Citizen Science


Stacy Epperson
Education Specialist
Aquatic Resource Education Dept
Chesapeake and Coastal Service
MD Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-2
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-260-8775

Citizen Science

What is it?

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, host of one of the largest citizen science projects in the world, eBird, defines it as:

"... projects in which volunteers partner with scientists to answer real-world questions."

Citizen Science is a rapidly growing movement in which the general public collaborates with professional scientists to tackle current issues by gathering real-world data.

Featured Project

Maryland Biodiversity ProjectMaryland Biodiversity Project volunteers in the field

Maryland Biodiversity Project (MBP) is a non-profit organization focused on cataloging all the living things of Maryland. Our goal is to promote education and conservation by helping to build a vibrant nature study community. The project was started in June 2012 by Bill Hubick and Jim Brighton. They have already cataloged over 17,000 species with the help of citizen scientists around the state. MBP also works with schools to determine the amount of biodiversity on the school property. Visit this link to learn more:

Bill Hubick and Jim Brighton

Typically focused on the natural world, citizen science efforts include, but are not limited to:

  • observing wildlife
  • recording behaviors, and
  • biological sample collection

Why is it important?

The benefits of engaging in citizen science can be seen on every level, from the local to the global. When individuals get involved scientists can literally have hands and eyes all over the planet. At the same time, making observations or collecting samples from one’s local environment connects that person with their own community, allowing them to be an active participant in monitoring and protecting the world around them.

How can I help?

Getting involved is easy! Click here to view the resources listed to find a project that is compatible with your interests and availability and then make contact!