Photo: Students study soil on a wooden desk.

Photograph by Kelly Thayer, MyShot

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.

More Ideas Like This

Photo of a red-tailed hawk.

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.

Photo:  Measurements being taken of large hail stones

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.

Photo: Coral reef bleached of most of its color.

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.

Photo of garlic mustard.

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.

Photo of a flock of red-winged blackbirds.

Count Birds

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.

Photo of a mountain-top view.

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.

Photo: Frog in a bog, Maynard, Mass.

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.