Citizen Science

It’s easy to see scientists as outsiders doing things that we could never hope to accomplish. That need not be the case. Many fields rely on non-scientists in the community to help gather data or solve problems. Here are a few examples.

The Audubon Society has used the results of the annual Christmas Bird Count for conservation efforts for over one hundred years.

Creek Watch is an iPhone app that lets you monitor the health of your watershed.

The mPING Project (Meteorological Phenomena Identification Near the Ground) also has an app and collects weather data to compare to radar predictions.

Citizen Sort uses games to allow you to help scientists identify and classify moths, sharks or rays.

Humans are better at puzzles and recognizing patterns than computers, so games like Foldit, Fraxinus, and Phylo are especially useful.

Scientific American has a page devoted to curating Citizen Science opportunities around the country and around the world, and you can even search by research type.

Alex Dainis of Bite Sci-zed has a great video about crowdsourced science.

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