Feature

Best websites for citizen scientists

Galaxyzoo.org asks volunteers to classify galaxies according to shape. The “greatest discovery to date”: A 24-year-old Dutch schoolteacher spotted a never-before-seen astronomical object that is now the subject of two peer-reviewed articles.

www.windows.ucar.edu/citizen_science/budburst/, home to a plant-phenology program known as BudBurst, asks citizens to “keep tabs” on plants’ life cycles. When flowers bloom or leaves turn, they report changes to climatologists to determine the effects of seasonal variations in climate.

Scool.larc.nasa.gov, a NASA-funded project, notifies citizens every time certain weather satellites pass overhead. Participants step outside and “corroborate cloud-cover readings” to gather accurate estimates of incoming solar energy, which plays a role in climate-change modeling.

Source: National Geographic Adventure

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