You Don't Have to Be a Scientist
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
The natural world can seem like it’s full of mysteries and unknowns to an untrained eye. For those of you who haven’t yet joined us for an identification workshop on charismatic macrofauna, like bees or butterflies, it may seem that only the trained biologist would be able to contribute to the scientific community. However, the community of “citizen scientists” is breaking through that barrier. Interested individuals who consider themselves to be curious lay-people can contribute vast amounts of observational data from all over the world. Many citizen science groups are digitally based and rely on “the average person” to provide unique local information on phenology, behavior, and species identification. This information can help the professional scientists understand what is happening in the world outside of their scope of study and can help fight invasive species, or understand the impacts of climate change. We encourage you to explore such organizations as Project Noah, Project BudBurst, or the Maryland Biodiversity Project. So grab your phone, your binoculars and start exploring! Snap a few pics, make some notes about what you noticed and share them with the scientific community!