Citizen science portal

Science is all around us. It plays a part in getting us to work, powering our buildings, and making sure the food and water we consume is safe. Every day, researchers are working to improve our society and discover new things about the world in which we live.

There are science projects and science experiments happening in your community that you can get involved in. Some may only be available at certain times of year or in certain areas, but with a little exploring you can find exciting ways to take part in science.

If you are a scientist and you lead a citizen science project please email us and we'll add it to the list.


Feature

City Nature Challenge

Participate in the annual City Nature Challenge (CNC)! City Nature Challenge 2024 is a four-day bioblitz taking place this year in two parts: April 26th – April 29th for the observation period and April 30th – May 5th for the identifying period. Check out the iNaturalist project here. Participants in cities around the world engage in a collaborative competition to see who can get the most wildlife observations, find the most species, and engage the most people in a citizen science activity designed to track biodiversity. People outside of participating cities can join the global non-city CNC to contribute and by helping to identify what was found. For more information on CNC 2024 visit citynaturechallenge.ca.


Science projects

Title Description Location

Infant and child studies in language, music, & cognition

University of Toronto

Do you have a child between 1 month and 15 years of age? Are you curious about children's music, cognitive, and language development? Every year, hundreds of families participate in studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and by doing so provide us with valuable information about development in the early months and years of life. You too can participate! We have developed game-like procedures that are fun for infants and children while providing important information for us. Participating families schedule a visit at their convenience to our facilities at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Most studies require one visit lasting less than 45 minutes. We are also offering online studies that can be completed from the comfort of your own home.

Ontario

Leveraging Generative AI and Data Cybersecurity to Conserve and Foster Local Biodiversity

STEM Fellowship, RBC Future launch, Let's Talk Science, Cisco, University of Calgary, Canadian Commision for UNESCO

STEM Fellowship High School Big Data and AI Challenge is the national Open data inquiry program mobilizing data-native generation talent to find solutions for sustainable development. Under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO every year students tackle one of the UN SDGs.

Canada

North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS)

Environment and Climate Change Canada in coordination with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS, Patuxent Wildlife Research Centre), and the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO, Mexico)

The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a standardized point count survey conducted by thousands of dedicated volunteers across North America. It is the foundation for science-based decisions concerning bird conservation and management in Canada and the United States because of its wide geographic scale, multiple-species coverage, scientifically rigorous approach, and long history.

Canada

Protect fish species in Canada – Wildlife Health Tracker

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Join a community science initiative to protect fish species in Canada by providing important information about fish sightings. Report fish health observations on the website or search for the "Wildlife Health Tracker" app. This tool was created collaboratively by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS) and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC).

Canada

Tree Check Month

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

August is Tree Check Month

Every August, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) encourages everyone in Canada to take an active role in protecting Canada's plants by joining plant health enthusiasts from coast to coast to coast who will be participating in Tree Check Month.

Canada

Friends of the Muskoka Watershed Citizen Science Program

Friends of the Muskoka Watershed Citizen Science Program

The Citizen Science Program was developed to further enhance our understanding of the benefits of residential wood ash to native tree species throughout the watershed and beyond. Citizen Scientists identify two trees of the same species, and similar size. Sample kits and filtered, chemically analyzed ash are provided and spread on a test tree, and ash is not spread on the control tree. Height, diameter, canopy cover and general health are monitored of each tree over time.

Ontario

Snow Knowledge Collective

University of Toronto

Students, educators, families: Head outside this winter and investigate snow conditions in your community with this citizen science project. Is there snow on the ground? Grab your ruler and measure snow depth, and see if you can make a snowball!

Share your observations easily in the online portal, then explore your observations and others alongside true-colour satellite data in the interactive map. Follow us on Twitter @sknowledgeco for updates and learn how to get started!

Canada

Visual Assessment Survey Tool (VAST)

Niagara Coastal

All you need is a smartphone, and a desire to walk on the beach.

Track the changing coastal conditions of the Great Lakes with VAST! Citizen scientists complete surveys and submit standardized, repeatable images to monitor changes to our shorelines over time. This information can be used to advocate for policy changes, and guide coastal management decisions.

