Did you know snapping mountain-top photos of smog and listening for frog calls can help scientists? Get ideas for how you can participate in citizen science—projects in which volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world questions and gather data. Check out two of National Geographic's preeminent citizen science projects: the Great Nature Project and FieldScope.
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Celebrate Urban Birds
Observe birds in an urban neighborhood for the Celebrate Urban Birds project, and send the data to scientists at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
Collect Weather Data
Volunteer to join the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network. The data you help collect will be used for weather forecasting and monitoring, severe weather alerts, and climate studies.
Observe Coral Bleaching
If you live in Hawaii, join Eyes of the Reef Network to help monitor and report on coral bleaching and disease and marine invasive species.
Participate in a Field Survey
Be a part of an international effort to identify populations of an invasive plant—garlic mustard—in the Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey.
Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual event that gets bird watchers to count birds across the continent and then tallies the highest number of birds of each species seen together at one time.
Take Mountain-Top Photographs
Be a visibility volunteer for the Appalachian Mountain Club. If you live or hike in states from Maine to Virginia, you can take photographs from a mountain view to help scientists study air quality and haze pollution.
Listen for Frog and Toad Calls
Help scientists conserve amphibians as a volunteer for Frogwatch USA. Listen for the calls of frogs and toads for 20 minutes a week, and record and share your data.
Learn About Local Plants
Join the National Phenology Network's plant monitoring program. Learn about plant species in your area and record your observations about observable phases in the annual life cycle of plants.