Citizen Science and You!
Are you curious about the natural world? Did you know that you can help scientists learn about the planet from your own home? Citizen scientists are everyday people who observe the world around them, and share what they have observed with scientists. Citizen scientists have discovered new stars; found new species of flies; and have started a global revolution in the way modern science works. Discovery is now a collaborative effort between experts and enthusiasts.
Every year, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society ask people all over the world to help them track migrating birds. The upcoming project, The Great Backyard Bird Count, collects data from participants in more than 100 countries! If you have 15 minutes, you can help real-life scientists learn more about birds and migration patterns. Go to http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ to sign up! At the library, we have a whole mess of bird books to help you identify your new feathered friends.
If birds aren’t your thing, you can participate in The Great Nature Project, a collaboration between National Geographic and iNaturalist.org. By observing, photographing and sharing photos of the natural world you can help scientists learn about biodiversity. The cool thing about this project is that it is collaborative. If you have a photo of a butterfly, but you don’t know what kind, other people can help you to identify it. Sign up at greatnatureproject.org If you are inspired by this project and want to spend more time outside, then check out our collection of nature study books!
Try your hand at citizen science—and see if a life of a scientist is right for you with our Scientists in the Field series.