Citizen ScienceI've always loved nature and am intrigued mostly by plants, probably because they are relatively easy to examine (they can't fly away). But birds and insects intrigue me too, as well as reptiles and amphibians. It's one thing to watch and enjoy plants and wildlife but it's another to watch and report what you are seeing. That's where citizen science comes in.
What is citizen science?"the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists."
SmartphonesWith the advances of smart phones with their cameras and built in GPS, observing and reporting has become quite easy.
Citizen Science ProjectsI've put together this list of Citizen Science projects that I think people might be interested in using.
I really like iNaturalist for reporting any and all organisms. I've reported plants and insects mostly. Things that are easy to capture with a smart phone. I like that it can offer a suggested identification. It's a great way to catalog all of your discoveries in one place. And it appears to be quite popular. As of August 5, 2018 it had almost 12 million observations submitted from around the world.
If I photograph a caterpillar or adult butterfly or moth, I usually report it to BAMONA. If you can't identify it, their experts can help. I really like it's mapping feature.
Odonata Central (Dragonflies & Damselflies)
If you find a dragonfly or a damselfly, I'd recommend reporting it to Odonata Central.
If you need help with identifying an invertebrate like an insect or a spider, try Bug Guide. I use it for all bugs that aren't butterflies/moths or dragon/damselflies.
If you are a bird person you probably already know about Ebird. I recommend it for all your bird sightings.