Citizen Science Opportunities
This page provides the contact information of organizations that provide Citizen Science opportunities – allow the public to get involved with scientific research on a volunteer basis. Please help us add to this list. Send your favorite citizen science opportunities to us by using the “Contact Us” link at the top of this webpage. Thank you!
Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Visibility Volunteers – Maine to Virginia
AMC’s Visibility Volunteers, or VIz Vols, document the air quality conditions on their hikes using a camera to document visibility (or lack of it from haze pollution) and the ozone levels with an ozone detector card. Scientists compile submitted data and post it to the AMCs website. The reports are used for public education, advocacy for improved air quality laws and regulations, and to interest media in air quality issues. Also at this site, you will find on-line curriculum and background information about ozone and haze pollution. Links include Weather & Climate, Air Quality, Ecosystems, and Results & Reports.
FrogWatch USA – USA
FrogWatch USA is a long-term frog and toad monitoring program managed by the American Zoological Society. Anyone can volunteer! You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to make a contribution; all you need is an interest in frogs and toads. You can learn all you need to know to volunteer and sign-up on their website.
AQUATIC – FRESHWATER LAKES, PONDS, RIVERS & STREAMS
The Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) is one of the largest and oldest citizen-based lake monitoring programs in the country. Their mission is to provide protection for the nearly 6,000 lakes in Maine through the acquisition of scientific data, and to raise public awareness about the extraordinary ecological, aesthetic and economic value of Maine’s lakes and ponds. Volunteers are from all walks of life and are of all ages. Many have been with the program for over twenty years. Every summer, hundreds of certified volunteer lake monitors throughout the state collect valuable scientific data. Volunteers are asked to spend a minimum of 24 hours per year on a lake (monitoring May through September at two-week intervals), and must have access to a boat.
Each state has a volunteer weather-monitoring program known as CoCoRaHS. At this website you can join weather-watchers from across the nation, take on-line training, sign up for additional courses with meteorologists, and learn all you need to know to record and report weather conditions at your home to your local National Weather Service office.
Lobster Monitoring – Coastal New England
The Lobster Conservancy (TLC) works with fishermen and volunteers throughout the Gulf of Maine region to sustain a thriving lobster fishery through science and community. The Juvenile Lobster Monitoring Project trains citizen volunteers in a rigorous scientific methodology to census intertidal lobster nursery sites. Harboring “baby” lobsters (some only the length of a fingernail), these nursery sites are accessible once a month during the lowest low tides. Their accessibility makes them extremely valuable as indicators of lobster fishery health ? the baby lobsters counted today will be keepers when caught in lobstermen’s traps six or seven years from now. More than 60 citizen volunteers surveying over 20 sites make possible an affordable census of the next generation of lobsters, and help manage the resource sustainably. Training is required and provided. A several-year commitment to once-per-month surveys, March through November, is also required.
Wildlife Watch – USA
National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Watch is a national, nature-watching program created for people of all ages. Through the program you can share details that help National Wildlife Federation track the health and behavior of wildlife and plant species nationwide. In return, the Wildlife Watch website keeps you up-to-date on wildlife news and facts, and new ideas for attracting wildlife to your backyard and community.