Citizen Science

Students taking a close look at plant in Grand Canyon

Students on a field trip to Grand Canyon National Park take part in a project studying the effects of climate change on desert bighorn sheep.

NPS photo

Enjoy science? Love the national parks? Want to see the parks in a new way? Get involved in citizen science! Citizen scientists assist specialists as they conduct scientific tasks, such as observations or measurements, and engage visitors or local communities in education efforts. Your participation as a citizen scientist helps parks to conduct research and develop management plans on how to adapt to climate change. Explore the citizen science projects below to get an idea of what's going on in parks and inquire at a park near you for opportunities in your area.

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  • Saguaro National Park

    Saguaro Citizen Science

    Saguaros, cacti, and wildflowers

    Every ten years, Saguaro National Park hosts a census of its namesake plants. The 2010 Saguaro Census assessed the population of saguaros, as well as the plants in 45 permanent study plots, to better understand the density of plant populations in the park's landscape. Volunteer citizen scientists assisted in field monitoring the plants. Read more

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Using Citizen Scientists to Document Life Cycle Changes

    Two girls identifying a tree

    Citizen scientists of all ages help uncover how the timing of natural events, such as flowering or migration, is changing from year to year in the Great Smoky Mountains. Read more

  • Group of students looking through binoculars

    In 2010 high school students from San Diego learned about climate change in Glacier National Park as they met with climate change researchers, surveyed mountain goats, andfor somesaw snow for the first time. Read more