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*Cicada Tracker* -- Expired

Main Project Information
Goal Help map the cicada arrival!
Task Track ciadas in the northeastern United States.
Where United States

WNYC invites families, armchair scientists and lovers of nature to join in a bit of mass science: track the cicadas that emerge once every 17 years across New Jersey, New York and the whole Northeast by building homemade sensors and reporting your observations.

Magicicada Brood II will make its 17-year appearance when the ground 8" down is a steady 64° F. Help predict the arrival by planting a homemade temperature sensor in the ground and reporting your findings back to to WNYC. Your observations will be put on a map and shared with the entire community.

How to Join

Collect data using a soil thermometer from a garden store, or build your own using the instructions on the project website. Then, report your data. Visit the project website

Social Media
Expenses $200
Required Gear

A homemade temperature detector costs about $80 in parts and takes about 2 hours to build. You'll want it in the ground by mid-April, the earliest the cicadas are likely to emerge. You can also participate — and save money — by buying a soil thermometer that will detect the temperature 8 inches underground, such as this one that costs less than $8.

The project website provides complete instructions for building your own detector at

Ideal Age Group College, Graduate students, Adults
Type of Activity At home
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags diy, insect behavior, map, temperature
Project Updated 01/30/2018