Citizen Science: Citizen science involves the public as participants in real world scientific research, in partnership with scientists or scientific organizations. Citizen science has much to offer youth, and youth educators, as a way to make Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning accessible, relevant, and meaningful.
Citizen science is one of the foundations of ECO's programs. We agree with Audubon Nature Society that, “Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them.” It is up to us to help them grow, guide them and foster their love and dedication to the environment. And participating in citizen science is one way to do those things and more!
This page is where we will post updates on the various citizen science contributions the ECO Crew is participating in.
The ECO Teen Naturalists have been collecting soil quality data at the Santa Cruz River in Marana, AZ for the last several months. But we have been unable to find a community science project where we can submit our data and compare our data to other sites, so we decided to create our own thanks to Survey123.
One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over a million scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.
We have several projects on iNaturlist that we encourage you to check out and/or join:
Join us for the 2021 City Nature Challenge in the Greater Phoenix Area! Help us document the awesome biodiversity in the Valley of the Sun by making as many observations of living organisms as possible from April 30-May 3. Results will be announced on May 10!
Keep an eye on the project journal for trainings, events and more.
While practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and following recommended safety guidelines, the 2021 City Nature Challenge is a great way to spend time and destress while learning about urban biodiversity. Learn more at citynaturechallenge.org/
Interested in collaborating, participating or learning more? Please email email@example.com.
Nature's Notebook gathers information on plant and animal phenology across the U.S. to be used for decision-making on local, national and global scales to ensure the continued vitality of our environment. Observers use scientifically-vetted observation guidelines, developed for over 1000 species, to ensure data are useful to researchers and decision-makers.
Our Teen Naturalists will be monitoring 3 species (2 of each) as part of our #santacruzriverproject. You can view our observations and join our project here.
Flow365 volunteers monitor the status of flow in our creeks and rivers, check groundwater levels in accessible wells, and observe the plants and animals in local riparian habitats. This data is vital to supporting our long-term goal of restoring Tucson’s heritage of flowing creeks and rivers through our River Run Network program.
The Teen Naturalists are monitoring the Santa Cruz River flow through Spring 2021. You can view our reports here. #santacruzriverproject
The EarthEcho Water Challenge (formerly World Water Monitoring Challenge) is an international program that runs annually from March 22 (the United Nations World Water Day) through December and equips anyone to protect the water resources we depend on every day. The EarthEcho Water Challenge builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local waterbodies.
View our results here. Enter EcoExplorersatl #santacruzriverproject
Aquatic macroinvertebrates serve as indicators of stream health because they exhibit varying levels of sensitivity to pollution. As we identify critters,we are helping to build a stream health report.
This is one of our crews favorite citizen science activities. Learn more here. #santacruzriverproject
CoCoRaHS (pronounced KO-ko-rozz) is a grassroots volunteer network of backyard weather observers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow) in their local communities. By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. The only requirements to join are an enthusiasm for watching and reporting weather conditions and a desire to learn more about how weather can affect and impact our lives.
View our rain data for Tempe . We also share our data at rainlog.
eBird is the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project, with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year by eBirders around the world. A collaborative enterprise with hundreds of partner organizations, thousands of regional experts, and hundreds of thousands of users, eBird is managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
You can view our data submission here.
Attention citizen scientists! Desert Botanical Garden needs your help to find and photograph the plants, animals and insects in your neighborhood, on local trails and around town. In doing so, you are helping the Garden with a new initiative, the EcoFlora project, to take inventory of the plants and wildlife in the Phoenix metro area. This data will inform conservation organizations like the Garden how to protect and preserve the native plants and wildlife in the area.
FrogWatch USA™ is a citizen science program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that invites individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting data on the calls of local frogs and toads.
AZA’s FrogWatch USA comprises a national network of skilled coordinators and volunteers that form a community with the common goal of providing large scale, long-term data on frogs and toads in the United States to help answer questions like:
- How diverse is the local population of frogs and toads?
- Where are there rare or invasive species?
- Are there long term shifts in species diversity, range, and seasonal timing?
What data is being collected?
Volunteers are trained to collect information about the calls from frogs and toads during the monitoring season of February through August.
Where is data being collected?
Data is being collected in and around many wetlands across the United States. New volunteers can find a chapter near them, or do the online training and start monitoring a wetland near you for frogs and toads.
If you are interested in becoming a Frog Watch volunteer please complete this form so we can keep you posted about training sessions.
Sky Island FotoFauna harnesses the sampling power of volunteer-operated wildlife cameras that keep watch for wildlife on the move throughout the Sky Island region. Every monthly FotoFauna checklist and photo submission gives us a clearer picture of when and where 43 different wildlife species are moving across the Sky Islands.
Learn more here.