List of citizen science projects

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Citizen science projects are activities sponsored by a wide variety of organizations so average people can meaningfully contribute to scientific research. Activities vary widely from transcribing old ship logbooks to digitalize the data as part of the Old Weather project to observing and counting birds at home or in the field for eBird.[1][2] Participation can be as simple as playing a computer game for a project called EyeWire that may help scientists learn more about retinal neurons.[3] An emerging branch of Citizen Science are Community Mapping projects that utilize smartphone and tablet technology. For example TurtleSAT[4] is a community mapping project that is mapping freshwater turtle deaths throughout Australia.

Lists of citizen science projects will change often. For example, the Old Weather project website indicates that as of January 10, 2015, 51% of the logs were completed.[5] When that project reaches 100 percent, it will move to the completed list.

Active citizen science projects[edit]

Project name Discipline(s) Sponsoring organization(s) Area Began Web site
AgeGuess Biology, Aging Center for Research and Interdiciplinarity, University of Southern Denmark Worldwide 2012 AgeGuess
Agent Exoplanet Astronomy Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network Goleta, CA, USA Agent Exoplanet
Air Quality Eggs Air Quality, Pollution, Climate Change, Health WickedDevices, LLC Ithaca, NY, USA Air Quality Egg Project
Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings Herpetology, Ecology Department of Environmental Conservation, NY, USA New York, USA Woodland Pool Project
ARTigo Art history, Computer science Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany Worldwide 2007 ARTigo
Asteroid Mappers: Vesta Planetary astronomy[note 1] Worldwide 2011 Vesta mappers
Audubon Christmas Bird Count Ornithology National Audubon Society Western Hemisphere 1900 Audubon Christmas Bird Count
B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network Cetology Vancouver Aquarium, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Canada (British Columbia) 1999
Backyard Bark Beetles Entomology, Invasive Species Forest Entomology lab at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL USA 2014 Backyard Bark Beetles
Big Butterfly Count Lepidopterology, Entomology Butterfly Conservation UK 2010 big butterfly count homepage
BirdSleuth K-12[note 2] Ornithology Cornell Lab of Ornithology USA 2004
Brooklyn Atlantis Water Quality, Pollution, Wildlife, Robotics New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering USA 2012
Project BudBurst Plant Phenology, National Ecological Observatory Network, National Science Foundation USA 2007
BugGuide Entomology, Arthropods Iowa State University USA, Canada 2003
Bumble Bee Watch Entomology Xerces Society, University of Ottawa, Wildlife Preservation Canada, Natural History Museum, London, BeeSpotter, Montréal Insectarium Canada, USA 2014
Canadian National Wildlife Disease Surveillance Wildlife, Health Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative Canada 1992 Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative
Celebrate Urban Birds Ornithology Cornell Lab of Ornithology USA
Cicada Watch: Brood II[6] Entomology National Geographic Society eastern North America 2013 official site
Facebook page
Citclops Environmental science European Commission Europe 2012 official site
Facebook page
Cities at Night[7] Light pollution Complutense University of Madrid and Crowdsourced Global 2014 official site
Clumpy Biology, Botany University of Exeter Worldwide 2012
Condor Watch Ornithology, Conservation Zooniverse collaboration California 2014 Condor Watch
Cooperative Observer Program Meteorology, Climatology National Weather Service USA 1890 Cooperative Observer Program
Digital Access to a Sky Century @ Harvard Astronomy Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics USA 2001 Logbook Transcription Project
eBird Ornithology Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society Worldwide 2002
eButterfly Lepidopterology, Entomology University of Ottawa, Oregon State University, Vermont Center for Ecostudies USA, Canada 2010
EDDMapS Tracking invasive species, Biology, Botany, Entomology, Wildlife University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. USA, Canada 2005 Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System
eOceans Marine Ecology, Marine Debris, Ornithology, Climate Change, Private Global 2014
eShark Marine Ecology, Marine Management, Tourism Crowd-sourced Global 2005
EyeWire[3] Neuroscience MIT, Gatsby Charitable Foundation, NIH, HHMI, Max Planck Society Worldwide 2012
Explore the Seafloor Marine Science National Science Week Australia, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Australia 2013 Explore the Seafloor
Flying ant survey Biology, Entomology, Wildlife Society of Biology, University of Gloucestershire, UK 2012 [1]
Foldit Biology, protein University of Washington Worldwide 2008 Foldit
Fraxinus Genetics Sainsbury Laboratory, BBSRC, DEFRA Worldwide 2013
FrogWatch USATM Conservation, Ecology, Herpetology Association of Zoos and Aquariums USA 1998
Galaxy Zoo Astronomy Zooniverse collaboration Worldwide 2007 Galaxy Zoo
Garden Wildlife Health Conservation, Veterinary Zoological Society of London, British Trust for Ornithology, Froglife, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds UK 2013
Geo-Wiki Land cover validation IIASA Worldwide 2008
Great Backyard Bird Count Ornithology National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Worldwide
Great World Wide Star Count Astronomy Windows to the Universe, National Earth Science Teachers Association Worldwide [2]
Genographic Project Population genetics National Geographic Society, IBM Worldwide 2005
Hazelnut Project, The Botany, Agronomy Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium (Arbor Day Foundation, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Rutgers and Oregon State) USA 2000
Herbarium@home Botany Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland UK 2006
Herpetological Education and Research Project Herpetology HERP Board of Trustees North America 2007 NAHERP
