Citizen Science

Citizen science refers to multiple ways that non-scientists engage with scientific research efforts. The NC State University Libraries supports campus citizen science and shares its values of openness, access, and community engagement and participation.

Citizen Science Campus

NC State undergraduate students will encounter citizen science opportunities in many aspects of campus life. Learn about our Citizen Science Campus.

Citizen Science Club

Citizen Science Club at NC State consists of undergraduate NC State students advocating for scientific research as an interdisciplinary endeavor. This club welcomes students of any degree to become involved in spreading science throughout campus and to the surrounding community, and to promote diversity in science. This club works closely with faculty on campus as well as in the NC Museum of Natural Sciences through participation in citizen science projects and volunteering.

Find a project

SciStarter is a place to find, join, and contribute to science through more than 1600 formal and informal research projects and events.

Borrow technology

The library lends technology in support of NC State's Citizen Science Campus.

Wolfpack Citizen Science Challenge

Through challenges to participate in campus-based studies led by NC State investigators, the Wolfpack Citizen Science Challenge engages students as collaborators in ongoing research about their environment.

NC State and partner citizen science projects:

Candid Critters

Help us study wildlife by running a motion sensitive "camera trap" on your property or public land. You get to look through the animal pictures, then upload them to us. We will use the data to map trends in animal populations across the state and share the results with you. Starting in eastern counties for winter 2016, state-wide in the spring.

Cyclone Center

The climatology of tropical cyclones is limited by uncertainties in the historical record. Patterns in storms imagery are best recognized by the human eye, so we need your help analyzing these storms.


eMammal is a system for collecting, storing, and sharing camera trap data.  The system is designed for scientists and citizen scientists, and anyone who wants to join in the fun and discovery of camera trapping. Professional and volunteer camera trappers use our software to look at pictures, identify animals, and upload them to the Smithsonian Data Repository for review and storage. These data are useful for addressing important scientific and conservation questions, and the pictures provide a unique view into the hidden world of wildlife.

Got Guts?

The shape, or morphology, of the gut makes a huge difference in what an animal can eat and digest. But gut diagrams are only available for a handful of species – and we have no idea how much one individual varies from another. By taking pictures of the guts of each animal you harvest, you can help us map the unknown guts of wildlife.

HOWL: Hofmann Open Water Laboratory

The HOWL team brings volunteers of all ages and local researchers together to collect vital information about the water quality of the Hofmann Forest’s rivers and tributaries, and North Carolina's rapidly changing coast.

Mosquito Byte

This is a smartphone application that allows the user to record a mosquito bite in time and space by simply pressing a button. This record is sent to a map that allows scientists to examine the pattern of mosquito bites. No personal information is collected. This tool can benefit mosquito control agencies in protecting people from mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Current Projects

CitSciScribe, Cat Tracker, Sparrow Swap and others.

Rob Dunn Lab

Rob Dunn and the scientists, communicators and volunteers in his lab aim to tell the stories of the small species–whether on our bodies, under our beds or in our backyards–humans interact with every day but tend to ignore. The ecology and evolution of these species in our private places has barely begun to be explored.

Sentinels of the Sounds

Sentinels of the Sounds seeks to collect photos, locations, and basic information about cypress trees along the shores of our Sounds and rivers in North Carolina. Our goal is to begin to connect the dots to better understand how our shores are changing. If you are out in the Albemarle-Pamlico Sound or some of the major rivers fishing, bird watching, or simply enjoying nature and you see these beautiful trees, snap a picture of them and send it to us.

Sound Around Town

Sound Around Town is a citizen scientist driven study of urban soundscapes and how individuals are impacted by them.

Students Discover

Students Discover offers free, high-quality curriculum to middle school science teachers around the world. These curriculum modules were created in partnership between scientists and educators to support student participation in a broad range of citizen science projects, ranging from measuring fossilized shark teeth to observing bird nests on school grounds.

A Tree's Life

This program is a citizen science study of backyard tree growth in response to global climate change. Your trees can tell us a lot about forests of the future.

Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program Leadership in Public Science Cluster

The NCSU Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program Leadership in Public Science cluster focuses on citizen science and science communication. They conduct research that directly engages the public, particularly those in underserved communities, in citizen science research. They also study the impact of public participation in science, particularly in informal educational settings.