Indulge your love for the outdoors and at the same time help conservation researchers gather data.
All of these projects just need you to look around, take note and send in what you see!
Some of them even have specially designed mobile apps that make it super-easy to contribute.
A.T. Seasons is your opportunity to help track the unfolding of important life cycle events each year along the iconic Appalachian Trail, linking your observations with others from Georgia to Maine. By observing and reporting seasonal changes of plants and animals you will help build the foundation to understanding and protecting the scenic & natural beauty of the trail corridor.
The Lost Ladybug Project needs people to count ladybugs! The population of this beloved North American insect is declining, while the numbers of exotic ladybugs increase. Participants find, collect and photograph ladybugs. The objective of the project is to find out where native ladybugs have gone,to learn how to protect other native species.
Spotting and listing birds has long been a hobby, even a competitive sport. Project eBird collects observations of birds you see anywhere even in your backyard. Here you can track the arrival of species in your area, and submit yor own data. eBird also integrates data from other projects such as the Christmas Bird Count, FeederWatch and Great Backyard Bird Count.
Smell the Flowers!
Many annual natural events have been happening earlier and earlier. Keeping track of the timing of seasonal events (phenology) provides important information about the effects of climate change on species.
The Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology Project sponsored by Lehigh Gap Nature Center, is collecting observations of when flowers bloom, frogs call, leaves change, and many other events in Eastern Pennsylvania (naturally).
Project Budburst wants your observations of when flowers bloom, and other botanical events such as the appearance of leaves, fruits and berries.
Sign up to become an observer of key species and record the data in Nature’s Notebook, a project of the USA National Phenology Network.
Take Pictures of Wildlife
You do it anyway, right? If you’re an inveterate photographer of wildlife, Project Noah wants your pix to help scientists find out more about where species are. You can also use the site to help identify what you see.
Track Monarch Butterflies
Sadly, monarch butterflies are in danger of disappearing becasue of the loss of the plants they depend on MonarchWatch needs you to plant Monarch Waystations (milkweed and other plants that attract monarchs). You can also participate by tagging the butteflies so scientists can track their migration.
Kiss a Frog!
If you know your herps, the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey wants you. Record your sightings of frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes all your other favorite herps.
Find American Chestnut Trees
The American Chestnut once dominated the forests of the East until a blight killed most of the trees. The American Chestnut Foundation gathers information on mature trees that have survived to the blight helps researchers develop blight-resistant trees, and eventually re-introduce the Chestnut to our forests.
See the current issue of Footnotes for an article and listing on two American Chestnut hikes.
Observe It All
Can’t get enough? At iNaturalist, you can find links to many different projects where you make a real difference to science that helps protect our planet’s diverse species.