Be Inspired: Real Backyard Science Projects

Sheri Reed

Photo by jessieS

Always want to be a scientist? Well, now's your chance.

PLENTY magazine writes about  several cool citizen science projects that might inspire the wishful environmental scientist in you—especially when you and the kids can collect critical scientific data right in your own backyard!

With cuts in scientific research funding and environmental troubles on the rise, here are some easy ways you can "play scientist," collect much-needed scientific data, and give back to the planet (white lab coat optional):

  • Project BudBurst: Take note of leafing and flowering times for native trees and plants in your area and submit observations online. The data collected is used to monitor climate change across the nation.
  • The Great Sunflower Project: Plant sunflowers and check them bimonthly for honey bees, bumblebees, and other visitors. Log results online to help track declines in bee populations.
  • Great Backyard Bird Count: Count birds wherever and whenever you like, even in your own backyard. Print out a regional bird checklist and submit it online. The GBBC helps provide a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. This year it will be held February 13-16, 2009.

In 2009, be a citizen scientist by taking part in one of these fun and meaningful science projects for kids and adults. Wonderful for gardeners, tree huggers, birders, and nature lovers of all types.

Find more Citizen Science Projects.

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