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Every season, between $235 and $577 billion (U.S.) worth of annual global food production relies on pollinators, according to Bayer Crop Science. But pollinators face multiple threats, including habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, and emerging pathogens.
Fortunately, you can help protect pollinators. Make SciStarter your home hive for discovering new sources of citizen science opportunities and sharing vital pollinator data with scientists!
The SciStarter Team
If you’re too busy to read this entire newsletter, you can go straight to the Pollinator Gardens page on SciStarter and find some of our favorite pollinator-related projects! You can also explore pollinator projects with the SciStarter Project Finder.
National Moth Week (July 18-26) is when “moth-ers” of all ages and abilities are encouraged to learn about, observe, and document moths in their backyards, parks, and neighborhoods. And if you have an outside light and a sheet, you have what you need to participate!
Hummingbirds’ tiny bodies and high metabolism make them sensitive to any changes to their food supply. The National Audubon Society needs your help in researching how the little birds are coping with climate change.
Location: United States
Ecosystems rely on a diversity of pollinators, some specialized to pollinate just one species, others that visit a range of flowers. As a volunteer for the California Pollinator Project, you’ll monitor wildflowers and report on what pollinators visit them.
Bees are pollinator superstars! And it’s not just honeybees; bumblebees, sweat bees, mason bees, carpenter bees, and thousands of others also do their part. If you live in the United Kingdom, help identify bee-friendly plants by submitting your sightings of bees to the Spot-a-Bee project.
Location: United Kingdom
Follow the seasonal migrations of birds, insects, and other creatures (including the remarkable monarch butterfly) with this popular citizen science project and website.
Monarch caterpillars are almost as showy as their parents. Their coloring warns predators that, thanks to their diet of toxic milkweed leaves, they are also just as bitter-tasting as monarch butterflies. Keep track of these very hungry caterpillars with the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project!
Location: North America
Sunflower seeds are such great snacks that we sometimes forget that they’re also great for growing sunflowers. One great thing about the Great Sunflower Project is that it’s not just limited to sunflowers! Pick a plant, observe it, and record what sorts of pollinators come to visit it.
Bumble bees are cute, fuzzy, and endearingly uncoordinated. And when a bumblebee discovers an exceptional food source, instead of performing an elaborate dance to share the news with its hive-mates, it returns to the nest and just runs around excitedly, like an over-caffeinated bunny. For all these reasons and more, you’ll want to sign up for Bumble Bee Watch, where you’ll learn to identify and monitor the health of these comical pollinators.
Location: North America
Watch a webinar recording of “What We Learned from Citizen Science Month,” presented by SciStarter, ASU and the Network of the National Library of Medicine, for a summary of the program’s evaluation outcomes.
For Educators: Articles from SciStarter & the National Science Teaching Association
Did you know that SciStarter helps create citizen science content for educators? Read recent articles about the Crowd the Tap project and amphibians & citizen science in publications from the National Science Teaching Association.
Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!