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Citizen Science

Daily weather map displayed at the SmithsonianIllustration: A daily weather map, compiled from telegraph reports from citizen scientists, is displayed in the Great Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle (1858).

Since its founding, the Smithsonian has relied on the curiosity, enthusiasm, and dedication of citizen scientists.

From James Smithson’s explorations as a “Gentleman-Chemist” and Joseph Henry’s weather telegraphy to 21st century projects such as the Encyclopedia of Life, the Smithsonian is engaged with citizens of the world in increasing human knowledge.

Learn more about what you can do to help.

Cardinal

Neighborhood Nest Watch

Be a biologist in your own backyard! Neighborhood Nest Watch participants help answer questions related to the survival of bird populations.

Find out more about the Nest Watch Program »


Smithsonian Transcription Center project

Smithsonian Transcription Center

Make Smithsonian scientific collections more accessible for researchers around the globe by transcribing historic records in botany, entomology, and astrophysics.

Find out how you can volunteer »


Encyclopedia of Life logo

Encyclopedia of Life (EOL)

Become an EOL community member and share your biological data, photos, observations, and questions with the world.

Lend your expertise »


eMammal

eMammal

Place “camera traps” in your community to assist researchers in answering questions about mammal distribution and abundance.

Learn how you can participate »


BioCube

BioCube

Young citizen scientists increase observation skills by intensively examining an area of one cubic foot.

How much life can you find? »


Leafsnap

Use this electronic field guide to learn about tree species and contribute to biodiversity research.

Learn more about the Leafsnap app »


myVolcano

Assist volcanologists in gathering vital information about volcanic hazards and eruptions.

Learn about volcanoes and share your observations »