Ontario

Notes from Nature - Digitizing Biological Collections in Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Biodiversity is at the core of a sustainable agriculture, therefore Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada maintains collections of living and preserved biological material, predominantly of Canadian origin. These add up to millions of insects, plants, fungi, bacteria, and nematodes. With your help transcribing the specimen labels, we can bring this biodiversity data online and available for research and discovery. Join virtual expeditions with volunteers around the world on a straightforward online platform which lets you track your contributions to our Canadian collections.

Online

Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) Citizen Science Program

Pacific Salmon Foundation

The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) Citizen Science Program collects high-resolution data on oceanographic conditions and lower trophic levels in the Salish Sea. Contact PSF to report unusual sightings like dead fish and harmful algal blooms https://www.facebook.com/CitizenSciencePhytoplankton/

British Columbia

Citizen Science in Surrey

Metro Vancouver Regional District, Surrey's Natural Areas Partnership (SNAP), Surrey's Salmon Habitat and Restoration Program (SHaRP)

The City of Surrey in southwest BC is utilizing community or citizen science as a way for residents to share their daily explorations of nature. All the valuable data being gathered contributes to the City's goals around biodiversity conservation.

British Columbia

City Nature Challenge

Canadian Wildlife Federation, California Academy of Sciences and the Los Angeles Natural History Museum

Participate in the annual City Nature Challenge! The City Nature Challenge is a four-day bioblitz that takes place at the end of April each year. Cities around the world engage in a collaborative competition to see who can get the most wildlife observations, find the most species and engage the most people in citizen science for nature.

Canada

Breathe Easy

Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Ecology Ottawa

Breathe Easy is an Ottawa-based citizen science project run by Sierra Club Canada Foundation's Ontario chapter. The project has two goals: 1) to better understand citywide air quality by supplementing permanent monitoring stations with low-cost monitors; and 2) to empower action on air pollution at all levels.

Help us understand local air pollution by becoming a program ambassador or air quality sampler!</ p>

Ontario

Stop-Carcasses (Laurentides)

Stop-Carcasses Laurentides invites cyclists, motorists and walkers to photograph carcasses, animals or even traces on roads and shoulders throughout the Laurentians. The photos are then compiled into a directory that will identify animal movements and road kill hotspots so that municipal and provincial authorities can plan the construction of wildlife passages allowing animals to move under and over roads without causing accidents for motorists, as well as wildlife mortalities.

Quebec

My Tree

Natural Resources Canada

Looking for a tree to plant? My Tree is a free app by the Canadian Forest Service that shows which trees will grow best in which Canadian locations. The My Tree app includes more than 180 native and introduced tree species and their colour-coded hardiness zones. You can download My Tree from the Government of Canada's Mobile Centre for Blackberry, iOS, and Android or through your platform app store.

Canada

Beetle Watch

Douglas College

Help Douglas College track the spread of a newly introduced beetle species across British Columbia. No experience necessary, scientists of all ages and abilities are welcome! Email iue@douglascollege.ca for more information.

British Columbia

Mackenzie-Beaufort Ice Breakup Facebook Group

Natural Resources Canada

This group brings together people interested in the progression of ice breakup in the Mackenzie-Beaufort region. All are welcome to join and submit pictures and comments!

Northwest Territories

Prairie Pest

Prairie Pest Monitoring Network (PPMN)

The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network is a prairie-wide insect monitoring program. It is designed to keep the Canadian agriculture industry informed of the risks to crop production from pest species, and to highlight and conserve their natural enemies. Subscribe to their weekly newsletter to get weekly information on crop insect and wind forecasts as well as risk maps and protocols!

Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan

Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN)

Environment and Climate Change Canada

The Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) is an aquatic biomonitoring program that provides nationally standardized protocols and online tools to monitor and assess the health of freshwater ecosystems. Sign up for CABIN training to become a certified member of the network to collect and share data in the national CABIN database.

Canada

Plant Hardiness of Canada

Natural Resources Canada

Submit geo-referenced findings of plants in your area! These findings are combined with plant occurrence information to better understand the relationship between plant distribution and climate.

Canada

National Harvest Survey

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Randomly selected Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit holders are asked to participate in two annual surveys:

  • The Harvest Questionnaire Survey (HQS) and
  • The Species Composition Survey (SCS).

These surveys help estimate the number of each species of waterfowl and other species considered as game bird that are hunted, and the age and sex composition of the harvest.

Canada

BC Parks iNaturalist Project

Brian Starzomski at the University of Victoria, John Reynolds at Simon Fraser University, BC Parks, BC Parks Foundation. Sponsored by BC Parks, Sitka Foundation, and the Pacific Wildlife Foundation.

