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Take part in some citizen science

Take part in some citizen science


Citizen science provides the opportunity for amateur scientists and members of the general public to get involved with scientific research. Sometimes this is on a small scale, such as an individual making detailed and/or prolonged observations and recording those observations. However, citizen science can be a really useful concept when trying to gather large amounts of data in a short space of time.

We've gathered together some links to plenty of different citizen science projects that anyone in the UK can participate in. There's a whole range of activities, some which involve going outside and enjoying the natural environment and others where you don't even need to leave your home. We hope you find something to enjoy.

The Woodland trust's nature calendar survey

The Woodland trust ask individuals to register with them and record an observation, for example in March we are asked to look for signs of Blue tits nesting. These kind of observations allow the Woodland Trust to gather information about the changing seasons and climate throughout the year.

The Garden Wildlife Health survey is a project run by Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Froglife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), in which citizens are asked to report sick or dead wildlife in an attempt to identify disease threats to British wildlife.

You could get involved with The Big Bumble Bee Discovery with Dr Helen Roy and Dr Michael Pocock from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology .

How about the Big Butterfly Count? It's an annual event that you can participate in from your garden or local park. You can download and print your free butterfly guide on the website.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) are involved with several bird surveys including Garden Bird Watch.

If you fancy something a bit different Zooniverse  has all manner of citizen science projects for you to get involved with ranging from how galaxies form to studying the ocean floor

You could help the Medical Research Council better understand genetics by participating in Worm Watch Lab.

How about getting involved with cancer research? Try the Click to Cure campaign

You might prefer to join in with science on a more global scale. Here are some international citizen science projects that you may be interested in:

The Great Backyard Birdcount run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society is a worldwide event. It's an annual event which usually takes place in February. It was the first event of its kind to collect data on wild birds and make use of the data in real time.

The Christmas Birdcount is another international event which takes place annually across the Western hemisphere

If understanding Orca communication excites you then you might want to get involved with Orchive.

If you have a bit of time on your hands you might be interested in transcribing museum notes to help with biodiversity and conservation research In which case the Notes from Nature project may be for you. This is a project supported by Vizzuality , The Natural History Museum, SERNEC , Calbug  and the Museum of Natural History, Colorado.

If you enjoy transcribing data or are interested in Climate science, you might be interested in this project Old Weather which involves transcribing 19th century ships' logs in order to build up a picture of changing climate.


Fancy a bit of planetary astronomy? You could try Asteroid Mappers  or Moon Mappers  or Mercury Mappers or Osiris -Rex's Asteroid Sample Return Mission  or Berkeley's Stardust at Home project

What about a bit of linguistics? MIT would like you to play their games with words.

Maybe you're interested in quantum physics/ quantum mechanics? If so this citizen science project could be for you Science at Home.

How about gaining greater insight into the origins of the human race? You are invited to participate in the National Geographic's Genographic project.

Or you could try your hand at mapping neurons at Eye Wire.

If you're on Facebook, you can play the Fraxinus Ash dieback game. This project is looking for information about Chalara fraxinea the fungus which causes Ash dieback.


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