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Citizen Science Surveys

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Citizen Science is scientific research conducted by volunteers and its success depends on public participation. Learn about citizen science projects in Ohio below and get involved!

Ohio Frog and Toad Calling Survey

In Ohio, naturalists have been documenting the occurrence of amphibians for over 160 years. In 1838 Dr. Jared Kirtland published the first list of amphibians collected in Ohio. Since then, a myriad of biologists have worked to determine how Ohio's frogs, toads and salamanders are distributed. The Ohio Frog and Toad Calling Survey utilize the efforts of volunteers from around the state to conduct audio surveys at selected breeding sites.

Learn more about the Ohio Frog and Toad Calling Survey

Breeding Bird Atlas II

A breeding bird atlas is a grid-based survey used to document the status and distribution of all bird species that breed within a given country, state or county. Atlas projects are largely accomplished with the help and dedication of a statewide network of volunteers that document the breeding status of all bird species encountered. It has been more than 20 years since the completion of fieldwork on the first Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas. We are excited to announce that fieldwork for Ohio's second atlas will start in spring 2006. The ultimate success of Ohio's next breeding bird atlas depends on the active participation and efforts of birders and outdoor enthusiasts from throughout the state.

Learn more about the Breeding Bird Atlas II

Spider Survey

The Ohio Spider Survey is an effort to find out how many species of spiders live in Ohio. The original list of Ohio Spiders was published by William Barrows in 1924 and included 306 species. The current project was begun in 1994 and the list of spider species known for Ohio has now reached 583. There are probably many more species yet to be discovered. The aim of the Ohio Spider Survey is to fill the major gap in our understanding of natural spider communities in Ohio.

Learn more about the Ohio Spider Survey

The Ohio Dragonfly Survey

The Ohio Odonata Society is trying to document the current species richness and distribution of dragonflies and damselflies across the state. With over 165 species, this is no small task! In this updated survey they will be using both traditional collections of specimens and photographic records through iNaturalist. The new survey will run from 2017 through 2019 and culminate in a lay-person Ohio Dragonfly and Damselfly book similar to the Ohio Bird Atlas.

Learn more about the Ohio Dragonfly Survey

Bird Sleuth-Cornell University

BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study and real data collection through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s exciting citizen science projects. BirdSleuth provides educators with kits that encourage kids to answer their own questions about nature using the scientific process; spend time outdoors, connecting with nature by focusing on the fascinating sights, sounds and behaviors of birds; motivate kids by the real-world importance of the data they enter online, which scientists use to understand and conserve birds. Birdsleuth offers a variety of resources for all types of educators no matter the setting. 

Frog Watch USA

FrogWatch USA is a citizen science program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that provides individuals, groups and families with an opportunity to learn about wetlands in their communities and report data on the calls of local frogs and toads. Volunteers collect data during evenings from February through August and have been submitting data for over 15 years.


The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. 

Journey North

Journey North engages students and citizen scientists around the globe in tracking wildlife migration and seasonal change. Participants share field observations across the northern hemisphere, exploring the interrelated aspects of seasonal change.

Nature's Notebook-The National Phenology Network

Phenology is the study of seasonal changes in plants and animals.  Why use phenology in your education program? Observing phenology using Nature's Notebook offers place-based, hands-on learning opportunities that provide a collaborative platform for site-based educators, promotes cross-subject engagement while addressing standards of learning, and can be used to identify and answer local scientific research questions addressed by many natural resource, volunteer and gardening groups. Phenology is an excellent lens for teaching about the natural world.

Project Feeder Watch

Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.

Scientific American

Scientific American has gathered a collection of citizen science projects across the country.  Some are regional but there are good resources for educators to review and even potentially model a study of their own. This site also includes some K-12 education materials and resources for science.


SciStarter is a place to find, join and contribute to science through recreational activities and citizen science research projects. Their database of citizen science projects enable discovery, organization and greater participation in citizen science. Learn more about citizen science and check out their Ten Principles of Citizen Science.