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Citizen Science

graphic depicting person recording bird data

Have you ever dreamed of being a scientist? Would you like to turn your love of wildlife and curiosity of nature into data that helps us all better understand our world? Then citizen science may be just the thing for you. Below, you'll find some great projects that need your help.

  • Project NestWatch (Nationwide)

    image of a marsh wren bringing food to a nest

    Project Nestwatch is a citizen-science project and nest-monitoring database of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The program teaches citizens across the United States about bird breeding biology and engages them in collecting and submitting nest records.

    The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is involved in this project through, among other ways, our National Wildlife Refuges. In 2012, for example, Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge set up 20 nesting boxes which are now monitored under Project Nestwatch. Read more about the Nestucca Bay nest box project.

    Visit the Official Project NestWatch website
  • Great Backyard Bird Count (Nationwide)

    image of a western meadowlark

    From the GBBC Website: Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the GBBC was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

    Since then, more than 100,000 people of all ages and walks of life have joined the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. In 2013, participants in 111 countries counted 33,464,616 birds on 137,998 checklists, documenting 4,258 species—more than one-third of the world’s bird species!

    Learn how to get involved with the GBBC
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  • Oakquest (Portland, OR)

    Image of an oregon white oak tree

    Do you live in Portland, OR and have Oregon white oak in your neighborhood? If so, the Intertwine Alliance (TIA) Oak Mapping Work Group wants to hear from you. The organization is in the process of developing better maps of threatened Oregon white oak ecosystems.

    The citizen science effort, dubbed 'Oakquest', will take place during July and August. A three-hour training event will be held in late June, after which volunteers will take to the field, mapping oak on their own schedules using a custom application for smartphones and tablets. Youth are invited to participate with a supervising parent or guardian in attendance.

    If you are interested, please fill out theTIA's survey by June 15th by clicking the link below. There is an option to provide an e-mail address if you want to be contacted by TIA with updates about the project and related training.

    Take the Oakquest survey (no personal information required) Learn more about The Intertwine Alliance
  • Oregon Lake Watch (Statewide)

    Image of a person looking out over an lake in Oregon

    Whether boater, angler, camper, or just plain drinker, the water in Oregon's lakes and reservoirs are important to all of its residents and visitors. Portland State University now offers you the chance to play an active role in protecting these resources throughout the state.

    To participate in the program, you'll need to attend a training session, adopt a lake, survey for aquatic invasive species and water quality at least twice a year, and enter your survey data on the PSU online data entry portal. In return, you are issued sampling equipment, learn valuable information about aquatic invasive species and water quality, spend quality time on a lake of your choice, and have the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to the betterment of our water resources.

    Learn more at the PSU Oregon Lake Watch website
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  • Washington Invasives Plant Watch

    Image of a person looking out over an lake in Oregon

    The Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council is focusing their efforts on the state of Washington by documenting invasive plants in the Olympic, Gifford Pinchot, and Okanogan-Wenatchee Forests. If you are hiking, boating, kayaking, horseback riding or working in these areas and are interested in participating in the program, you are invited to attend one of five upcoming free trainings.

    Get the PNWIPC flyer for June training dates and locations Visit the PNWIPC website
  • Washington Invasives App (Statewide)

    Image of a person looking out over an lake in Oregon

    Help document the spread of invasive species in Washington with "WA Invasives", the mobile app from the Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC). Report sightings from your mobile device, right where they occur. Your sightings are reviewed by WISC staff and technical experts. Approved sightings become viewable through the app’s mapping tool.

    The app is also educational, with easy-to-understand descriptions and images, and is part of an integrated invasive species reporting and outreach campaign for WISC that also includes a website with an online reporting form.

    Get the app for Apple iOS and Adroid
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Last Updated: June 13, 2014
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