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Backyard Biodiversity Project: Pools

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Main Project Information
Presented By California Academy of Sciences and UC Berkely ESPM
Goal Come discover what's living in your backyard!
Task Skim pool, collect insects, send samples to us for ID
Where California, United States of America

We are scientists at The California Academy of Sciences and UC Berkeley looking to explore the insect diversity in California’s backyards. We are starting a new collaborative citizen science project after seeing the results from our pilot pool in Marin County. We found 4 new genera of wasps and many other rare insects. And there are still many more insects to identify! Although the samples collected have received only cursory analysis, the results are already eye-opening.

This is why we are now looking for your help! We were so excited by these preliminary results that we wanted to expand to more homes all around California. For the Backyard Biodiversity Projects we are specifically looking for homeowners in California who have backyard swimming pools to assist us with the collection of insect samples. So, if you have a pool, come be a part of this fun and easy activity for people of all ages. Join our team in discovering new species that live in your backyard!

If you want to join our team sign up at

For questions email us at

We are looking forward to hearing from you!"

The Backyard Biodiversity Project is a collaboration between UC Berkeley and the California Academy of Sciences. Our goal is to develop citizen science projects that contribute to scientific research and discovery while promoting environmental awareness and scientific literacy.

How to Join

Click the "Express Interest" button on this page to instantly notify the project leader of your interest! We welcome participants of all ages, education levels, and backgrounds
Or go to our website at and click on the link to sign up

Project Timing For this project kits will be provided to make collecting and sending the samples as easy as possible. We need the participants to collect pool samples once a month for a year. The specific date can be flexible as long as you are participating around the same time each month.
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Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Per month
Average Time An hour or so
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At home
Training Materials
Class Materials
Tags ants, backyard, backyard biodiversity, biodiversity, bugs, bugs in your backyard, california, diversity, insect, insects, los angeles, pollinators/insects, pool, pools, san francisco, water
Project Updated 02/11/2019