Citizen Science with your sun, sand, and surf?

Citizen Science at the Beach

view of a beach from atop a hillWhile you’re strolling along the beach this summer, consider sharing some of your keen observations with marine ecologists. Below, we’ve highlighted six beach-related citizen science projects to monitor the health of marine habitats. There is even one you can do while couch-surfing (see what we did there?). Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Lion's Mane Jellyfish
JellyWatch

Have you seen a jellyfish at your favorite beach yet? Jellywatch is a global public database documenting jellyfish but also red tides, squid and mammal strandings, and other indicators of ocean health. It’s simple to share your beach observations with this open database.

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surveying a British Columbia beach for birds
E. Demers

Surveying bird mortality is a helpful measure of marine ecology health. If you spot a dead bird along the beach, send in your observation to these researchers.

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Volunteers removing debris from a Maui beach
Maui Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring

Help quantify and remove debris from Maui’s coastline. Contact project organizer Pacific Whale Foundation to get supplies before heading out. This project also works with schools to support conservation education.

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Monitor environmental changes along the coastlines of the United Kingdom. These observations help track the distribution of native plants and the occurrence of invasive species.

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Orca breaching
Beam Reach, CC-NC-SA

Help protect the habitat of the endangered Pacific Northwest orca. Listen in real time to underwater sounds and record when you hear orca sounds or threatening man-made sounds.

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volunteers counting spawning grunion
Susan Hicks

This project reports on the behavior of grunions, silvery fish that come ashore to spawn. Grunion runs occur about this time each year. If you missed the run, you can use SciStarter’s Bookmark feature to be reminded of this project next season.

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Want more citizen science?  Discover more citizen science for this summer on the SciStarter Calendar.  Also, check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Categories: Animals, Birds, Ecology & Environment, Featured Projects

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About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding Board Member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, and a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene hold degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.