Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.

How to be a citizen scientist

Reading Time: 3 minutes

So you want to become a citizen scientist? Today is your lucky day!

Here are a few ways YOU can become a citizen scientist…


1. Mammal Net

Watch hours and hours of secret animal footage on Mammal Net. You can contribute to mammal monitoring across Europe.

2. Nature Scot’s Grassland Project

Help locate and protect Scotland’s remaining fragments of species-rich grasslands as part of the Nature Scot Grassland Project. 

3. Herbaria@Home

Digitise the information from the collections of wild plants held by museums and universities in the UK and beyond with Herbaria@Home.

4. Penguin Watch

Count penguin adults, chicks and eggs in far away lands to help us understand their lives and environment with Penguin Watch!

5. Seabird Watch

Help monitor seabird populations by tagging time-lapse images. Right now, you can count kittiwakes!


Out and about

1. National Moth Recording Scheme

Record and report moths to contribute to the understanding of how they are faring across the UK with the National Moth Recording Scheme.

National Moth Recording Scheme | Butterfly Conservation ( 

2. Urban Flora of Scotland

Record flowering plants, ferns, mosses, liverworths, lichens, fungi and algae growing anywhere within the your town or city with Urban Flora of Scotland. Just look at the pavement and you’ll be a scientist! 

3. UK Bettle Recording

Did you know there at 18 beetle recording schemes to choose from? Choose your favourite group and help to understand their occurrence around the country!

UK Beetle Recording | UK Beetle Recording (

4. Nature’s Calendar

Track the effects of weather and climate change on wildlife near you by reporting what you see with Nature’s Calendar.

Nature’s Calendar (

5. Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels

Report sightings of both red and grey squirrels to help us understand where they are located!

Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels – Saving Scotland’s red squirrels through community action (


At the beach

1. The Big Seaweed Search

Record living seaweeds that you find at the seashore to help monitor the effects of environmental change on Britain’s sea life with Big Seaweed Search!

The Big Seaweed Search

2. The Great Nurdle Hunt

Search for and record nurdles (small plastic pellets that can be mistaken for food by marine organisms) with The Great Nurdle Hunt. Pop them in the bin once you’ve found and recorded them.

The Great Nurdle Hunt, Reducing plastic pellet pollution at sea.

3. Great Eggcase Hunt

Submit sightings of shark and ray eggcases (also known as mermaid purses) with the Great Eggcase Hunt.

Shark Trust Great Eggcase Hunt

4. Shoresearch

Identify and record the wildlife on the shores across the UK to help better understand the effects of pollution, climate change and invasive species with Shoresearch.

Shoresearch | The Wildlife Trusts

5.  Beachwatch

Clean and record litter from beaches to campaign for a healthier and cleaner ocean.

Beach cleans | What you can do | Marine Conservation Society (


In the garden

1. Garden Dragon Watch

Monitor lizards and amphibians in your garden to help with their conservation.

Garden Dragon Watch | Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (

2. Garden Butterfly Survey

Record and report butterflies to contribute to the understanding of how they are faring in gardens across the UK.

Home | Garden Butterfly Survey

3. Living with mammals

Record the mammals that you see each week and any signs they leave behind – like droppings or footprints.

Living with Mammals survey – People’s Trust for Endangered Species (

4. UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme

Spend ten minutes counting pollinators to contribute to a Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count).

Welcome to the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) | PoMS (

5. Rainfall Observers

Contribute to the national rainfall network to accurately capture the distribution of rainfall across Scotland.

Rainfall Observers | CS Portal site (



Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.