Help document and celebrate the biodiversity of BC Parks! When you visit BC's provincial parks and protected areas, collect photographic observation of plants, animals, other organisms and natural features, and upload them to the iNaturalist website or app. These observations help researchers develop a deeper understanding of what parks are protecting and can inform management decisions to sustain these protected areas for generations to come.

British Columbia

BC's Big Nature Challenge

BC Parks Foundation, eBird, Birds Canada, and the BC Cetacean Sightings Network. Supported by BC Parks, the Starzomski Lab at the University of Victoria, and Dr. John Reynolds at SFU. Sponsored by YVR and Teck.

Join thousands of other proud British Columbians in B.C.'s Big Nature Challenge, presented by the BC Parks Foundation. The Challenge continues, as we work towards 2 million observations while also reaching 15,000 species and advancing our knowledge on the many rare and threatened species we share this province with. Anyone can help crowd-source one million observations of wildlife in our beautiful province, while also getting the health benefits of spending time in nature.

British Columbia

Abeilles citoyennes (in French only)

Université Laval

Abeilles citoyennes is a participatory science project aimed at inventorizing the biodiversity of wild pollinating insects (bees and hoverflies) throughout Québec. Led by a research team from Université Laval, the project is using public assistance to collect data on the distribution and abundance of pollinator species in Quebec's main agricultural regions.

Quebec

Agroclimate Impact Reporter

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Through a simple monthly update, agricultural producers can report on the impact of weather and climate conditions and events in their region. The volunteers provide valuable information about the current agricultural situation and emerging risks.

Canada

Birds Canada

Birds Canada

Every single day, Citizen Scientists (volunteers) like you share their energy, skill, and bird sightings through Birds Canada's research and monitoring programs–and this action helps inform conservation action!

Canada

Budworm Tracker

Natural Resources Canada/Healthy Forest Partnership

The spruce budworm is the most destructive insect in eastern Canadian forests. Citizen scientists play a major role in providing insight into why populations rise and spread the way they do. Watch this video to learn more.

New Brunswick, Quebec

Canadian Sclerotinia Initiative

McGill Pulse Breeding and Genetics Lab

To evaluate the epidemiology of the white mold disease, we aim to build a Sclerotinia sample collection from Quebec and Ontario farms. A comparative phenotypic and genomic analysis of the collected isolates will be performed. The results would help us to unravel resistance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to different fungal strains, as well as other susceptible crops. Please help our research by collecting sclerotia in your area, along with the coordinates of the sampled location, and send them to us.

Ontario, Quebec

Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative

Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC)

Contact the CWHC regional centre in your area to report sick or dead wildlife and help track the health of wild populations.

Canada

Citizen Science: Pain Research

BC SUPPORT Unit: British Columbia Academic Health Science Network

You can help guide health research and improve the lives of others with similar health problems. By sharing your experiences, we can learn how pain affects different people, and together we can discover new research ideas.

Online

Colony B

McGill University

Colony B is a fast paced puzzle game specifically designed for phones and tablets. But Colony B is much more than that! Every game played enables you to help researchers working on microbes and human health. Play Colony B and become a citizen scientist!

Online

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Environment and Climate Change Canada

Join this volunteer network of weather observers who measure and map precipitation (rain and snow) in their communities.

Canada

DRAW - Data Rescue: Archives & Weather

McGill Observatory

Help us uncover the story of Montreal's evolving climate captured in the McGill Observatory's historical weather logs. Your transcriptions will help scientists and historians gain a better understanding of our environment and its impact on our city and its people.

Online

Eagle Watch

Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation

The Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation is dedicated to the study of Eagles and other birds of prey, primarily through the documentation of their spring and fall migrations along the mountains of Western Canada.

Alberta

Community Science Program

Invasive Species Centre

Join for access to workshops, training materials and resources aimed at helping citizens report and manage invasive species in their communities.

Ontario

eButterfly

Espace pour la vie, Vermont Center for Ecostudies, University of Arizona, University of Ottawa

This website allows users to track their butterfly sightings and locations; organize, store and share photos; and make a valuable contribution to science and conservation.

