Citizen Science

What is citizen science?

Citizen science is the process by which citizen volunteers donate their time in assisting research programs by measuring data, sharing experiences or communicating valuable information. Citizen scientists have the capability to contribute to improving their communities both on a local and national scale.  All it takes to become a citizen scientist is a passion for the environment and public service!  The IU RTP facilitates several citizen scientist programs.


Hoosier Riverwatch

The Hoosier Riverwatch was initiated in 1996 with the purpose of increasing awareness of water quality issues and concerns among Indiana's citizens by training volunteers to monitor stream water quality. The program is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Office of Water Quality, Watershed Assessment and Planning Branch. To find out how to become a Hoosier Riverwatch volunteer or access data, click here!

Project BudBurst

Project BudBurst is on a mission – to get you outside taking a moment to observe how plants in your community change with the seasons! When you share your observations with us, they become part of an ecological record. Project BudBurst participants make careful observations of the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting phases of plants (plant phenophases) throughout the year. Spring, summer, fall, and winter phases are all valuable. Scientists and educators can use the data to learn more about how plant species respond to changes in climate locally, regionally, and nationally. Project BudBurst at Indiana University is supported by Dr. Kim Novick as part of her NSF CAREER award.