New York State 

Marine Education Association

Citizen Science

Being Updated

To add citizen science opportunities for teachers or students, please send an email to
  • Volunteer Opportunities with the DEC..

  • Citizen Science Central
    Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research. The site is currently administered by the Department of Program Development and Evaluation at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

  • Coastal Steward (Port Jefferson, NY)
    Volunteers can participate with the Shellfish Restoration Project. You will help to grow of the shellfish seed and place them into protected sanctuaries. Also, participate in the Adopt-A-Beach or Sponsor-A-Beach programs. 
    Click or call (516) 946-6560.

  • Friends of the Bay (Oyster Bay, NY) Become a water quality monitoring volunteer or help with other efforts to preserve and protect the waters of the Oyster Bay-Cold Spring Harbor estuary. 
    Click or call (516) 922-6666.

  • Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey 
    Sample and tag horseshoe crabs along New York’s coast during spring spawning surveys.
      Cornell Cooperative Extension (throughout NY)
      Project Limulus (north shore Long Island)
      LI Horseshoe Crab Network

  • Long Island Seaport & Eco Center (LISEC) (Port Jefferson, NY) 
    LISEC needs volunteers to do beach clean-ups, shellfish restoration, and to help with marine education and geology programs. We also need people with carpentry skills to work with our wooden boat building program. 
    Click or call (631) 474-4725.

  • Long Island Water Sentinels (Suffolk and Nassau Counties)
    Volunteers are needed to test waterways on a regular basis for baseline data monitoring.  Test kits and training are provided.  Children are welcome with responsible adult supervision. 
    Click or call (631) 560-0055

  • National Phenology Network
    The USA National Phenology Network brings together citizen scientists, government agencies, non-profit groups, educators and students of all ages to monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States. The network harnesses the power of people and the Internet to collect and share information, providing researchers with far more data than they could collect alone. 

  • North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP)
    Frog and toad populations around the world are declining due to habitat loss, climate change, fungal disease, and contaminants. Monitoring programs that keep track of where frogs and toads are, and how they are doing, will be a critical part of their conservation and long-term sustainability. Volunteers drive a pre-determined route just after sunset 4 times throughout the spring and summer and listen for calling frogs and toads for 5 minutes at each of the 10 stops on the route. Prior training is provided, and passing an online quiz on identifying frog and toad calls is required. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Click here or E-mail for more information

  • Phytoplankton Monitoring Network
    As a NOAA-sponsored outreach program, the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) teaches students, teachers, and the general public about phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms. Volunteers sample various sites along the coasts of many different states, from Hawaii to Massachusetts, and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Access everything you need to monitor or to get started monitoring with the PMN. Equipment specifications, sampling protocols, training materials, useful links, and ID practice.

  • River Herring Monitoring Program
    River herring stocks along the east coast are declining, likely due to a combination of dams, water quality issues, invasive species, over fishing, bycatch losses, and increases in predator populations. Monitoring Hudson River tributaries will help to determine the extent of their use by migratory river herring during spring spawning months. Volunteers visit their local tributary twice a week from April 1st to May 31st, and observe the stream for fifteen minutes, monitoring for signs of river herring. River herring identification training is provided. Click here or E-mail for more information.

  • Southold Protection in Aquaculture Training (SPAT) (Southold, NY)
    Volunteers help to maintain their shellfish hatchery and gardens, with boatbuilding, and assist at the aquaculture facility which grows clams oysters and scallops. 
    Click or call (631) 852-8660, ext. 34.

  • South Shore Estuary Learning Facilitator (sSELF) Program (throughout Long Island)
    The sSELF project was designed to empower school and/or community groups to be active stewards of their local estuarine environment through education and monitoring. The Long Island South Shore Estuary encompasses 325 square miles of shallow bays and tidal tributaries located along the south shore of Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York. 

  • “Trees for Tribs”
    The Hudson River Estuary Program's "Trees for Tribs" initiative is a program that offers free native plants to landowners who qualify for stream buffer restoration projects. The program was developed to reforest unhealthy stream buffers along tributaries (“tribs”) in the Hudson River estuary watershed. “Trees for Tribs” hosts volunteers for seedling potting events in late April at NYSDEC Region 3 Office in New Paltz and tree planting throughout the Hudson Valley in May. All ages are welcome, but younger volunteers must be accompanied by an adult. On-site training is provided. Click here or E-mail for more information.

  • Wildlife Conservation Society (throughout NYC)
    Volunteer at the Bronx, Central Park, Queens, or Prospect Park Zoos or the NY Aquarium. 
    Click or call (718) 220-5100. 

  • World Water Monitoring Day
    World Water Monitoring Day, held every year in September, is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.  Participants are encouraged to register their site and report their data before December 31 to be included in the Year in Review report.  Test kits can be ordered online and resources are available as free downloads.

NYSMEA Address:

Tom Greene

Physical Science Dept.

Kingsborough Community College

2001 Oriental Blvd.

Brooklyn, NY  11235

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