Dozens of projects that citizens can engage with are in operation at any given time. Here are a few examples:
Volunteers record the signs of the seasons where they live – the first ladybird or swallow seen in your garden in spring, or the first blackberry in your local wood in autumn. The science of phenology (the study of the times of recurring natural phenomena), especially in relation to climate, involves recording when you heard the first cuckoo or saw the blackthorn blossom and comparing it with other records.
Verb Corner, is trying to work out what verbs mean. The problem is broken down into a series of tasks each of which asks about a specific component of meaning that scientists suspect makes up one of the building blocks of verb meaning. This massive project uses citizens and is expected it to make a valuable contribution to linguistics, psychology, and computer science.
By transcribing ships’ logs weather observations made by United States ships since the mid-19th century are recovered. These contribute to climate model projections and improve our knowledge of past environmental conditions. Historians also track past ship movements and tell the stories of the people on board.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope archive provides hundreds of thousands of galaxy images. To understand how these galaxies, and our own, are formed laypeople are helping to classify them according to their shapes — a task at which many brains are better than even the most advanced computer.
Help detect cosmic rays with your smartphone
This clever project uses your smartphone and zillions of others like it to pick up signals from cosmic ray particles that hit the atmosphere. The camera in your phone detects light particles so it can be adapted to detect cosmic ray particles too. In effect thousands of smartphones can act like one giant detector covering the entire globe.
To find out more or get involved try this link to the Crayfis website: http://crayfis.io/index.html