Citizen Science is about getting everyone, from experts to amateur biologists, school children or enthusiastic beginners, involved in science.
It’s a great way to get outside, to learn more about the natural world and contribute to important scientific research. Across the world, volunteers gather information vital to protecting and improving our environment, from spotting butterflies to identifying new galaxies, from counting birds to collecting worms.
So how do I get involved?
- We’ve got lots of simple ideas for easy ways for you to get involved, whatever your experience
- Visit our Citizen Science Blog – we post updates on Citizen Science projects and ways for you to get involved.
- TCV supports Citizen Science in Scotland through the Scotland Counts Project
- Get involved in Citizen Science with your community group
- Take part in our flagship hedgehog conservation project – HogWatch Scotland
Why is it important?
Taking part in a Citizen Science survey is one of the most useful ways you can help the environment and expand our scientific knowledge. Information gathered by Citizen Scientists is vital to scientists across the UK in understanding how the environment is doing and where more action is needed, so by getting involved you really can make a difference.
Nearly 90% of all the species and habitat records collected in the UK, come from Citizen Scientists; the data collected by volunteers is essential for understanding our environment and making decisions about how to protect and improve it. Environmental monitoring of the natural world around us by Citizen Scientists, such as rainfall patterns and river flood levels, has supported our knowledge of the cycles of nature for centuries. New media technologies have opened up a host of opportunities for input of vital data from casual and dedicated observers alike.
What are the benefits?
Citizen Science is much more than just science. Getting involved is fun, helps develop skills and connection with others. It improves health and wellbeing and helps us all feel more connected to the environment around us. It also enables communities to:
- Be more active outdoors
- Bring people of different ages together
- Work together around a central activity, locally focussed projects
- Develop and share local skills and knowledge
- Work together to tackle environmental or social justice issues
- Gather knowledge about the environment to inform community based environmental projects
- Gather knowledge about the environment to support scientific research and environmental management decisions