HerpMapper Herpetology Worldwide 2013 [3]
Hummingbirds at Home Ornithology National Audubon Society USA 2013 Hummingbirds at Home
Hummingbird Migration Tracker Ornithology USA 2010 Hummingbird Migration Tracker
IDAH2O Master Water Stewards Water Quality University of Idaho USA 2010 IDAH2O Master Water Stewards
IceWatchUSA[8] Phenology Nature Abounds USA
iNaturalist Botany, Entomology, Ecology, Lepidopterology, Ornithology, Phenology, Zoology iNaturalist Global 2008
Instant Wild Wildlife, Ecology, Species Diversity, Conservation, Zoology Zoological Society of London Global 2011 [4]
iSeahorse Ichthyology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Marine Conservation, Zoology Project Seahorse, Guylian Belgian Chocolate, iNaturalist, John G. Shedd Aquarium, The University of British Columbia, Zoological Society of London Global 2013
Kinsey Reporter[9] Sex and Attraction The Kinsey Institute Worldwide 2012[10]
Loss of the Night app[11] Astronomy, Ecology, Remote Sensing Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany), Freie Universität Berlin, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Germany 2013 app download site
Project page
Massachusetts Herpetological Atlas Herpetology University of Massachusetts Amherst USA 1992
MammalMAP Mammal Conservation Animal Demography Unit, Marine Research Institute Africa 2012 [5]
Manta Matcher - The Wildbook for Manta Rays Marine Ecology, Conservation Biology, Ecology WildMe, Marine Megafauna Foundation Worldwide 2012 Manta Matcher
Mark2Cure Biomedical_research The Su Lab at Scripps_Research_Institute USA (CA) 2012, launch 2015
Michigan Herp Atlas Project Herpetology Michigan Department of Natural Resources USA (MI) 2004
Monarch Health Entomology, Lepidopterology University of Georgia Canada, USA Monarch Parasites
Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Entomology, Lepidopterology University of Minnesota Canada, USA Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
Monarch Watch Entomology, Lepidopterology University of Kansas Canada, USA 1992 Monarch Watch
Moon Mappers
  • Simply craters
  • Man vs machine
Planetary astronomy[note 1] Worldwide 2011 Moon mappers
Nature's Calendar Phenology Woodland Trust UK
Nature's Notebook Phenology USA National Phenology Network USA 2009 Nature's Notebook
  • FrogWatch
  • IceWatch
  • PlantWatch
  • WormWatch
Ecology, Phenology, Herpetology Nature Canada Canada
NatureWatch NZ Botany, Entomology, Ecology, Ornithology, Phenology, Zoology New Zealand Bio-Diversity Recording Network Trust New Zealand 2006 (as NZBRN)
Neighborhood Nestwatch Ornithology Migratory Bird Center, National Zoological Park, SI USA Neighborhood nestwatch
NestWatch Ornithology Cornell Lab of Ornithology Americas 2008[note 3] NestWatch
North American Field Herping Association Herpetology North American field herping community North America 2007 NAFHA
North American Bird Phenology Program Ornithology United States Geological Survey North America 2008 [6]
Notes from Nature Botany, Entomology, Ornithology, Mycology Zooniverse collaboration Worldwide
Odonata Central Odonata North America 2004 Ondonata Central
Old Weather[1] Climatology Zooniverse collaboration Worldwide
Ontario BioBlitz Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Lepidopterology, Ornithology Royal Ontario Museum, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Nature, Toronto Zoo, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Canada (Ontario) 2012 Ontario BioBlitz homepage
Ontario Butterfly Atlas Online Lepidopterology, Entomology Toronto Entomologists’ Association Canada (Ontario) 1969
Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Herpetology Ontario Nature, Ministry of Natural Resources’ Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) Canada (Ontario)
Orca Game Bioacoustics Orchive Worldwide 2013
Penguin Watch Ornithology Zooniverse collaboration Worldwide
Penguin Watch website 
Planet Mappers: Mercury Planetary astronomy[note 1] Worldwide 2011 Mercury mappers
Plankton Project Marine biology, Zoology Zooniverse collaboration Worldwide 2013
Portland Urban Coyote Project Ecology, Geography, Zoology Portland State University Portland, Oregon 2011
Project Splatter Ecology, Conservation Cardiff University UK 2013
Quantum Moves[12] Quantum physics, Quantum mechanics CODER, Aarhus University Worldwide 2013
Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Marine conservation, Marine biology Non-profit organization Key Largo, FL (worldwide) 1990
Radio Galaxy Zoo Astronomy Zooniverse collaboration Worldwide 2013 Radio Galaxy Zoo
Snowtweets[13] Meteorology University of Waterloo Canada
Socientize Life sciences mainly European Commission Worldwide 2012 Socientize
Species Observations System Botany, Entomology, Ecology, Ornithology, Phenology, Zoology Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre, Norwegian Biodiversity Network Norway 2008
Target Asteroids! Planetary astronomy OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission Worldwide 2012 [7]
Target NEOs! Planetary astronomy The Astronomical League USA 2012 [8]
theSkyNet Astronomy, Computing International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research Worldwide 2011
Track a Tree Botany, Ecology, Phenology University of Edinburgh and the Woodland Trust UK 2014 [9]
Turtle Survey and Analysis Tools (TurtleSAT) Herpetology University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney Australia 2014 [10]
UBiome[14] Microbiology uBiome USA [11] <---COMMERCIAL SITE ($)
VerbCorner Linguistics Massachusetts Institute of Technology Worldwide 2013 [12]
Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas Herpetology USA (VT) 1995 Vermont Herp Atlas
Weather Detective Climatology, Meteorology National Science Week Australia, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Australia 2014 Weather Detective Wildlife WildlifeLog Comminity Interest Company Worldwide 2014
Stardust@Home Astronomy University of California, Berkeley Worldwide 2006 Conservation, Ornithology, Wildlife Cornell Lab of Ornithology North America 2013
Yellowhammer Dialects Ornithology Charles University in Prague UK, New Zealand 2013

