Citizen Science


Citizen science is a way for interested individuals to volunteer their time to assist scientists in their research.  It supports researchers in many different ways – by submitting data, sharing experiences, or spreading valuable information.  Scientists benefit from having more data to analyze and a pool of volunteers willing to help.  Many state and local governments and community environmental groups have their own citizen science programs in need of volunteers. The Long Island Nature Organization, the Seatuck Environmental Association, and the Cornell University Lab are just a few. 

For example, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sought the participation of pool owners in the search for the Asian Long-horned Beetle on Long Island. Check it out


Explore these links to learn more about how you can contribute to data and observation collection in your community:

Interested in bumblebees and butterflies?Visit bumblebeewatch.org and butterfliesandmoths.org to contribute to their research and databases. 

The National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count is the nation's longest-running citizen science bird project. 

Explore sciencenews.org for additional citizen science projects.

​American goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

Spotlight:
Cornell Lab's Citizen Science 

More than 200,000 people contribute to the Cornell Lab’s citizen-science projects each year, by gathering data on a vast scale, especially concerning bird projects. Scientists use the data to determine how birds are affected by habitat loss, pollution, and disease, to trace bird migration, and to document long-term changes in bird numbers continent-wide. The results have been used to create management guidelines for birds, investigate the effects of acid rain and climate change, and advocate for the protection of declining species. Successful citizen science projects involved with the Cornell University Lab include:

eBird
Project FeederWatch
NestWatch
YardMap
New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring