Citizen Science

What is Citizen Science?

The term “citizen science” broadly refers to collaborative research initiatives that bring volunteers and professional scientists together as partners in order to answer specific questions.

How does it work?

There are is a variety of methods that scientists may use in order to reach out to the community. Sometimes scientists need data collected, interpreted, or corroborated, and citizen scientists can use modern technology (computers, smartphones) to help out with these tasks.

How does it help?

From a productivity standpoint, making projects and tasks available for crowd-sourcing volunteers can help scientists accumulate more data, either by expediting the process or extending the project’s range of operation. For instance, community involvement may provide  researchers with data collected all around the world. Or, the progress of their research may be accelerated by the participation of enthusiastic volunteers. Having additional hands to collect, interpret, or parse out data online can make a difference, especially for smaller institutions that may not have a plethora of volunteers involved on-site.

However, the main objective of citizen science is to show people what goes on in the world of science. Encouraging the public to participate in science also helps to ignite interest and support for research. Citizen science aims to reach out a welcoming hand to members of the nonscientific community and to make the process of research more accessible.

Our Citizen Science Projects:


Current (last updated 12/12/2022)

  • An Ambush of Tiger Beetles – citizen science portion of our current 3-year (09/2021-08/2024) NSF funded beetle curation project.
    • Update: The first Tiger Beetle expedition was completed in only one week. The second expedition will start on 9 January, 2023. Stay tuned!