Become a Museum Citizen Scientist

Museum researchers need your help! We offer a wide variety of citizen science projects developed by our staff that welcome your participation as a citizen scientist. Document dragonflies, identify monkey blood cell types, or classify galaxies by browsing the list of Museum-based projects on our Current Projects page.

Citizen Science Adventures

Citizen Science Adventures is a series of online videos and discussions intended to introduce you to a citizen science project and help you participate on your own from home. Visit the Prairie Ridge Facebook page on Mondays for a new video that teaches you how to participate, then try the project out for yourself. Return on Friday afternoon to discuss what you observed and learned and gets answers to your questions in our live discussion. Note that you are welcome to view the videos and participate in the projects at any point outside of the times posted below.

We currently have the following Adventures available:

Lost Ladybug Project

LOST LADYBUG PROJECT

Monday, April 20, 2020 – Video Release

Join Chris Goforth to learn about ladybugs! The video covers how to collect and submit your data, how to find and photograph ladybugs, and how to identify the common species of North Carolina.

Friday, April 24, 2020, 2:30-3:30PM – Live Discussion

Bring your ladybug photos, stories, and questions about the project to our live chat! Leslie Allee of the Lost Ladybug Project will join Chris Goforth (Citizen Science) and Bonnie Eamick (Prairie Ridge) for a lively discussion about ladybugs and citizen science. Register to get the online meeting link.

Important Links

eBird

EBIRD

Monday, April 13, 2020 – Video Release

Join Melissa Dowland to learn about birding for science! The video walks you through how to make bird observations, identify the birds you see using the Merlin Bird ID app, and enter and submit your data to eBird.

Friday, April 24, 2020, 2:30-3:30PM – Live Discussion

Let’s talk birds! Join the Museum’s Melissa Dowland (Teacher Education), Brian O’Shea (Ornithology), and Chris Goforth (Citizen Science) to share your birding stories and get answers to all of your bird, eBird, and citizen science questions.

Important Links

  • eBird: Learn more on the project homepage
  • eBird Smartphone App: Submit your data from your phone with this free app, available for Apple and Android
  • Merlin Bird ID: This free smartphone app for Apple and Android is a great tool for identifying birds you see
  • Quick Guide to eBird: This guide will walk you through how to use the eBird smartphone app or website to submit your bird data
Project Squirrel

Project Squirrel

Monday, April 6, 2020 – Video Release

Join Chris Goforth to learn about how to document your neighborhood squirrels for Project Squirrel! The video covers how to collect and submit your data and how to tell Eastern Gray and Fox Squirrels apart. It also includes some cute squirrel footage!

Thursday, April 9, 2020, 2:30-3:30PM – Live Discussion

Bring your squirrel photos, squirrel stories, and questions about the project to the Prairie Ridge Facebook page! Chris will be available to respond immediately to comments, live chat style.

Important Links


Globe Observer Clouds

Globe Observer Clouds

Monday, March 30, 2020 – Video Release

Chris Goforth is back with a new project – and this one has you looking upward to report the clouds you see to NASA! Watch the video to discover how NASA uses the data to train their satellites, some tips for identifying the different types of clouds, and learn how to use the Globe Observer app to submit your Clouds data.

Friday, April 3, 2020, 3:00PM – Live Discussion

Online location will be announced on the Prairie Ridge Facebook page on Friday morning.

Important Links


Natures Notebook

Nature's Notebook

Monday, March 23, 2020 - Video Release

Join our Head of Citizen Science, Chris Goforth, to learn how to document signs of spring as a citizen scientist for Nature’s Notebook. She’ll share a video on the Museum’s Facebook page that will introduce the project, demonstrate how to collect data for a native tree species, and walk you through how to enter the data with the free Nature’s Notebook smartphone app. Come back here for valuable resources and links that will help make your first Nature’s Notebook observation a success!

Friday, March 27, 2020, 3:30PM – Nature’s Notebook Live Discussion

Online location will be announced on the Prairie Ridge Facebook page on Friday morning.

Important Links

Tree Identification Resources

  • Ask a Naturalist – Ask the staff at the Museum’s Naturalist Center for tree identification help
  • iNaturalist – This free app has built-in image reconigtion software to help you figure out our tree’s species
  • Plants by Field Guide – A free app that will identify your trees from a photo, available for Apple and Android.

Upcoming Adventures:

  • April 13: eBird
  • April 20: Lost Ladybug
  • April 27: e-Butterfly