Citizen Science

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, citizen science is...

"projects in which volunteers partner with scientists to answer real-world questions."

Science students are encouraged to be a part of the larger scientific community by participating in citizen science projects.  To that end, 7th and 8th grade students are required to make three citizen science contributions per quarter.  These can all be to the same project (for example, submitting three different bird checklists to eBird) or to different projects (for example, recording a bird checklist to eBird, a ladybug sighting to the Lost Ladybug Project, and a night sky viewing to the Globe at Night).  Each contribution will be scored out of 10 points.

Some citizen science projects that you may be interested in include...


Details and Scoring Criteria
NOTE: Extra credit will NOT be applied to late assignments!  You have the entire quarter to complete these!
  • eBird & eButterfly
    • These sites allow you to watch and count birds or butterflies, and then log what you see online.  
    • Millions of people from around the world participate in eBird, and the data collected is used by scientists who study birds, their habitats, climate change, and human impact (such as the effects of pollution and deforestation).  eBird is supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and works with free, easy-to-use apps for personal devices, such as eBird Mobile and Merlin Bird ID.
    • eButterfly is an international, data-driven project dedicated to butterfly biodiversity, conservation and education.  It is supported by Space for Life, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, the University of Arizona, and the Universite d'Ottawa.
    • Scoring Criteria:
      • One Contribution = One travelling or stationary checklist of at least 10 minutes.
      • Incidental sightings will be counted as 0.1 points, and can be used as extra credit.  (Max. credit: 11/10.)
        • Travelling/Stationary Checklist, 8 minutes = 8/10
        • Travelling/Stationary Checklist, 10 minutes = 10/10
        • Incidental Checklist = 0.1 points added to previous stationary or travelling checklist.
        • Extra Travelling/Stationary Checklist, <10 minutes = 0.1 points added to previous checklist; 10+ minutes = 0.2 points added to previous checklist.
      • To receive credit for participating in this project, you can...
        • Share your bird checklist with Mr. Baker (bbaker).
        • OR eMail Mr. Baker your completed checklist (bbaker@sunapeeschools.org).
        • OR Send Mr. Baker an email, telling him the date and location of your bird observations, and listing at least one species that you saw.
          • This will allow him to look up your checklist and confirm that you submitted it.
  • Zooniverse
    • The Zooniverse website hosts a bunch of different citizen science projects that you can participate in.  At the time of this post, there were 37 active projects that you can explore and contribute to.  These range from looking for animals in African wildlife preserves by means of trailside cameras to cataloging galaxies to classifying data from hurricanes to exploring the surface of Mars to studying the lives of ancient Greeks to searching for subatomic particles to helping search for a cure for cancer.
    • You will need to set up an account with Zooniverse.  Once you do, go to the "Settings" page and set your displayed name to something safe - use the guidelines below!
    • Scoring Criteria:
      • One Contribution = 20 responses to a specific project.  (Ex.: Categorize 20 galaxies in Galaxy Zoo, review 20 photos in WildCam Gorongosa, etc.)
      • Each batch of 20 responses will count as one contribution.  Extra responses may count as extra credit at a rate of 0.1 points.  (Max. credit: 11/10.)
        • 16 responses in Galaxy Zoo = 8/10
        • 24 responses in Chimp & See = 10.4/10
        • 30 responses in WildCam Gorongosa = 11/10
      • To receive credit for participating in this project, you can...
        • A week before the end of the quarter, Mr. Baker will have the class log in and will check your stats.  If you miss this, you can...
        • Log into Zooniverse at school, and show Mr. Baker your stats page.  (This will be listed under your profile.)
        • OR email Mr. Baker a screen shot of your stats page.
  • Globe at Night
    • This is an international project in which people measure the amount of light pollution in their areas.  The site has a web app that allows you to participate using your computer or smart phone.  The site will guide you in looking at the night sky and reporting how many stars you can see - the more light pollution that is present, the fewer stars will be visible.
    • Note: This project is only open for about one week per month - check the dates it is available and plan ahead!