Canada

EcoSpark

EcoSpark

EcoSpark offers a variety of citizen science projects to engage youth and communities in taking an active role in protecting and sustaining their local environment. To learn more about our citizen science programs, resource guides, monitoring initiatives and how you can inspire positive change in your community, visit our website.

Ontario

FluWatch

Public Health Agency of Canada

Become a FluWatcher and help monitor the spread of flu-like illnesses in Canada.

Online

Frog Watch

NatureWatch

Find out how to participate in a program to help increase knowledge of frogs and toads in Canada.

Canada

Ice Watch

NatureWatch

Contribute to Canadian climate change research by helping to record and analyze when ice forms and thaws on bodies of water.

Canada

iNaturalist.ca

Connect with nature in a whole new way. Explore. Learn. Contribute to conservation with iNaturalist.ca

Canada

Milkweed Watch

NatureWatch

Monarch butterflies need milkweed plants for their reproduction. Help track the health of butterfly populations in Canada by identifying the location of milkweed plants.

Canada

Mission Monarch

Space for Life Insectarium

Share your observations of monarchs and milkweeds to contribute to the conservation of this butterfly, a species at risk. In order to find and protect the monarch's critical breeding habitat, we invite all citizens to share their observations of monarch butterflies, caterpillars, eggs and chrysalises, as well as milkweed, the only plant on which the monarch lays its eggs.

Canada

Neighbourhood Bat Watch

Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science

Support bat conservation by locating bat colonies and counting the number of bats living in them.

Canada

Ocean Networks Canada - Citizen Science

Ocean Networks Canada

Become a digital fisher or coastbuster, and follow live video feeds to help Ocean Networks Canada study the oceans.

Online

Plant Watch

NatureWatch

Participate in Plant Watch to help scientists discover how, and more importantly why, our natural environment is changing.

Canada

Report an Earthquake

Natural Resources Canada

Did you feel it? Help seismologists determine how your area may respond to future earthquakes by contributing intensity information on the earthquakes you experience.

Online

Shark sightings

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Document and report your encounter with a shark. Most people don't know what to do when and if they see a shark. The answer is: enjoy the view from a safe distance. Sharks are wild animals, and deserve the same level of respect given to any other wild animal.

Canada

Smart Platform: Social Innovation for Public Health

DEPtH Lab, University of Regina

Work with digital epidemiologists to solve critical public health crises such as climate change, COVID-19, and non-communicable disease.

Online

STREAM (Sequencing The Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring)

University of Guelph, WWF Canada, Living Lakes Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada

STREAM combines citizen science community-based monitoring with environmental DNA identification (DNA metabarcoding) technology to generate data on biodiversity especially for freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates (i.e. river bugs) to better understand freshwater health across Canada.

Canada

Volunteer bird surveys

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Data from bird surveys provides information on population status and trends that help identify species or populations requiring conservation action. These bird surveys depend on citizen scientists of all ages and skill levels.

Canada

Water Rangers

Water Rangers

Water testing for everyone

Our free, open-data platform, water testing kits, and online course are tools for anyone to learn about and protect our lakes, rivers, and oceans.

Canada

Waterton Lakes National Park

Parks Canada

Waterton Lakes National Park has several annual citizen science projects that allow everyday people to gain in-depth knowledge of species found in the park and the issues facing Waterton.

Alberta

Wild Whales: Report marine animal sightings

Fisheries and Oceans Canada/B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network

Support the conservation of marine animals by reporting sightings of whales, dolphins, and porpoises in British Columbia waters.

British Columbia

Worm Watch

NatureWatch

Discover the diversity beneath your feet by participating in Worm Watch. Help scientists research all the earthworm species in Canada.

Canada

Beluga Bits

Assiniboine Park Zoo

View underwater photos of beluga whales and help Assiniboine Park Zoo's Beluga Bits project investigate their social structure, natural history, and health!

The Beluga Bits project is using underwater photos to study the beluga which spend their summers in the Churchill River estuary in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Check out the Beluga Bits project on Zooniverse.org to see underwater photos of beluga, answer questions, and help us learn more about these amazing whales!

Online

Watch out for invasive insects!

Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canadian Plant Health Council

Do you spend time monitoring, photographing or observing insects? If so, your help is needed to watch for and report invasive and migratory insect pests that harm plants, causing damage to Canada’s environment, farm lands, forests, parks and other natural areas. Early detection is critical for slowing the spread of these insect pests.

Canada

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