Photo: Students study soil on a wooden desk.

Photograph by Kelly Thayer, MyShot

Did you know snapping mountain-top photos of smog and listening for frog calls can help scientists? Get ideas for how you can participate in citizen science—projects in which volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world questions and gather data. Check out two of National Geographic's preeminent citizen science projects: the Great Nature Project and FieldScope.

More Ideas Like This

Photo of a stream.

Monitor Water Quality

Volunteer to help monitor and protect the health of your local rivers, streams, and other bodies of water.

Photo of a red-tailed hawk.

Celebrate Urban Birds

Observe birds in an urban neighborhood for the Celebrate Urban Birds project, and send the data to scientists at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

Photo of a bird's nest with eggs.

Monitor Bird Nests

Join NestWatch, a continent-wide project to monitor bird nests. The project was started by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

Photo of a horseshoe crab.

The Horsehoe Count

Join The Horseshoe Count, a survey that gets volunteers to count horseshoe crabs during spawning season at beaches in Delaware and New Jersey.

Photo: A small bird on a branch

Bird Count

Participate in a state-wide bird count by contacting your state's ornithological society.

Photo of a butterfly on a flower.

Butterfly Census

Contribute to a census of the butterflies of North America—in the United States, Canada, and parts of Mexico. Participate in a one-day butterfly count in your area for the North American Butterfly Association.

Photo: Star explosion

Search Space

Want a chance to have an interstellar dust particle named after you? Help NASA by volunteering for Stardust@home and searching images for tiny interstellar dust impacts.

World Monitoring Day

Celebrate World Water Monitoring Day. Use a test kit to sample local bodies of water for water quality data and share the results with other communities around the world.