitoring of camas lily populations in the Weippe Prairie site of Nez Perce National Historical Park. Students are trained in the classroom and then spend time in the field using data collection techniques specifically designed for this program. Results of the monitoring effort are available to National Park Service managers so that they can make better management decisions based on sound, scientific information.

Camas is an important cultural and natural resource. For the last 7,000 years, camas has been an important part of the Nez Perce history, life and culture, as well as those of many other tribes of the Pacific Northwest. In addition, camas is one of a suite of wetland species associated with seasonal wet prairie ecosystems. However, as a result of recent agricultural conversion, irrigation, flood control, and other land use practices, remaining wet prairies in this region have been drastically reduced. Projected climate change will also impact these wet prairie ecosystems and monitoring camas populations will provide the National Park Service an opportunity to track climate change impacts on park natural resources.

Monitoring of camas and invasive weeds is a unique opportunity to integrate natural resource monitoring with the cultural history of the Nez Perce people. Citizen scientists will use carefully designed scientific procedures and modern technology to collect data, such as the number of camas plants and flowering plants and the presence of invasive species. Components of the program are tied to state science standards, and high school students will work alongside ecologists, statisticians, natural resource managers, and interpretive rangers.

Three local high schools are currently participating each year. This is a unique learning opportunity that students are sure to remember.




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 2014 we are collecting your observations during all 12 months of the year! See the dates below and plan to get involved.

January 20-29
February 19-28
March 21-30

April 20-29
May 19-28
June 17-26

July 16-25
August 15-24
September 15-24

October 14-23
November 12-21
December 11-20

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.




Mushroom Observer

Mushroom Observer is a website where you can record observations about mushrooms, help people identify mushrooms they aren’t familiar with, and expand the community around the scientific exploration of mushrooms.

By some estimates less than five percent of the world’s species of fungi are known to science. While things are slightly better for the large fleshy fungi known as mushrooms, it is still a common experience to come across a mushroom that cannot be easily identified in the available books or which doesn’t really fit the definition of any recognized species. This site is intended to address that gap by creating a place for us to talk about and record what we’ve found, as well as connect to the existing literature about mushrooms.

Please do not feel intimidated by the scientific bent of the site. Everyone is welcome to dive in and add their own mushroom observations, upload mushroom photos and make comments on other people’s observations.




The National Science Digital Library

The National Science Digital Library encourages citizens to help enlarge and strengthen their library of high quality resources and tools that support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

Developers of content in these subject areas, National Science Foundation grantees, educators and learners, and all other members of the community are welcome to recommend digital resources for the library. These resources include activities, lesson plans, Web sites, simulations, or any materials that help educators meet the demands of an increasingly complex technology-based world.

As a national network of learning environments, resources, and partnerships, the National Science Digital Library seeks to serve a vital role in educational cyberlearning for the nation, meeting the informational and technological needs of educators and learners at all levels.




Cricket Crawl DC/Baltimore

Discover Life is calling all citizen scientists in the DC/Baltimore area to help them map out the distribution of crickets and katydids through the city and suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC. Participants can track the sounds of these insects during the annual Cricket Crawl event held on the evening of Friday, August 24th 2012.

This project is a collaborative venture between Discover Life, The Audubon Naturalist Society, The Natural History Society of Maryland and the USGS





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