How can you have fun while simultaneously contributing to science? By joining the global citizen science movement. The Nat, independent naturalists, and outside organizations have created numerous citizen science projects aimed at helping scientists better understand the species that exists in any given region at any given time. All submitted observations contribute to the exploration and creation of scientific knowledge. Below are several projects you are free to contribute to at your leisure.
To better understand the biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles from Southern California and Baja California, the Museum created the Amphibian and Reptile Atlas of Peninsular California. To participate, all you need to do is take photos of snakes, frogs, and other reptiles and amphibians you encounter, upload them to iNaturalist, and suggest an identification. Shortly after your submission, the iNaturalist community will identify the animal you submit. Your observations help our scientists better understand our region’s reptiles and amphibians. More.
San Diego County, with natural environments ranging from coast, up through foothills and mountains, and down to the desert, is a hotbed of botanical diversity. The San Diego County Plant Atlas project is an intensive plant specimen collecting effort that began in 2003 and continues to this day. With the help of citizen scientists, Museum researchers have been able to collect a wealth of data about plant species found in the county. To participate, take photos of wild plants you come across in San Diego County, upload them to iNaturalist, and suggest an identification. Shortly after your submission, the iNaturalist community will identify the animal you submit. Your observations help our scientists better understand our region’s plant communities. More.
The Nat is taking part in Snapshot Cal Coast, a statewide effort to document plants and animals found along the California coast. Participating is easy—all you need to do is head to the coast June 13-20, take photos of plants and animals you encounter, and upload them to the iNaturalist app or website. No need to stick to the beach and tide pools, any coastal area in California is fair game.
The Museum’s Canyoneers will be leading a free hike at Sunset Cliffs National Park on Wednesday, June 20 at 8 AM. Please feel free to join this hike to learn more about iNaturalist and our coastal flora and fauna. New to iNaturalist? Not to worry, Museum staff will be on hand at this hike to help get you started. More.