Completed or inactive projects[edit]

Project name Discipline(s) Sponsoring organization(s) Country (or region) Dates Notes
Big Sleep Survey Sleep National Science Week Australia, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Australia 2010 Big Sleep Survey
Birdhouse Network Ornithology Cornell Lab of Ornithology USA 1997 - 2007 [note 3]
eManta Marine Ecology Dalhousie University Global 2012-2013 [13]
House Finch Disease Survey Ornithology Cornell Lab of Ornithology North America 1994 - 2011 [note 4]
Ice Investigators Astronomy[note 1] Worldwide 2011 - 2012 [note 5]
Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Herpetology Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc., Maryland Department of Natural Resources USA (MD) 2010-2014
Moon Mappers: Million crater challenge Planetary Astronomy[note 1] Worldwide 2011 - 2012 [note 6]
The Multi-tasking Test Cognitive science National Science Week Australia, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Queensland Brain Institute Australia 2011 Multi-tasking Test
Sound Check Australia Audiology National Science Week Australia, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, National Acoustic Laboratories Australia 2012 Sound Check Australia

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e CosmoQuest is sponsored by NASA in partnership with the Astrosphere New Media Association, the STEM Center, UniverseToday, Astronomers without Borders, the Planetary Society, the Ward Beecher Planetarium, the Galileo Teachers Training Program, Swinburne Astronomy Online, Dark Skies, Bright Kids, the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre and its member organizations, the Galileoscope Project and several NASA projects.
  2. ^ BirdSleuth is primarily for students from kindergarten through middle school.
  3. ^ a b Formerly The Birdhouse Network which only monitored nests in bird boxes and similar artificial cavities. NestWatch is a new project that collects observations of open nests as well.
  4. ^ Per the project website, this project was absorbed into the current FeederWatch project.
  5. ^ Formerly Ice Hunters, a project to identify potential targets in the Kuiper belt for the New Horizons spacecraft after it completes its mission to Pluto.
  6. ^ Over a million craters were identified and mapped in late 2012. As of March 2012, 1,207,486 craters have been identified and mapped by the Moon Mappers parent project that continues.


  1. ^ a b Mapes, Lynda V. (February 16, 2013). "Citizen scientists can be climate sleuths too". Seattle Times. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Robbins, Jim (August 19, 2013). "Crowdsourcing, for the birds". New York Times. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Update: EyeWire". Scientific American. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "old Weather". Zooniverse. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Citizen Science: Cicada Watch". 17 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Space Station Sharper Images of Earth at Night Crowdsourced For Science". 17 April 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "More Science: IceWatch USA". Scientific American. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "8 Apps That Turn Citizens into Scientists". Scientific American. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Kinsey Reporter: Free app allows public to anonymously report, share information on sexual behavior". Science Daily. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  11. ^ O'Hanlon, Larry (1 May 2013). "Turn Yourself into a Skyglow Meter". Discovery News. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Quantum Moves". Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  13. ^ snowtweets-project "More science: Snowtweets". Scientific American. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "uBiome". Retrieved 5 August 2013. 

External links[edit]