Be a Citizen Scientist
3 mins read

Be a Citizen Scientist

Citizen science is a collaboration between scientists and everyday people curious about the world around them. Scientific research can take years to accomplish and data can be limited by a researcher’s geographic location. When citizen scientists participate in a project, it not only speeds up the time research takes to get completed, but it allows data is collected around the world, which broadens the scope of research. 

The fields advanced by citizen science are diverse and include astronomy, medicine, ornithology, entomology, and ecology. This diversity of topics means that there is a citizen science project for everyone’s interest. Participation typically requires only a smartphone or an internet connection. While some citizen science projects have participants going outside, others allow you to participate without even leaving home. 

This summer, Plano Public Library is offering a series of four virtual programs that focus on different citizen science opportunities. No prior citizen science experience is required!


Monday, May 6 at 6 pm – Register

Managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, eBird seeks to gather information about birds through citizen scientists and freely share the information to power data-driven approaches to science, conservation, and education. Learn how to use eBird while birding and how to find more birds to add to your life list. Use your new eBird knowledge to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day on May 11 by submitting an eBird checklist on this “Global Big Day”. 

Backyard Bugs

Monday, June 3 at 6 pm – Register

Many of our most beloved bugs are in decline, including ladybugs, monarch butterflies, and fireflies. Learn about the insect-focused citizen science projects The Lost Ladybug Project, Firefly Atlas, Journey North: Monarchs, Butterflies and Moths of North America, and Big Bee Bonanza that will show you how you can help researchers save our native insects. 


Monday, July 1 at 6 pm – Register

Scistarter is an online citizen science hub that allows users to browse and participate in citizen science projects. Each entry on Scistarter has a detailed overview of the project to give you an idea of the project’s purpose and what participants are expected to contribute. Learn how to find and join projects on the Scistarter website. Scistarter is a great resource for all ages and is a perfect way to find a summer activity that engages curiosity and makes a difference in the world around you 


Monday, August 5 at 6 pm – Register

iNaturalist is an online social network of nature-loving people sharing biodiversity information to help one another learn about the natural world around them. You will learn how to add your observations to iNaturalist, join projects, and participate in a bioblitz. Use your newfound skills to participate in the Plano Parks for Pollinators Bioblitz 2024 in September! 

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