Citizen Historians and Explorers of Cultures and Societies
The Central Intelligence Agency
National Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian Institute
The Smithsonian Institute, centered in Washington, D.C., is the coordinator of several national museums of science, history, art, and culture.
Yale University: Human Relations Area Files program
These are complex, college-level texts and collections that may appeal to students with high enthusiasm, erudition, and persistence.
Citizen Historians and Explorers of Cultures and Societies
A Good Place to Start When Selecting Topics and Issues
DLESE--The Digital Library for Earth System Education
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Earth Observatory and Earth Observatory Kids
- EterRNA: A puzzle game where players design models of DNA using four nucleotide bases, participating in the creation of a library of synthetic RNA designs
- Phylo: A game that explores how DNA and RNA sequences are arranged
- Foldit: A puzzle game where players fold proteins with the eventual aim of having players map the structures of unknown proteins and design new ones
- Mapper: NASA gets players to analyze and tag photos from the bottoms of Pavilion Lake and Kelly Lake in British Columbia, studying lake features in hopes of helping find life on other planets
- AgeGuess: Guess people’s age in a simple game, which investigates the differences between perceived age and chronological age as a potential aging biomarker.
- Natural Products Discovery Group: They’ll send you a soil collection kit to return, and they will then screen the fungi in the sample for bioactivity against a variety of diseases to help in drug development.
- School of Ants: The study of ants living in urban areas all around the US
- The Great Sunflower Project: Focused on bee conservation, participants grow Lemon Queen sunflowers and make regular observations to count bees that visit them during the blooming season
- Native Buzz: Study the nesting preferences and distribution of solitary bees and wasps throughout the world
- Dragonfly Pond Watch: Study the migrations of sixteen dragonfly species in North America
- The Dragonfly Swarm Project: Contribute to the research of dragonfly swarms throughout the world
- Butterflies and Moths of North America: This aims to collect data about butterflies and moths or their eggs, caterpillars, or cocoons or chrysalides.
- The Lost Ladybug Project: Find and photograph ladybugs in your neighbourhood to help collect information about various ladybug species, especially the rapid shift in populations
- FrogWatch USA: Contribute to frog conservation all throughout the US
- Global Bio Blitz, Amphibian and Reptile: A project that seeks to document species of amphibians and reptiles throughout the world
- Center for Snake Conservation Snake Count: Tracks snake distribution across North America
- eBird: A massive online database of bird observations that you can add to
- Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count: The world’s oldest citizen science project takes place in December and January, mainly in the US and Canada but also in some places in the Western Hemisphere
- Celebrate Urban Birds: Make ten-minute observations of birds in your neighbourhood to help investigate how birds inhabit urban areas
- Great Backyard Bird Count: Exactly what it sounds like!
- JellyWatch: Report your sightings of jellyfish, red tide, squid and other unusual marine animals throughout the world
- Project Squirrel: A US and Canada census of gray and fox squirrels—upload pictures and observations of conditions
- Whale Song Project: A Worldwide project where you can help analyse the recorded calls of killer whales and pilot whales
- MantaMatcher: Upload observations of manta rays and work to identify them, building the first global online database for manta rays
- iSeahorse: Upload your photos and observations of seahorses, help identify seahorse species, and advocate for their protection.
- All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory: Document and identify plants and animals in your area across the US.
- iNaturalist: On this site you can share photos and details of plants and animals, and maintain lists of your discoveries worldwide.
- National Geographic BioBlitz: A twenty-four hour inventory of every living species in a specific area—check for an area near you.
- The GLOBE Program: This project involves students of all ages and in all countries, teaching them how to collect scientific data and make scientific discoveries.
- Project NOAH: Document your observations about wildlife and plants around the world, and even get other people in the community to identify them.
- Wildlife Health Monitoring Network: Participants can help compile data about wildlife disease patterns around the world and how they might affect humans and domestic animals.
- Mushroom Observer: Less than 5% of the world’s fungi species are known to science, so help out by uploading images and observations of mushrooms and other fungi near you.
- Project BudBurst: Help collect data on plant phenology (when different plants grow leaves and produce fruit) to show how different species in the US respond to changes in climate.
- Explore the Sea Floor: Tag previously-collected seafloor photos based on guidelines.
Weather and Seasons
- Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network: Measure rain—or lack thereof—in your area of the US to help track precipitation, predict floods, and plan for water supply and demand.
- Journey North: Help make observations of migrating animals in North America.
- Weather Detective: Uncover important weather records hidden in the logbooks of ships that sailed the seas around Australia in the 1890s and 1900s.
- American Meteor Society Visual Observing Program: Amateurs can provide valuable data about meteors, meteor showers, fireballs and other phenomena.
- Galaxy Zoo: Examine real images of galaxies, classify them, and help determine how they form.
- Lowell Amateur Research Institute: There are a number of projects you can help out with, depending on what you’re interested in, your location, your time, and what software or equipment you have access to—most projects are aimed at serious amateur astronomers.
- Moon Mappers: Analyse photos of the moon taken by the Linar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
- GLOBE at Night: By comparing the sky above you to charts provided by the project, you can help measure the impact of light pollution on the visibility of stars.
- Stardust@home: This is an online search for interstellar dust, using images of samples captured from the comet Wild 2 in 2004.
- Target Asteroids: Help compile information about Near Earth Asteroids (must have access to a telescope).
- Planet Mercury: Identify craters to assist in creating a global crater database.
- Asteroid Mappers: Map the surface of Vesta.
- Zooniverse: This is a collection of projects, mostly in astronomy (like looking at infrared images to find star-forming regions, studying wind patterns on Mars, and classifying images of the Moon’s surface) but some in climate, nature and archaeology too (like transcribing papyri and classifying bat calls). Click through to read about them.