Celebrate World Oceans Day with Citizen Science

Photo; USFWS

On June 8th, people across the world will celebrate World Oceans Day, a day set aside to honor and protect our oceans.

To help you participate in World Oceans Day, we’ve put together a list of 7 ocean-based citizen science projects that need your help.

We are partnering with The TerraMar Project to share SciStarter’s “ocean and water” projects with their global community to transform the way we think about the ocean and the high seas.

Check out the SciStarter blog for updates on your favorite projects and find new projects in our Project Finder!


Photo: Michael Bear
Yukon Marine Life Survey (U.S.)

In 2000, a ship called the Yukon was sunk off the San Diego coast to make an artificial reef. Now divers are needed to record the marine life on and around the Yukon. Volunteers should be experienced diving at depths of 100 hundred feet.


Photo: WHOI

Our Radioactive Ocean (North America Pacific Coast) 

In 2011, a tsunami hit the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan, causing radiation to leak into the ocean. Our Radioactive Ocean is monitoring the resulting radiation levels. Members of the public can suggest sites that should be tested, collect data on radioactivity, and raise funds to cover the cost of the research.

Get Started!

Photo: Gotham Whale/Phillip Ng

Gotham Whale (U.S.)

New York City borders ocean waters that are home to whales and dolphins, and Gotham Whale needs your help to monitor them. Residents and visitors to the city are encouraged to submit photos of marine mammals; the pictures allow scientists to identify and track individual animals.

Get Started!

Photo: Dr. Art Trembanis, U. of Delaware

Subsea Observers (U.S.) 

Scallop fishing is a major industry in the Northeast United States, and scientists closely monitor the scallop population to ensure it stays healthy. Subsea Observers uses underwater robots to take photos of the ocean floor, and then citizen scientists help track the size of the population by inspecting the photos for the presence of scallops.

Photo: NOAA

Redmap (Australia)

The Range Extension Database and Mapping Project needs citizen scientists in Australia to report marine species that are found outside their normal range. The reports help scientists understand how animals are responding to climate change.

Photo: Katrin Lohrengel

Welsh Sea Watchers Project (Wales) 

Dolphins, porpoises, and whales are often seen off the coast of Wales, and citizen scientists can help study these animals by regularly monitoring from the shore. Volunteers are also needed to educate others about marine mammals and the project.

Photo: ReefCheck

Reef Check (Global) 

Reef Check EcoDivers monitor marine life across the globe. In order to participate in this program, divers must complete the full EcoDiver training. Training costs and dates vary by location.

Get Started!

myObservatory, a citizen science platform,  is offering project owners $2,000 in free data services! Find out more.

Contact the SciStarter Team

Email: info@scistarter.com
Website: http://scistarter.com

Categories: Animals, Biology, Ecology & Environment


About the Author

Eva Lewandowski

Eva Lewandowski

Eva Lewandowski is the Citizen-based Monitoring Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, where she coordinates a statewide citizen science network. She has a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota and is an active volunteer.