Citizen science, also known as crowd science, volunteer monitoring, or crowd source science, is scientific research conducted in part by amateur scientists. Citizen scientists often partner with professional scientists to achieve common goals. This allows scientists to complete research that would be too expensive or time-consuming to accomplish on their own with large volunteer networks.
When I was in fourth grade I had the best science teacher; Mrs. Schwartz and she was really great at teaching us how scientists are working all around us to learn new things about our environment and how those things were relevant to us and how they could be fun. Citizen science feels like a natural extension of things I learned from Mrs. Schwartz back in fourth grade; a great way to learn about my environment and have fun doing it.
Want to learn more about citizen science and how you and your family can get involved? Register for our upcoming Zoom program on March 25th, 7:00-8:00 pm, Conservation Science & Citizen Science with Ranger Eric of CEED LI and learn how to help local plants and animals by contributing to Citizen Science Projects.
Want your teen to actively participate in citizen science and earn community service credit? Register them for our Citizen Scientist program on April 20th at 3:00 pm. Students in Grades 6-12 will meet at Irmisch Park; go for a walk and take pictures of different plants and animals we see and upload them to iNaturalist to connect with nature and generate scientifically valuable biodiversity data.
Looking for more Citizen Scientist Activities to participate in with your family? Check out these resources:
Citizenscience.gov; the EPA’s website on citizen science projects and click on citizenscience.gov/catalog. They have an extensive catalog of projects that you can get involved in that are supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies. Is someone in your family interested in a particular field of science? You can search for that.
Scistarter is an online citizen science hub with more than 3,000 projects searchable by location, topic, age-level and more. Projects have been listed by NGO’s, universities, federal government’s and more. Everyone in your family is sure to find a project that fits their interests and level of participation here.