Citizen science refers to research collaborations between scientists and volunteers that expand opportunities for scientific data collection while also providing access to this information to community members. Volunteers follow a protocol and explore the topic, while the data are used to answer research questions. Citizen science programs, usually addressing questions that require long-term, large-scale data collection, are a great way for people to contribute to science. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums have long participated in a range of citizen science programs, ranging in topics from bird and butterfly surveys, to beach monitoring, to using camera traps to identify which animals are living in local landscapes.
Citizen Science at AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums
Every year, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums provide information about their field conservation and science activities to AZA’s Conservation and Research Database. Members enter program updates each year; follow the link and use the search fields to explore how individual AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are engaging in citizen science. Read more about the AZA community’s commitment to conservation and science.
Find a Citizen Science Program of Interest to You
AZA actively supports and promotes citizen science programs around the country, since participation in these programs connects people of all ages to nature. SciStarter offers a searchable database so you can find a program of interest to you – and if you manage a citizen science program, be sure to add it to SciStarter!