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- About Us
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.
Be a biologist in your own backyard! Neighborhood Nest Watch participants help answer questions related to the survival of bird populations.
Make Smithsonian scientific collections more accessible for researchers around the globe by transcribing historic records in botany, entomology, and astrophysics.
Place “camera traps” in your community to assist researchers in answering questions about mammal distribution and abundance.
Share your photos of wild amphibians with other citizen scientists as part of the Global Amphibian Bioblitz. Smithsonian scientists, herpetologists, and naturalists around the world are working with to document the distribution and conservation status of every known amphibian species and we need your help!
Young citizen scientists increase observation skills by intensively examining an area of one cubic foot.
Use this electronic field guide to learn about tree species and contribute to biodiversity research.
Assist volcanologists in gathering vital information about volcanic hazards and eruptions.
Become an EOL community member and share your biological data, photos, observations, and questions with the world.
Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL) is a program of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute that promotes conservation of native biodiversity and sustainable use of working lands through research, education, and community engagement. Each year we train citizen scientists to monitor wildlife (birds, plants, pollinators, salamanders, mammals) throughout 15 counties in Northern Virginia.