Citizen Science

Citizen science refers to multiple ways that non-scientists engage with scientific research efforts. By tracking information on the plants,animals, and environment we can track the overall health of our watershed. Check out these projects and participation opportunities. 

NC Museum of Natural Science

Learn about a variety of Citizen Science opportunities in NC. Track birds, squirrels, clouds and more.

Lake Observations by Citizen Scientists & Satellites

The goal of this NASA-funded project is to better understand why the volume of water in lakes changes over time. Are lake volumes affected most by precipitation, water table height, evaporation or some other factors? Knowing the answer to this question will help us better understand how water moves in relation to these lakes and the surrounding land. 

NC Botanical Garden

Visit the NCBG website for a list of local current projects you can participate in.


Log your nature observations, from rare butterflies to common weeds, into a worldwide database shared with scientists all from your phone or tablet. Join local citizen science observation projects and bio-thon events. Get help with identifications, follow observations from others and see what species are found near you.

NC Stream Watch

Learn about NC streams while exploring your own.The goal of NC Stream Watch is to host observations and images of North Carolina's beautiful water resources for community members to see the diversity of waterways from different parts of the state. NC Stream Watch is a program intended for educational purposes only. 

Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Each February participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.  

National Moth Week

National Moth Week celebrates the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths. “Moth-ers” of all ages and abilities are encouraged to learn about, observe, and document moths in their backyards, parks, and neighborhoods. National Moth Week is being held, worldwide, during the last full week of July. NMW offers everyone, everywhere a unique opportunity to become a Citizen Scientist and contribute scientific data about moths. Through partnerships with major online biological data depositories, NMW participants can help map moth distribution and provide needed information on other life history aspects around the globe.