Citizen science is a way to conduct scientific research that uses people without formal scientific education or training to gather data needed for experiments.  Volunteers may serve as data collectors, processors or analysts. The appeal of citizen science lies in the power of crowdsourcing, using many volunteers to amass huge datasets that are not possible for individual scientists to develop.

Citizen science projects featured in this exhibit include:

The Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  Report on stranded marine mammals, prevent harassment. Hosted by Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Beached Marine Critters.  Identify and report stranded fish, cephalopods and reptiles. Hosted by Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network. Report precipitation data in your microclimate and fill in gaps from existing weather stations. Hosted by Oregon State University’s Oregon Climate Service.

COASST (Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team). Identify and report on beached seabirds.

CoastWatch from Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition.  Adopt a mile of beach, walk it once every three months and note natural and human-caused changes.

The Blue Water Task Force from the Surfrider Foundation.  Monitor water quality on Oregon’s beaches.

Butterflies and Moths of North America.  Sight and photograph butterflies and moths.

Project BudBurst.  Note the timing of plants leafing or blooming.

The Christmas Bird Count.  Help science by counting birds.

Play with Your Dog.  Help scientists understand the nuances of human/animal interactions by sending a short video of you playing with your pet.

EyeWire.  Help MIT researchers map the brain by playing games for science.      

SETI Live.  Search for signs of intelligent life in the universe.

Extreme Citizen Science.  The citizen strikes back:  “extreme” citizen science describes a methodology that limits the roles of scientists to guidance and material support and allows citizens to select their own projects, analyze data and make recommendations for action.