Gobble up these six awesome projects to help science…from home!

Image by Innviertlerin from Pixabay

This post was originally published as a SciStarter newsletter. Sign up to receive bi-weekly citizen science in your inbox!

Thank you for turning your curiosity into impact with citizen science. All of us at SciStarter are thankful for our nearly 100,000 registered members and the more than three million data contributions you’ve made to SciStarter affiliate projects so far this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!
The SciStarter Team

Dogs know that the secret to a successful Thanksgiving is fine whines. The Family Dog Project scientists invite you to complete surveys on The Emotional Content of Dog Whines and on Dog Separation Behavior. Feel free to consult your “Lab” partner!

Location: Online

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On Thanksgiving, we pause to thank the pioneers of yore, who survived dangerous seas to emerge, victorious and resolute, on distant shores. Yes, we’re speaking of our brave forefishes, who had the backbone and fortitude to blaze a trail on which we and our fellow vertebrates now travel! Show your fish appreciation by viewing underwater images to help an AI program learn to ID them for conservation scientists.

Location: Online

Image Credit: Andrew Jansen

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Is your computer bored? Or even stricken with existential angst about how the most powerful invention in the history of humankind spends much of its day delivering Buzzfeed clickbait and spam? Then sign it up for the World Community Grid, where its unused computer power will be put to use solving knotty environmental challenges and making important medical advances! Your computer, and the world at large, will thank you.

Location: Online

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If you’re thankful for an abundance and diversity of songbirds, join Project Feederwatch and help scientists document the birds in our backyards. As a participant, you’ll periodically count the birds at your feeders from November through early April. The results will help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.

Location: Global

Image Credit: Gary Mueller

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If you live in the Western U.S., why not add the Thanksgiving Day Western Bird Count to your annual holiday festivities? You’ll spend one hour identifying the birds that visit a 15-foot circle you’ll place in an easy to observe spot. Reports from similar spots all over the west will help researchers tally the relative abundance of our more numerous birds.

Location: Western U.S.

Image Credit: Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

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Everyone knows that eating the wrong foods will cause health problems. Yet few of us make healthy food choices. Join the Healthy vs. Non-Healthy Foods Project to help researchers figure out why. Your responses to a short Survey Monkey form will help scientists better understand why we eat what we eat.

Location: Online

Image Credit: The Neurographics Group

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April 2021 is Global Citizen Science Month, presented by SciStarter, the National Library of Medicine, Arizona State University, the Citizen Science Association and many other partners.

Project Leaders: Find free resources and support to help plan and promote your project in April!

People everywhere: Check out the event calendar and learn more!

Get Started!

Attend the next event in the Citizen Science & Libraries series to learn how YOU can build your own air quality sensor and monitor air quality. Plus, if you’re part of a library staff and/or a community leader, we have a leadership breakout group for you at the end!

Nov. 18, 2 PM ET (English, closed captioning, and American Sign Language interpretation); 4 PM ET (Spanish, closed captioning).

Register for the event in English

Acceda a la versión en español de este evento

Get Started!

A team of researchers with Oregon State University is seeking your input to understand how citizen science projects address science identity development of their project volunteers. Learn more about the online survey. 

Get Started!

Every Monday at 6 PM ET, SciStarter and the NC State University Citizen Science Campus co-host “Make it Count Monday.” Join us online to learn about citizen science and how you can get involved in projects to advance research in North Carolina…and beyond!

Get Started!

New on the Blogs

How Old Family Fishing Photos Unlock the History of Atlantic Fisheries, via the SciStarter Blog

Radar is Revolutionizing the Study of Migrations, but Researchers Need Birdwatchers’ Help, via Discover Magazine

Citizen Science Projects Featuring Insects, Spiders and their Relatives, via Science Connected


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!

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About the Author

Bob Hirshon

Bob Hirshon

Bob Hirshon, President, Springtail Media LLC Bob Hirshon heads up Springtail Media, specializing in science media and digital entertainment. He is Principle Investigator for the NSF-supported National Park Science Challenge, an augmented reality adventure that takes place in National Parks. Hirshon headed up the Kinetic City family of science projects, including the Peabody Award winning children’s radio drama Kinetic City Super Crew, McGraw-Hill book series and Codie Award winning website and education program. Hirshon can be heard on XM/Sirius Radio’s Kids Place Live as “Bob the Science Slob,” sharing science news and answering children’s questions.