Citizen Science Project List


In my post on crowdsourcing science, I said I would create a list of projects to show the diverse range of work that citizen scientists can contribute to.  Here I’ve begun to compile that list, but this is just the beginning.  I know of quite a few more projects, and will add them as soon as I have a chance, but I thought it was worth publishing this now to at least start the ball rolling.  If you know of any projects that should be included, please let me know.  As the list grows, I’ll also try to find a better way to organise it within the wordpress page framework (ideas welcome).  Just starting this list has encouraged me to get involved with another project or two, and hopefully it will do the same for others!

The list currently is divided into five different sections:

  • Citizen Science Resources – other lists of projects, data available for your own analysis and more.
  • Computer Science – projects you can contribute to from the comfort of your computer, nothing else needed.
  • Science Outside – projects that involve something other than just your computer, usually something outside.
  • School Science – projects specifically for school groups.  These may require registration.  Of course lots of the other projects may be good for schools too!
  • Crowdfunded Science – projects you can help with, but which require financial contributions.

Citizen Science Resources

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Computer Science

  • Galaxy Zoo. Help to classify galaxies according to their shapes.
  • Planet hunters. Search for planets around other stars.
  • Moon Zoo. Study the surface of the moon.
  • Solar Stormwatch. Help spot explosions on the sun and track them on their way to Earth.
  • Milky Way Project. Analyse images of our galaxy to help scientists understand how stars form.
  • NASA Be a Martian.  Help improve maps of Mars.
  • Stardust@home.  Look for rare and precious interstellar dust collected from Stardust spacecraft’s sample capsule.
  • SETI@home.  Download a programme to let your computer help with the search for extraterrestrial life.
  • Rosetta@home.  Download a programme to let your computer help determine the shapes of proteins, ultimately helping to find cures for human disease.
  • Climate Prediction.  Use your computer to run climate models and send data back to researchers.
  • Old Weather.  Collect data from old ship records to inform climate models.
  • Cyclone Centre.  Help to determine the intensity of past cyclones through image analysis. (Zooniverse project)
  • Geo-Wiki.  Reconcile discrepancies in maps using local knowledge and Google Earth to ensure land use and ecosystem data are up to date.
  • Africa@home.  Another way to use your computer to help research – this time modelling malaria transmission dynamics and other health and development issues.
  • Baby Laughter Project.  Help researchers learn more about the workings of babies’ brains by completing a survey, filling out a field report or uploading a video of a baby laughing.
  • EyeWire.  Play a game to help map neural connections.
  • Ancient Lives. Measure and transcribe ancient papyrus fragments.
  • Citizen Sort.  Play games to help classify plants and animals while also providing data on human-computer interations.
  • Whale FM. Match whale song clips to help scientists understand what they are saying.
  • Seafloor Explorer.  Analyse images to help create a map of seafloor habitats and life. (Zooniverse project)
  • Bat Detective.  Classify bat calls.
  • YardMap.  Map your local area to help scientists understand bird habitats. (USA-focused)
  • Panamath.  Test your number sense and help scientists understand the link between Approximate Number System (ANS) aptitute and age.

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Science Outside

  • GLOBE at Night.  Help to measure light pollution by looking at the stars.
  • Lunar Impacts.  Provide data on meteorites hitting the moon. Requires access to a telescope and astronomical video camera.
  • Citzens in Space.  The US Rocekt Academy is calling for experiments designed by citizen scientists for 10 suborbital spaceflights.
  • Genographic Project.  Submit a cheek swab to find out more about your genetic heritage and help National Geographic find out more about early human migration.
  • Play with your Dog.  Upload a short video of yourself playing wiht your dog to help researchers learn more about canine cognition.
  • Open Air Laboratories.  Conduct simple surveys to provide scientists with more information about the environment in England: soil, air, biodiversity and more.
  • iSpot.  Upload photos of plants, animals or fungi that you’ve found in the UK to contribute to the record pool, or help others to identify what they’ve found.  There is also now iSpot South Africa.
  • Evolution MegaLab.  Contribute to our understanding of evolution by surveying your local snails (UK).
  • eBird.  Report any bird you see, anywhere, anytime.  Helps build a massive database of bird sightings and allows you to maintain your own bird list.
  • Celebrate Urban Birds.  Conduct simple surveys of birds in urban areas.  Small grants for commmunity events are also available.
  • Project Feederwatch.  Record birds visiting feeders over the winter.  2012-2013 season runs until 5 April.  North America only.
  • BTO Bird Surveys.  Links to lots of surveys from the British Trust for Ornithology for volunteers in the UK with different levels of time, experience and expertise: Bird Atlas, Bird Track, Breeding Bird Survey, Heronries surveys and many more.
  • Butterfly Conservation monitoring schemes.  Links to the Big Butterfly Count, National Moths Recording Scheme, First Sightings and other projects to monitor UK butterfly and moth populations.
  • Botanical Society of the British Isle recording schemes.  UK plant recording schemes.
  • New York Wildlife Observation.  Wildlife data collection programmes in New York state: ruffed grouse drumming, wild turkey sightings, bobcat observation and more.
  • Canadian Lakes Loon Survey.  Help to monitor loon populations in Canada by surveying a lake 3 times per year.
  • Skywarn.  Become part of the US’s severe weather early warning system.
  • Tag a Tiny.  Anglers in the Eastern US as asked to measure and tag and juvenile bluefin tuna they catch to help study migration and habitat use.
  • ZomBee Watch.  Help track the spread of a bee parasite across North American by observing bees.

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School Science

  • Rock around the world.  Help NASA learn more about Martian geology by sending local rocks for analysis using the same equipment as is used on the red planet.
  • S’COOL.  Cloud observation project to help validate readings from NASA’s CERES satellite instruments.
  • BirdSleuth.  Resources to help schools (and home schoolers) contribute to bird surveys.  (USA focused)
  • Quake-Catcher.  If you are teacher in the US, you can apply for sensors to catch real-time seismic data.  Linked with others, this provides a net of data for researchers studying seismic activity.

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Crowdfunded Science

  • uBiome. Give a donation and a swab from your body, and they’ll tell you about your very own microbial community.  Help scientists to understand the microbes living on/in us.
  • American Gut. Another project where you contribute money and a sample to find out more about your microbes – this time specifically the ones from your gut.

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One Response to Citizen Science Project List

  1. Pingback: ‘Snow better time than the present for science | DIRECT effects

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