Ever wonder what it’s like to be a scientist out in the field or analyze data in the lab? As a citizen scientist, you can help with real research projects all around the world! Check out these citizen science apps to learn about nature around you or the galaxies above.
The Society of Military Spouses in STEM is a member-run organization focused on helping military spouses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields reach their full potential and create a positive impact.
Looking for ways to get your family involved in the scientific process of discovery? CitizenScience.gov is a good place to start exploring. It has over 490 projects, from archaeology and biology to computer science, physics, and science policy, that need volunteers. Being part of a citizen science project connects you to a community of curious people passionate about finding new solutions in science and technology.
- iNaturalist (apple) (android)
The iNaturalist App is a global community of nature enthusiasts and citizen scientists. With over 85,000 observations of plants, insects, and animals, iNaturalist is a place to learn all about the natural world around you. Scientists studying biodiversity can use each observation you post. iNaturalist is available free on apple and android and has a sister app Seek designed for youth of all ages. With Seek you can take a photo of an interesting plant, fungi, or animal and the app will work to identify the organism.
- Zooniverse (apple) (android)
Zooniverse allows participants to help scientists with research projects in both the sciences and humanities. As a volunteer, you can assist in physics projects to classify galaxies in deep space or help NASA’s Globe Cloud Gaze project by identifying cloud types. There are many subjects (from climate and medicine to history and language arts) to jump into and through a community platform, you’ll be on the way to making discoveries!
- StallCatchers (android)
Help Cornell University researchers studying Alzheimer’s disease by finding clogged blood cells with the online StallCatchers game. Created by the Human Computation Institute, citizen scientists get to look at real videos of blood flow through mice brains. Participants from around the world help to find where blood flows smoothly and where it stalls. You can assist researchers to better understand how blood flow to the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
- SpiderSpotter (apple) (android)
With SpiderSpotter you can help scientists learn how spiders are adapting to climate change and urban heat. Does a spider’s color pattern change if the city is hotter? Do their webs get smaller or larger? Snap a photo of a spider web and spider to add to the community database and help increase global spider knowledge.
- eBird (apple) (android)
Love spotting birds in your area? With eBird, you can snap a photo and add your sighting to conservation efforts around the world. eBird is hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and will help you learn what birds are common and seasonal in your neighborhood. You can even keep track of all your sightings and take part in annual bird counts.
- HerpMapper (apple) (android)
Do you love frogs, lizards, and snakes? With HerpMapper you can learn all about your favorite amphibians and reptiles while helping researchers protect them for the future. The photos, sound recordings, and data you enter about your observations can be seen by scientists and conservation groups around the world. HerpMapper has over 350,000 observations from citizen scientists.
SMSS has no connection or affiliation with any organizations or apps listed above. This blog is purely for information purposes only.