Celebrate Halloween With Citizen Science Projects Featuring ZomBees and More!

Welcome to our annual (spooky) edition of the SciStarter Halloween blog! In the spirit of the season, we’re highlighting five projects that impart science with a healthy dose of frights and scares.

But be bold, because your participation also brings critical new data to light and helps advance science everywhere. There’s nothing scary about that!

Read if you dare,
The SciStarter Team


Apocephalus borealis. Image credit: Wikipedia
The ZomBee apocalypse is upon us!


Researchers suspect the parasitic fly Apocephalus borealis is responsible for infecting, and zombifying, honeybees.
The flies lay eggs inside the bodies of honeybees, which grow and hatch, sucking nutrients from their bee hosts. Eventually, newborn fly larvae crawl out of the honeybee’s body and grow into adult flies, beginning the cycle again.


Do you see sick or dead ZomBees near you? Contribute your sightings to ZomBee Watch!


Location: Global

Get Started!

Giant house spider. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Is that a ghoul I hear in the closet?

Perhaps, but it’s more likely one of the many creatures we share our homes with (whether we like it or not).

There are plenty of scary, and fascinating, insects to find inside. Help document the wild indoors for researchers with Never Home Alone.

Location: Global

Get Started!

Saltwater intrusion along the Virginia Eastern Shore. Image Credit: Arielle Bader Photography
There are ghosts haunting the coasts of the world.


Ghost forests are what remains when rising seas wash over coastal trees, leaving them bleached and skeletal.


This spooky phenomenon is an indicator of sea level rise and subsidence, and your observations can help track it.


Location: U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coast

Get Started!

Image Credit: Krzysztof Niewolny/Unsplash
Is there something outside your window?


Scientists want to know about the diversity in your backyard. Explore and photograph the wildlife, flora and fauna around you — both the scary and non-scary kind.


For extra credit identify species by common name, local name and scientific name. Use this citizen science project to connect to others around the globe!


Location: Global

Get Started!

Image Credit: Ali Kazal/Unsplash


Roadkill may be gruesome, but it’s also a tragic testament to our impact on the environment. Report roadkill near you to document areas where roads and vehicles are having an outsize impact on animal populations.


Location: Global

Get Started!

Join us live (but on Zoom!) every Tuesday at 2 pm ET.

Join us on 10/25 to talk about Roadkill Reports and what we can do to help wildlife.

These unfortunate events can affect wildlife populations and natural migratory patterns.

Join us to learn more about how reporting roadkill can help scientist gather data about dangerous areas for animals.

Register for the event here.

Get Started!

Events and Opportunities For Practitioners

Professional Development for Libraries – Introducing New Citizen Science Resources

October 26, 2-3 pm ET

For all librarians! This webinar is part of the Professional Development for Libraries Series hosted by the National Citizen and Community Science Library Network.

Learn about new library kit resources for doing citizen science in the community, along with new webpages on the SciStarter website to help bring citizen science to your community.

The Call for Symposia is Now Open

The C*Sci2023 conference team is seeking proposals that speak to cross-cutting priorities, include contributors and ideas from multiple backgrounds and perspectives and are grounded in practice. Please consider submitting a proposal to share about your citizen science efforts. Proposals are due November 19, 2023.

Find full details and submission guidelines here.

C*Sci 2023 is the only US-based event dedicated to uniting leaders from many disciplines to form powerful partnerships for discovery, learning and action. You can find full event details, including a schedule overview, location information, rates and open calls, on the conference webpage.

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Who Needs Data Literacy Anyway? 

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: Animals, Environment, Featured Projects, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

About the Author

SciStarter Team

SciStarter Team

SciStarter connects you to thousands of searchable citizen science projects in need of your help. Use the Project Finder (SciStarter.org/Finder) to find a project to match your location, interests, and age level. Your free SciStarter account will help you earn credit for participating in projects across apps and websites (use the advanced search option at SciStarter.org/Finder to find Affiliate projects eligible for credit in your dashboard). Together, we can move the world forward!