By taking photos of bees and submitting them online, classrooms can join in this
scientific study to understand the impact of climate change and other factors on plant-pollinator interactions, geographic distributions, and seasonal abundances. Bee Hunt will build a network of research sites across North America that will collect data on plants, pollinators, and their interactions. Study sites can include schools, parks, nature centers, farms, gardens, and other areas of biological interest.
Participants will follow rigorous protocols that will ensure that they collect, manage, and share very high-quality data. Educationally, Bee Hunt will enable teachers to meet state science standards by doing hands-on science. Bee Hunt will provide data management, analysis, and mapping tools that will enable participants to compare data within and across sites.
BeeSpotter is a partnership between citizen-scientists and the professional science community designed to educate the public about pollinators by engaging them in a data collection effort of importance to the nation. It is a web-based portal at the University of Illinois
for learning about honey bees and bumble bees and for contributing data to a nationwide effort to baseline information on population status of these insects.
Bumble Bee Nest Survey
Bumble bees are important pollinators for both agricultural and wild plants, but we know little about their natural history in North America. Your information is important for research on the nesting habits of bumble bees, and will contribute to future conservation efforts. This citizen science project, conducted by a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, consists of a simple survey that anyone can fill out should they find a bumble bee nest. Should you stumble upon a bumble bee nest, please help this research effort by completing an online survey
The Goldenrod Challenge is a fun entry point into learning about nature through photography. The larger educational goal is to provide the means for participants to discover what is known (and unknown) about all the living things that are found exploring schoolyards, neighborhoods, parks, and other outdoor areas. Participants will start personal electronic “life lists” – albums of digital photographs to document and map when and where they see species. These life lists will help you learn about nature and share your experiences.
The scientific goal is to understand the impact of weather and other environmental changes on the distribution, abundance and interactions of species at continental scales. By combining data from participants' personal life lists and filtering them to include only high-quality observations, we will be able to better understand, and ultimately manage, thousands of species around the planet.
Great Sunflower Project
Everyone is welcome to participate in the Great Sunflower Project. By watching and recording the bees at sunflowers in your garden, you can help us understand the challenges that bees are facing. We know very little about bee activity in home and community gardens and their surrounding environments, but we are
certain that they are a crucial link in the survival of native habitats and local produce, not to mention our beautiful urban gardens. Our local pollinator populations require our understanding and protection, and to answer that call we need to determine where and when they are at work.
With enough citizen scientists collecting data, we can learn much more, much faster, about the current state of bee activity. All you need is a valid email address. Then, select the level of participation that is right for you.
Hands on the Land
We all check up on, watch out for, and keep track of the things and the people we care about. Why should the outdoors be any different? Browse the environmental monitoring programs below and see how students and others are helping to protect your land, air, and water. Projects involve monitoring ozone, slime mold, water quality, terrestrial invertebrates, snowpack, and salamanders.
Seasonal change is all around us. Children see it in the length of a day, in the appearance of a flower, in the flight of a butterfly. Journey North is a free, Internet-based program that explores the interrelated aspects of seasonal change. Through interrelated investigations, students discover that sunlight drives all living systems and they learn about the dynamic ecosystem that surrounds and connects them.
Lost Ladybug Project
Across North America ladybug species distribution is changing. Over the past 20 years several native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time ladybugs from other places have greatly increased both their numbers and range. Some ladybugs are simply found in new places. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low. We're asking you to join us in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare.
Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) citizens in collecting data that will help to explain the distribution and abundance patterns of monarch butterflies in North America. Participants commit to monitor patches of milkweed weekly to count monarch eggs and larvae, and assess milkweed density.
is a citizen-science survey of the occurrence of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE)
, which parasitizes monarch butterflies. Best known for their migrations between breeding and wintering sites throughout North America, these butterflies are also found in non-migratory populations in places such as southern Florida. This parasite is not harmful to humans; however, it can harm the butterflies by inhibiting normal growth and lowering butterfly survival in the wild. To check for parasites, surveyors can swab the abdomen of live butterflies to collect parasite spores. MonarchHealth
participants help scientists map the location and infection levels of OE in monarchs throughout the United States and determine how much disease the parasites cause.
Anyone interested in monarch butterflies can participate. MonarchHealth
is conducted by people of all skills, ages, and backgrounds including families, retired persons, classrooms
, monarch organizations, nature centers, and individuals.
Monarch Watch Tagging and Waystations
Monarch butterflies pollinate many plants, and Monarch Watch runs two programs in which schools and classrooms can participate: the Monarch Watch tagging program and Monarch Waystations.
- Tagging (http://monarchwatch.org/tagmig/tag.htm)
The Monarch Watch web site provides information about tagging at http://monarchwatch.org/tagmig/tag.htm. Because monarchs have a certain "charisma" and a fascinating biology and because its fun to have an excuse to collect butterflies, this project is also a good way to introduce students to science and have them contribute to a scientific study. Through participation in this project, Monarch Watch hopes to further interest students in the conservation of habitats critical to the survival of the monarch butterfly and its magnificent migrations.
- Monarch Waystations (http://monarchwatch.org/waystations/)
To offset the loss of milkweeds and nectar sources, we need to create, conserve, and protect milkweed/monarch habitats. We need you to help us and help monarchs by creating "Monarch Waystations" (monarch habitats) in home gardens, at schools, businesses, parks, zoos, nature centers, along roadsides, and on other unused plots of land. Without a major effort to restore milkweeds to as many locations as possible, the monarch population is certain to decline to extremely low levels. Once a “waystation” has been created, it can be certified and a sign may be purchased from Monarch Watch.
Join people across the nation are joining as they collect important climate change data on the timing of leafing and flowering of trees and flowers through Project BudBurst! This national citizen science field campaign targets native tree and flower species across the country. By recording the timing of the leafing and flowering of native species each year, scientists can learn about the prevailing climatic characteristics in a region over time. With your help, we are compiling valuable environmental information that can be compared to historical records to illustrate the effects of climate change. Project BudBurst is ideal for teachers and students, families interested in participating in a science project.
USA – National Phenology Network
The USA National Phenology Network brings together citizen scientists, government agencies, non-profit groups, educators and students of all ages to monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States. The network harnesses the power of people and the Internet to collect and share information, providing researchers with far more data than they could collect alone.
Phenology is the study of the seasonal timing of plant and animal life-cycle events such as bird, fish and mammal migration; emergence from hibernation; and the leafing, blooming and fruiting of plants. Global warming is causing a resurgence in interest in phenology, as the growing season lengthens, winters shorten and fears grow that some wildlife adapted to live with one another get out of sync (think bees pollinating flowers or migratory birds feasting on spring bugs).
Vanessa Migration Project
Migration Project is an opportunity to share your observations of Vanessa
butterflies in order to find out how these butterflies migrate and distribute themselves across North America each year. With your help, we will be able to track the movements and seasonal changes in distribution of these butterflies. We will add your data to an interactive map
that shows how the range of Red Admirals and Painted Ladies expands northward in the spring, and retreats southward in the fall. We are also mapping the date, location and flight direction of migrations of these butterflies.