Discover ecosystems in your home and backyard…for science!

Species are living on and beside us, and that’s a good thing! Their presence and absence may directly influence our health and wellbeing.

These five projects make it easy for you to make and share observations about the species around you with scientists.

The SciStarter Team

Image credit: Bugs in Our Backyard

Be a bug explorer in your own backyard by doing an insect survey!

Help scientists answer questions like “How does insect diversity vary over time?” and “How does insect diversity vary across geographic and urban scales?”

Location: United States

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Image credit: Questagame

Play this fun game to gather observations on biodiversity and report back to scientists. You can join and create quests, earn gold, join clans/teams, compete against other players, identify sightings and more!

Your finds are geotagged, so researchers can see what lives where, helping them study biodiversity everywhere.

Learn more about Questagame in a recent SciStarter LIVE!

Location: Global

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Image credit: NestWatch

Your backyard is a wilder place than you might imagine. Many species of plants, fungi, insect and animal inhabit the world right outside your door, and scientists want to learn about them!

Take photos and submit them to What is in my Backyard? and show scientists what’s going on in your own wilderness.

Location: Global

Get Started!

Image credit: Matt Bertone

Nature doesn’t stop at your doorstep. There are potentially dozens of species of insects and other arthropods living inside your home.

This indoor biodiversity actually hasn’t been studied much! Help scientists at North Carolina State University increase knowledge by using a simple app to upload pictures of what you see.

Location: Global

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Image credit: Maria Teneva/Unsplash

What do ants like to eat? This simple question has no good answer — yet.

Take part in figuring it out by preparing a picnic for ants! Offer different kinds of food, and record which ants snack on what. Then, tell scientists what you saw so they can better understand ant biology and habits.

Learn more with a recent SciStarter LIVE! featuring Ant Picnic and entomologist Magdalena Sorger.

Location: Global

Get Started!

SciStarter LIVE!

Thursday July 20, 7pm ET: Science Update with NSTA and NASA. Science educators: Come discuss the first Moon landing, the new Artemis missions and learn about active NASA research that we — and your students — can do together. Register here.

Tuesday July 25, 2pm ET: Moths. It’s National Moth Week! Experts Elena Tartaglia and Liti Haramaty share how anyone can observe moths and submit data to researchers studying these important insects. Register here.

In case you missed it: Using Citizen Science to Monitor Sharks. Special guest Michael Bear, shark expert with Ocean Sanctuaries, shares how to safely observe sharks and contribute observations to help shark researchers. Watch the recording.

Citizen Science Podcast

Help NASA With Space and Earth Based Research! (Special Video Episode)

In this episode, learn about three NASA projects and hear why NASA has made a commitment to support a LOT of citizen science.

Play Podcast

What’s happening near you today? With Science Near Me, find a broad range of local science-related discussions, festivals, policy forums and events. Discover activities to do at home, star parties with local astronomy clubs, science nights at nearby bars and much more! Check it out!

The latest blogs:

Volunteer Community Scientists Key to Pioneering UMaine Tick Study

C*Sci 2023 – Reports From the Field!

Citizen Science Observations Are Showing Up In Dozens of Published Research Papers

Citizen Science Month 2023: Preliminary Outcomes

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, Biology, Ecology & Environment

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 ( 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 to find Affiliate projects eligible for credit in your dashboard). Together, we can move the world forward!