DNA Barcoding Citizen Science Projects!

Here are this week’s featured projects on SciStarter. Interested in learning about more citizen science projects? Try our Project Finder, which connects you to 600+ curated projects around the world!

We’ve scanned our database for awesome DNA barcoding citizen science projects!

We are all familiar with barcodes, but what do barcodes have to do with wildlife, cockroaches, and microbes? DNA can be thought of as a barcode – every species has their own unique sequence. Through these projects, you can help researchers document the diversity of life through DNA analysis! Learn More


BioTrails participants will collect and identify invertebrate specimens in the context of eelgrass habitat restoration in Frenchman’s Bay and climate change research in Acadia National Park. DNA will be extracted from these specimens first to create a DNA barcode reference library for the study habitats, then use it for identification. Get started!

The National Cockroach Project

Of course you don’t have any cockroaches in your home, but if you did, wouldn’t you want to know: How does your cockroach compare with the cockroach down the street, across the state, in another country? Send in your dead cockroaches! High school students and other citizen scientists will analyze their DNA! Get started!

Project MERCCURI – Microbes in SPAAACE!

Project MERCCURI is an investigation of how microbes found in buildings on Earth (in public buildings, stadiums, etc) compare to those on board the biggest building ever built in space – the International Space Station (ISS). Get started!

If you’d like your citizen science project featured on SciStarter, e-mail jenna@scistarter.com. Want even more? Subscribe to our newsletter!

The SciStarter Weekly Featured Projects are curated by Jenna Lang.

Categories: Citizen Science

About the Author


Lily Bui

Although she holds dual non-science bachelors’ degrees in International Studies and Spanish from the University of California Irvine, Lily has long harbored a proclivity for the sciences. A daughter of an engineer and an accountant who also happen to be a photographer and musician, respectively, Lily grew up on the nexus between science and art. Lily has worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; served a year in AmeriCorps in Montgomery County, Maryland; worked for a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter in California; and performed across the U.S. as a touring musician. She currently works with WGBH-TV Boston and Public Radio Exchange (PRX) in Cambridge. In her spare time, she thinks of cheesy science puns (mostly to entertain herself). // Tweets @dangerbui