Five more springtime projects for citizen scientists

By April 22nd, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Comment

Study bees on sunflowers.

Great Sunflower Project: Study bees on sunflowers.

Doesn’t spring make you antsy to go outside, get moving, and act all scientific? (Or maybe those are real ants you’re feeling—this season does bring out all sorts of little critters.) If you’re craving more, even after our earlier list of suggestions, here are another five projects to help you scratch that springtime citizen science itch.

The Great Sunflower Project: Some bee populations are in decline, and you can work with scientists to track and study the trends. Plant sunflower seeds, observe the activity on your blossoms, send in your data—and enjoy the bonus of a cheerful new corner of your garden.

Habitat Stewards: Get trained by the National Wildlife Federation, then help people create and restore wildlife habitats in their communities.

North American Bird Phenology: Help scientists understand the effect that global climate change has had on bird populations across North America by converting information from historic, hand-written “Migration Observer Cards” to a form that can be used in modern databases.

Spider WebWatch: Be an amateur arachnologist.

Spider WebWatch: Be an amateur arachnologist.

Spider WebWatch: Join this biodiversity monitoring effort for biologists, naturalists, educators, students, and anyone else with a strong interest in spiders. From more than 4,400 species of spiders in North America, nine were chosen as eight-legged ambassadors. Learn to identify them, submit your sightings, and discuss your findings with fellow arachnologists.

Lakes of Missouri: As a volunteer, you’ll be provided with equipment and training so that you can collect and process lake water quality samples, record temperatures, and measure water clarity. Not in Missouri? No problem. There are many more water monitoring efforts like this in other parts of the country.

You can find lots of projects like these by searching our Project Finder in such categories as Birds, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, and Ocean & Water. Now get out there and enjoy the season and the science!

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