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

Volunteer as a Land Steward with Maryland Environmental Trust!

If you enjoy walking beautiful land, meeting interesting people, and helping preserve Maryland's natural places and landscapes, become a Volunteer Land Steward with Maryland Environmental Trust (MET). With over 1080 conservation easements totaling 133,000 acres across Maryland, MET has opportunities near you - or further if you like to travel.

Once trained as a Land Steward, you will visit assigned easements, make notes and take photographs, and often meet the landowner or caretaker and learn more about the land. Weekday or weekend visits can fit your schedule. The information you gather and return helps preserve the conservation values and natural conditions of each easement - forever!

Picture of trees and grass and a small pond

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!