Top Ten Citizen Science Projects of 2015

Celebrating the Best of 2015

As we start a brand new year, let’s take a few minutes to celebrate some accomplishments in the field of citizen science in 2015:

We also saw more people joining projects and becoming citizen scientists than ever before. Below, we’ve listed the projects that garnered the most interest on SciStarter in 2015. These project pages had more visits than any others in our database. Check them out; there’s sure to be something of interest to you!

The SciStarter Team

Animal Ownership Interaction Study
Are you a dog owner? Want to know if your own behavior influences how your dog acts? This project wants to find out too, and you can help by providing information about you and your dog.
Get started!

Photo: NASA
NASA’s SMAP Satellite Mission
The SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) is a NASA satellite that orbits the earth measuring soil moisture levels. Citizen scientists can collect soil samples from their area to compare to data provided by the satellite.
Get started!

Ignore That
Do you get distracted easily? Can you stay focused even when presented with unimportant information? Participation in this project takes only 5 minutes, and you’ll contribute to research on language and thought processes.
Get started!

Photo: LLNL
American Gut
Inside our guts, there are naturally trillions of microbes. To better understand how these organisms influence our health, purchase a sampling kit and submit a sample of your gut microbes today!
Get started!

Drug Discovery From Your Soil
Many medicines, like penicillin, are derived from natural sources; your help is needed to discover new, life-saving compounds. Submit a soil sample from anywhere in the United States, and researchers will analyze it for fungi that could create new medicines.

Photo: University of Washington  Center for Game Science
When you play this game, you’ll create nanomachines using real DNA sequences and make inroads into the field of synthetic biology. What will you make?
Get started!

Photo: Cancer Research UK
Play to Cure: Genes in Space
Cancer Research UK created this incredible space adventure game that allowed users to analyze genetic data and help develop treatments for cancer while having fun at the same time! The project has now ended, but the results are sure to have long-lasting benefits.
Get started!

Photo: DOJ
The Genographic Project
This project from National Geographic analyzes samples of human DNA to learn how humanity spread across the earth. With a simple cheek swab, you can learn about your own genetic history and contribute to a larger body of knowledge.
Get started!

Photo: USGS
The parasitic Zombie Fly is spreading across North America and infecting honey bees. Your help is needed to track the spread of this dangerous organism.

Photo: Royal Society of Chemistry
Measuring the Vitamin C in Food – A Global Experiment
Children and adults from across the globe can participate in this simple project. With a vitamin C tablet, iodine, and a few basic kitchen items, you can determine how much vitamin C is in your food.
Get started!


The Rogue Winter Stonefly Search is looking for volunteers in and around the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas of Michigan to search streams for stoneflies. Registration endsJanuary 29th.

SciStarter is beta testing new participant tools made possible by the National Science Foundation. Would you like to be a beta tester? Email

Categories: Citizen Science, Newsletter

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.