2013: A Year of Citizen Science

2013 was my Year of Citizen Science. A whole year championing outstanding conservation projects powered by an army of volunteers. Science isn't just for scientists and you don't have to fly to an exotic rainforest to be part of something exciting and worthwhile, so get involved with a project today.

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2013: My Year of Citizen Science

Note: My year has now passed, but you can read a summary from the year, here. Most of the projects below can be done at any time, so please do have a browse and give them a try.

Science isn’t just for scientists, and you don’t have to be deep in the Amazon rainforest or on a remote Pacific Atoll to get involved with important conservation projects. In fact, although lots of ‘proper scientists’ are experts in their small fields, when it comes to any other topic, they are just citizen scientists too.

I think the real power of citizen science is down to three things.

  • It allows ordinary people to take part in real, important, awesome science projects.
  • Research has shown that data quality from Citizen Scientists can be excellent.
  • It makes huge ambitious project possible, thanks to an army of volunteers.

So here’s to the hundreds and thousands of wildlife loving armchair naturalists up and down the country, I hope you’ll accept my challenge.

Every month, I’m going to champion a new Citizen Science project or theme, and give you everything you need to get involved. We’ll start small, in fact in January we’ll start from the comfort of your armchair or the security of your smart phone. We’ll grow, and by the end of the year you’ll be a veteran citizen scientist. Stay tuned.


Citizen Science Challenges:

Oman Camp Fire Team

Citizen Science And How Expeditions Can Leave A Lasting Legacy


From the swarms of crabs rolling across the beach, the militant camels that would raid our flour supplies, evening camp fires with our new Omani friends and of course the jet black night sky…

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Citizen Science Challenge #10: Evangelise


What I’m really interested in doing is introducing citizen science to people who have never tried it, never heard of it and think it sounds boring.

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Citizen Science Challenge #9: Geology


Geology rocks. With that out of the way, onwards to explore the surprising variety of citizen geo-science projects that you can get involved in.

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Citizen Science Challenge #8: Oceans


You can help monitor phytoplankton in the worlds oceans by building a simple Secchi Disk and joining the Secchi Project.

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Citizen Science Challenge #7: Big Butterfly Count


I’ll be the first to admit that it can be tough to persuade people to assess the health of trees or fish around in ponds for amphibians, but butterflies really sell themselves.

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Citizen Science Challenge #6: Tree Health Survey


The newest initiative in my Year of Citizen Science, this month we’re on the look out for invasive pests.

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Wildflower Plant Survey

Citizen Science #5: Wildflower Count


Now entering its fourth year, the annual Plantlife wildflowers count survey is carried out by volunteers across the country.

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Citizen Science #4: Reptiles and Amphibians


Spring finally seems to be on it’s way and with it will come some of the UK’s most exotic and exciting species.

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Citizen Science #3: Seeking Species


Once upon a time heroic gentleman explorers set off for strange new exotic lands on the insatiable hunt for new species.

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Citizen Science Challenge #2: Commit Yourself


This month the challenge is easy, and takes barely a moment. Commit yourself to becoming a Citizen Scientist by signing up to some of the worthwhile projects kicking off this year.

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More Articles:

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Film Premiere: Life on the Edge


Of all the adventures that working in conservation has brought my way, premiering a film has to be the one that I least expected. I’ve never been to a premiere before, I don’t know anything about films – in essence, I really have no idea what I’m doing!

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8 Reasons that Zoos are Critically Important for Conservation


A couple of weeks ago, there was an accident at Cincinnati zoo. A child fell into an enclosure with a gorilla named Harambe, and to protect the child the gorilla was shot.

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Do you Need a Masters or PhD to Work in Conservation?


Is science and academia the only route in? What if you’ve had a different career and want to move into the area – do you need to go back to university and study?

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20 Tips For First-time Conservation Bloggers


I really believe that the more conservation, environment, wildlife and nature bloggers out there, the more mainstream environmentalism will become. That can only be a good thing.

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