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The Sciences

Top 18 Projects of 2018 on SciStarter


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2018 was a great year for Citizen Science! More than 3,000 projects and events are now registered on SciStarter. There’s something for everyone, everywhere.In this edition of the newsletter, we are honoring the Top 18 Projects of 2018: projects that our collective community shared, participated in, and loved. Cheers! -The SciStarter Team.

Crowd Power

GLOBE Observer: Clouds

Look up and make cloud observations. Satellites can only see clouds from above, so your ground-truthed observations will be compared to satellite images to get a view from both above and below. Help NASA scientists predict droughts and floods in the process. Get Started! Location: Global

Cloud Obs - Femi-300x200

Ant Picnic

Help scientists learn about the diet preferences of ants around the world; their choices will inform scientists on what food resources are available to ants throughout the year. Get Started! Location: Global


Stream Selfie

What better way to enjoy nature, observe streams in your town, and snap a selfie for science? Stream Selfie helps map streams across the United States to establish good locations for water testing. Get Started! Location: United States

Stream Selfie

Project Squirrel

Do all squirrels look the same to you? Did you know there were up to three different species climbing around your parks, campus, and backyard? Count how may squirrels you see to keep track of squirrel populations to better understand tree squirrel ecology. National Squirrel Day is January 21. We know you’ve been struggling to decide what to do to celebrate. Here’s your answer. Get Started! Location: Global


CoCoRaHS: Rain, Hail, Snow Network

If it’s falling from a cloud, you should measure it with this project. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network encourages you to use low cost measurement tools to measure precipitation. These data are then used by the National Weather Service and meteorologists. Get Started! Location: Global


Globe at Night

Looking up at the night sky and taking in the beauty of the stars is a wonderful way to spend an evening… unless there aren’t any visible stars due to light pollution. Record the amount of visible stars above your head to record light pollution near you. Get Started! Location: Global

globe-at-night scistarter

Stall Catchers, by EyesOnALZ

View short video clips of ultrasounds that show blood moving through vessels of mice. Click when you see stalled blood flow. This project is already helping scientists at Cornell accelerate research on Alzheimer’s. Get Started! Location: Global



Did you know that cities are sometimes referred to as urban heat islands? They can be hotter than surrounding suburban or rural areas. How does climate and weather affect your surroundings? Recording your local environmental flooding and heat observations helps NASA track climate change. Get Started! Location: Global

Investigate how weather and climate change are impacting our communities and environment. (Credit: Pixabay)

The MuttMix Project

Think you know your dog breeds? Take an online quiz to test your ability to identify distinct breeds present in mixed-breed dogs based on their (very cute) pictures. Get Started! Location: Global



Share your photos of nature through the iNaturalist app and record the biodiversity around you. In addition to teams of naturalists who will help ID what you posted, click “View suggestions” to have AI weigh in with identifications. Get Started! Location: Global



Observe squirrels in your neighborhood to understand where and why squirrels turn from black to gray. Two centuries ago, most squirrels were apparently black — measure natural selection on your neighborhood squirrels through this project. Remember, January 21 is National Squirrel Day. Get Started! Location: Global


Nature’s Notebook

Send your plant observations to the National Phenology Database. This allows scientists to keep track of the life cycles of plants and animals year after year. Get Started! Location: Global

Natures Notebook Project image

Play to Cure: Genes in Space

Explore space and analyze real cancer data in this game! It is designed to find clues that lead to genetic mistakes that may lead to cancer. Get Started! Location: Online Only

rsz genesinspace asteroidhell2


Use your natural superpower of being able to notice patterns to align sequences of DNA by shifting and moving puzzle pieces in this game. This activity helps researchers do something computers can’t: sort through Multiple Sequence Alignments. Get Started! Location: Online Only


Mars Mappers

Have you always wanted to be the first to explore another planet? Help NASA identify and mark craters and other terrain on Mars. Get Started! Location: Online Only



Play online games to identify languages and language features. This project raises awareness about and invites participants to contribute to language science. Get Started! Location: Online Only


Bugs In Our Backyard

Keep track of the bugs in your backyard by monitoring insect biodiversity for scientists at Colby College. This survey targets what are considered “true bugs,” or insects in the suborder Heteroptera in the order Hemiptera. Get Started! Location: Global


The Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event in December during which bird watchers count birds for 15 minutes to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are located around the world. Get Started! Location: Global

Robin Stock

Your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects. Complete your profile to access this and other free tools. It’s also how we match you with the best projects near you.Contact the SciStarter TeamEmail: info@scistarter.comWebsite:

Explore other citizen science projects with our Project Finder!

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