New Year’s Resolutions from SciStarter

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Image Credit: Photo by Nagatoshi Shimamura/Unsplash

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? If you haven’t (or even if you have), let us suggest one for you: Experiment with citizen science projects! To help you out, here are five projects from SciStarter that will get you outside, take you to new places and stretch your brain. Happy New Year!

The SciStarter Team

The Great Barrier Reef is a destination on bucket lists around the world. This year, travel to a realm of lush corals and exotic sea creatures from anywhere, online with Virtual Reef Diver. Help catalogue photos of the vast reef, or, if you’re really feeling adventurous, snap some of your own.

Location: Global

Image Credit: Photo by Jondave Libiran from Pexels

Get Started!

Who are we? What are we doing here? How can you think about your brain … with your brain? These are (some) of the questions you’ll help answer with a series of fun phone and tablet games from University College London aimed at exploring how our brains work.

Location: Online

Image Credit: Brain Explorer Research App

Get Started!

While you’re out there walkin’ in a winter wonderland, why not measure it, too? Community Snow Observations asks participants to gather data on the snowfall around their backyards to help validate scientific measurements. All you need is a yardstick — and maybe a pair of boots.
Location: Global

Image Credit: David Hill, Oregon State University

Get Started!

See debris, track debris. That’s your mission with Marine Debris Tracker, a project that aims to fight pervasive plastic pollution. The first step is gathering a global database of where debris (plastic bottles, shopping bags, discarded face masks and more) ends up — and that’s where you come in. Log your sightings on a handy app and help scientists fight plastic pollution wherever you find it. And despite the name, you can use Marine Debris Tracker to track litter anywhere: not just on the coast.

Location: Global

Image Credit: Rich Blinkinsop

Get Started!

This year, take a quick spin — or maybe 365? You’ll do that anyway, of course, because we live on a spinning planet. But you can also put that spin to good use helping NASA measure the Earth’s gravity at different locations. With a smartphone, measure centrifugal forces and use them to calculate the pull of gravity wherever you are. Try not to get dizzy!

Location: Online

Image Credit: NASA

Get Started!

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! Read our new welcome letter to get started.

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

Get Started!

As part of continued programming with the Network of the National Library of Medicine and the All of Us Research Program, SciStarter is hosting an event series in January, February and March to help you get started in one of three citizen science projects that advance real world research. Then, share your experiences with the scientists you helped and ask them anything!

Learn about the different events in the series and RSVP.

Image Credit: Human Computation Institute

Get Started!

The Library & Community Guide to Citizen Science is presented by SciStarter and Arizona State University, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Network of the National Library of Medicine. Libraries are quickly becoming hubs for citizen science. Your library may already be involved in citizen science programming. If so, bravo! For countless others, citizen science is still a bit of a mystery.

We created this guide to help you navigate the rapidly changing landscape, access resources, learn about projects and programs and explore a myriad of opportunities to support your plans to bring citizen science to your library or community-based organization (CBO).

Get Started!

On January 27 at 3 PM ET, join SciStarter and 4 Seasons, a community in New Jersey, for an introduction to citizen science and three projects you can do from home. Anyone of any age is welcome, though this webinar is an especially great fit for retirees that are new to citizen science. RSVP

Image credit: Emily Maletz, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Get Started!

New on the Blogs

How Making a Picnic for Ants Can Help Us Understand This Crucial Species, via the SciStarter Blog

How One Person in Pakistan Made a Difference for Air Quality, via Discover Magazine

Is Rainwater Safe to Drink? via Science Connected

More From SciStarter

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!

Categories: Citizen Science, Newsletter


About the Author


Nathaniel Scharping

Nate is a science writer and editor who has reported everywhere from particle colliders to archaeological digs. He's also a cofounder of Lunaris Creative, an agency focused on scientific storytelling for brands and nonprofits. You can find clips of his work at