Getting Started - Notes for New Citizen Scientists


You are entering an exciting world of discovery, innovation, education, and fun.  We believe that everyday people (like you and me) have an important role to play in advancing science.  That may seem crazy, but while the idea of private citizen scientists making advanced scientific discoveries may seem impossible OpenScientist can help you make it a reality.

First, check out the following starter projects to get a feel for what everything is about.  All have been hand-selected for their ease-of-use, scientific impact, and ability to make the work entertaining and fun.  Just click to our blog posts on each to learn a bit more and follow the "Getting Started is Easy" instructions. 

  • Watch for Backyard Squirrels: Project Squirrel is a University of Chicago initiative to understand the populations of grey and fox squirrels. The squirrel's ability to live in both urban and rural areas makes this a highly accessible project for citizen scientists across the country; squirrels can thrive in both. And even if there are none in your backyard, take notes at work or while you are driving; both regular and occasional observations are welcome. 
  • Taking a Trip to the MoonZoo - The MoonZoo project asks users to help map moon craters using brand-new satellite data.  Scientists have never had this much detail before and need your help cataloging it all.  There is also a "Boulder Wars" game that asks users how many lunar rocks can be seen in various pictures.  Just watch a quick tutorial video and in less than 10 minutes you'll be viewing brand new moon photos and learning about our nearest neighbor.
  • SnowTweets - All you need is a ruler and a twitter account.  Whenever it snows in your area just do a quick measurement of how deep it is, and tweet this to the SnowTweets group.  It takes no time to learn and just a few minutes to measure.  But this let's scientists understand Snowfall data already collected by satellites and helps develop new weather forecasting and climate change models.
If you don't like an individual project come on back and try another one...there are plenty to choose from! But hopefully you'll spend some quality time on the project and find ways to get further involved. In those cases please let us know so we can help everyone else get more involved too.

Finally, feel free to check in on the OpenScientist (Blog) web site whenever you are looking for new projects or just want to catch up on everything happening in the field.  Besides linking you to projects we want to whet your appetite for science and connect you to the powerful impact other citizen scientists are having.  So get involved, have fun, and come around again real soon!