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Monday, March 17th, 2014

[Photo credit:]What is it? A collection of research projects ranging from analyzing whale songs to transcribing ships’ logs from U. S. Navy and Coast Guard ships for weather data. Each project often involves sifting through so much data that it would take one organization working alone years to analyze. By having many people across the country working simultaneously, scientists are able to use the data to inform research much more quickly.

Who sponsors it? Citizen Science Alliance

What do volunteers do? Projects mainly involve analyzing or transcribing small amounts of data using a computer and the internet. (For example, viewing photographs of the surface of Mars and outlining the shape of dust deposits to help determine weather patterns.)

Time commitment: Flexible: One time participation or commitment over time to one or several projects.

Kid friendly? Yes

Time of year? Any


Photo credit:

The Great Sunflower Project

Monday, March 17th, 2014

[photo by John Lodder]What is it? Bees have a profound effect on our ability to grow food. This project is focused on mapping pollinators, especially bees, across the United States and Canada. Data is used to determine the effects on poisons on pollinators, critical plants to support pollinators, and improving habitats for pollinators.

Who sponsors it? San Francisco State University

What do volunteers do? Choose a location and observe pollinators, recording observations online. Sunflowers are the preferred flower to observe.

Time commitment: Flexible: Take a hike and record pollinators or make 5-15 minute daily observations throughout a growing season.

Kid friendly? Yes

Time of year? In general, during flower-blooming seasons. (The Great Pollinator Habitat Challenge is in late March.)


Photo credit: John Lodder

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