    • Scoring Criteria:
      • One Contribution = 2 submissions during the same viewing period.  (This project will only count once per viewing period.)
      • Extra submissions during the same viewing period will count as extra credit at a rate of 0.2 points per submission.  (Max. credit: 11/10.)
        • One submission during the Oct. 3-11, 2015 viewing period = 5/10
        • Two submissions during the Oct. 3-11, 2015 viewing period = 10/10
        • Three submissions during the Oct. 3-11, 2015 viewing period = 10.2/10
    • To receive credit for participating in this project, you should...
      • On the report screen, in the comment section, please type "Mr. Baker's Class".  This will help me find your report.  Then...
        • Once you have submitted your data, do a screen capture of the results screen, and show it to Mr. Baker.
          • If you've done more than one submission, there should be an option to "view all the data submitted with this device" - you can do a screen capture of that page to document all of your submissions.
        • When you submit your observation, your report will be assigned an ID number.  Write it down and email the ID number to Mr. Baker.
          • This will allow him to look up your report and confirm that you submitted it.
  • iNaturalist
    • This is a social network that focuses on recording and identifying living things.  Go out, find some living things, take a picture and upload it to the site.  This site works with the free iNaturalist app.  You may also want to use the eNature website to help you identify what you see.
    • Note: This project requires you to be at least 13 years old to participate.  If you are under 13, you may choose to have a parent, grandparent, or guardian set up an account that you can share with them.
    • Scoring Criteria:
      • One Contribution = 5 submissions, with identification OR 10 submissions without identification.  (You must ID the organism yourself!)
      • Extra submissions will count as extra credit at a rate of 0.2 points with ID, 0.1 points without ID.  (Max. credit: 11/10.)
        • 8 submissions without ID OR 4 submissions with ID = 8/10
        • 10 submissions without ID OR 5 submissions with ID = 10/10
        • 10 submissions with ID + 3 submissions without ID = 10.3/10
    • To receive credit for participating in this project, you can...
      • Send Mr. Baker an email, telling him the date and location of your submission, and the name of the organism that you identified.  He will then go online to view your entry, to confirm your participation.
      • OR You can log into iNaturalist at school, and show Mr. Baker your submission.
  • The Lost Ladybug Project & Bumblebee Watch
    • Ladybug populations in the US are changing.  Native species are becoming rare, while imported species are becoming common.  This project is trying to find out what is causing this and how we can preserve our native ladybugs.  This site has its own free app: the Lost Ladybug App.
    • Bumblebee Watch is a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America's bumblebees.  This project allows you to help determine the status and conservation needs of bumblebees, and to help locate rare or endangered populations of bumblebees.
    • Scoring Criteria:
      • One Contribution = 1 species of ladybug/bumblebee photographed and submitted.  (Be sure to list your group as "SMHS".)
      • Extra ladybugs/bumblebees of the same species, submitted at least two days apart, may count as extra credit at a rate of 0.1 points.  No credit will be given for multiple photos of the same bug!  (Max. credit: 11/10.)
        • 1 ladybug/bumblebee found, photographed, and submitted = 10/10
        • 2 ladybugs/bumblebees of the same species = 10.1/10
    • To receive credit for participating in this project, you can...
      • Send Mr. Baker an email, telling him the date and location of your ladybug/bumblebee observations.  He will then go online to view your report, to confirm your participation.
        • When you submit your sighting, please list your group as "SMHS".


Please follow good internet safety practices whenever your submit information online!
  • Don't give your full name: use first name/last initial OR first initial/last name.
  • When signing up for a project, don't use your home address or phone number; use the school's instead:
    • Sunapee Middle High School
    • 10 North Road
    • Sunapee, NH  03782
    • (603) 763-5615
  • If you submit an observation from home, don't identify the location as "home" or "my house".  You can list is using the street name, but leave the house number off.  For example: record your sighting of a bald eagle as "North Road" rather than "10 North Road".

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