Citizen Science Resources

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Contact

Stacy Epperson
Education Specialist
Aquatic Resource Education Dept
Chesapeake and Coastal Service
MD Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-2
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-260-8775
stacy.epperson@maryland.gov

Citizen Science Resources

A selected list of citizen science projects:Photos: (top) newly-hatched chickadees; Bottom: Young girl monitoring a blue bird box

Department of Natural Resources Supported Projects

Help scientists track the spread of invasive plants. Visit the link to download a free phone app (versions for droid and iphone). The Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network app was developed by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia as part of its effort to create a national atlas of invasive plants. It enables anyone to send observations and location information about invasive plants into the university’s mapping system.

Kerrie Kyde, Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist, invites citizens interested in the project to contact her at Kerrie.Kyde@maryland.gov or call 301-948-8243.

Stream Waders
http://dnr.maryland.gov/streams/Pages/streamWaders.aspx

Help ascertain stream quality by collecting samples of macro invertebrates from selected streams in the spring and then submitting the samples for analysis. Yearly training provided.

Birds
http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/

e-bird is a real-time, online checklist program. 
The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network of eBird users. eBird then shares these observations with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists. In time these data will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and beyond.

Bumble Bee Watch
www.bumblebeewatch.org

A collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees. Through this project, you can upload photos, start a virtual bumble bee collection, have your identifications verified by experts, and interact with other citizen scientists.

Butterflies
http://www.mlmp.org

The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, hosted by the University of Minnesota, is a project developed by researchers for volunteers across North America to collect long-term data on larval monarch populations and milkweed habitat.

Coastal ChangesiCoast – Did the Coast Change?
http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/icoast/

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) just launched a new crowd sourcing, citizen science application that asks users to identify changes to the coast by comparing and tagging aerial photographs taken before and after storms. Your contributions help USGS scientists improve the accuracy of coastal erosion prediction models and vulnerability assessments that support pre-storm planning and post-storm rescue, recovery, and mitigation efforts. It is also a great educational tool for teaching students and even coastal residents about coastal hazards.

Dragonfly Pond Watch Project
http://migratorydragonflypartnership.org/index/dragonflyPondWatch

Dragonfly Pond Watch is a volunteer-based program of the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership (MDP) to investigate the annual movements of five major migratory dragonfly species in North America. By visiting the same wetland or pond site on a regular basis, participants will be placed to note the arrival of migrant dragonflies moving south in the fall or north in the spring, as well as to record when the first resident adults of these species emerge in the spring.

Frogs
https://www.aza.org/become-a-frogwatch-volunteer

FrogWatch USA is AZA’s (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) flagship citizen science program that invites individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. How do we know which frog species are present? By hearing them call to potential mates during their breeding season! To learn to identify the calls of Maryland’s frog species, go to http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/frogquiz/.

Maryland Biodiversity Project
http://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/

Take pictures of insects, lizards, plants or any living thing found outdoors. They are looking for biodiversity not only within Maryland but within each county.

Mushrooms
http://mushroomobserver.org/observer/intro

The purpose of this site is to record observations about mushrooms, help people identify mushrooms they aren’t familiar with, and expand the community around the scientific exploration of mushrooms (mycology).

Plants
http://www.budburst.org/

Project Budburst is people watching plants. Every plant tells a story. Whether you have an afternoon or a whole season, you can make an important contribution to a better understanding of changing climates. We are a national network of people monitoring plants as the seasons change.
Project BudBurst data is collected in a consistent manner across the country so that scientists can learn more about the responsiveness of plant species to changes in climate locally, regionally, and nationally.

Other Projects


General Resources

Acknowledgement: Photos courtesy of Stacy Epperson