Citizen Science @ UMN

Citizen Science projects at the U of M

Discoveries unfold, breakthroughs happen, and the future is being made at the U of M. Now more than ever, discoveries are made thanks to crowdsourced projects that connect volunteers—citizen scientists—with active University research.

What is Citizen Science?

Gaining new knowledge means digging through a lot of data, and citizen science utilizes a network of people to help professional researchers with data collection, analysis, and reporting. No formal training is required to become a citizen scientst, and projects are designed to make participation easy and accessible (often from any corner of the globe online).

Projects conducted in collaboration with or under the direction of professional researchers and institutions like the University of Minnesota ensure integration of explicit and tested protocols or workflows for collecting or processing data; vetting of data by professional researchers; and specific measurable goals for public education, community building, and engagement.

Get Involved

Interested in becoming a citizen scientist? Project involvement ranges from outdoor group obersvations to online solo analysis. Explore the following University projects, and get started today!

Science & Engineering

Galaxy Zoo
Galaxy Nurseries
Muon Hunter
Radio Galaxy Zoo
Supernova Hunter

Arts & Humanities

Decoding the Civil War
Measuring the ANZACs

Nature & Environment

Antarctica: Weddell Seal Count
Aquatic Invasive Species Detectors
Driven to Discover: Enabling authentic inquiry through citizen science
Fish Kill Reporting Map 
Forest Pest First Detector Program
iFish Forever (a.k.a. iFish Minnesota)
Kestrel Watch
Mapping Change
Minnesota Bee Atlas
Minnesota Bumble Bee Survey 
Minnesota Frog & Toad Calling Survey
Minnesota Master Naturalist Program
Minnesota Phenology Network
Mississippi River Twin Cities Important Bird Area Landbird Monitoring Program
Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
Project BirdSafe
Red-Headed Woodpecker Recovery
Snapshot Serengeti
Wasp Watchers

Zooniverse @ UMN

Lucy Fortson, professor and associate head of the University's School of Physics and Astronomy, is one of the cofounders of the world’s largest and most popular citizen science platform, the Zooniverse. Fortson also leads the U's Zooniverse team—so far, the Zooniverse project has led to over 100 peer-reviewed research articles! Read more:

Citizen Science evolves to engage new projects, participants
Crowdsourcing helps researchers analyze large collections


Citizen science hubs
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Citzen Science Toolkit

Professional organizations

Citizen Science Alliance
The Citizen Science Association


Citizen Science Today is an experimental publication which highlights good writing and clear-sighted scholarship to track the broader conversation around citizen science.

For Researchers

Research teams interested in developing their own citizen science project can visit the Zooniverse project builder—all you need is your data and a few hours to play with task templates.


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