Citizen Science Salon is a partnership between Discover and SciStarter.org.
Buds are bursting. Birds are singing. Pollinators are moving around the globe.
For the northern hemisphere, spring is almost here! In this time of renewal, let’s all rediscover the world around us by observing and reconnecting with the rhythms of nature, with some projects you can do from anywhere. These five citizen science projects get you out in the spring air and help save pollinators while advancing real-world research.
Plant a Pollinator Garden
With spring’s arrival, insects are taking flight, and also facing all manner of modern obstacles, like habitat loss and declining food sources. Pollinators need our help, and planting a garden is one fun way to get involved. SciStarter's plant a pollinator garden landing page will help you get started.
With the onset of spring, legions of monarchs, dragonflies, and other pollinators are making their way north. But these insects face an uncertain future. The Journey North project lets you help track migrations, and map out how various species' ranges are shifting.
As the weather warms, keep an eye on the reemergence of plants and animals. Nature’s Notebook connects you with the drama unfolding in your own backyard. And a smartphone app lets you send in observations that scientists can use.
How are ecosystems near you responding to environmental change? Budburst is a citizen science project that taps a network of volunteers to keep an eye on plants as seasons shift. And contributing observations also helps you get outside while learning about the natural world beyond your front door.
Caterpillars play vital roles in ecosystems, especially in spring. Many birds time their migrations with caterpillar availability. And as they grow into butterflies, caterpillars become important pollinators. Caterpillars Count! wants volunteers to scour American countrysides and cityscapes, helping tally the abundance of these bugs.