What is Citizen Science?

Citizen science is the collaboration between members of the public and science researchers to answer legitimate, real world questions. Together, citizen scientists and researchers explore questions and problems with unknown answers. Historically, many of the first citizen science projects focused on ornithology (the study of birds). Today, there are hundreds of citizen science projects available, researching everything from bird distributions to human behavior, galaxy classification to jellyfish populations, and climate change to deforestation. Many of the problems we face today are global in nature. Small research teams can't be everywhere at once to study these complex issues. That's where citizen scientists come in. They provide research teams with eyes, ears and data on a much broader scale.

Read on to find out about what it means to be a citizen scientist, some of the citizen science porjects currently running at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and other places to search for projects.