Citizen Science Opportunities
Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer your time helping wildlife? Are you willing to help collect data on species and their habitats? Maybe you want to teach others about fishing or hunting. Chapter 5 of the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan lists education and outreach efforts as one of the fundamental strategies needing implementation in South Carolina to benefit priority wildlife species and their habitats. In particular, SCDNR and its partners should "promote volunteer participation, both in education and outreach programs as well as in data collection. [High priority]."
There are many opportunities for the public to help gather information that biologists and researchers can use in assessing species and their habitats. Sometimes our biologists need seasonal help with specific projects. That's when our volunteers become vitally important. Listed below are some citizen science weblinks. Some are for SCDNR programs while others take you to our conservation partners' websites.
- The Johannes Kolb Archaeological Site has Public Day where you can help with a real archaeological excavation near the Pee Dee.
- To report petroglyphs/pictographs in SC, please call Tommy Charles at the SC Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at 803-777-8170
- Great World Wide Star Count: Help scientists study the impacts of light pollution by measuring the visibility of constellations in the night sky.
General observations of wildlife
- Share online through the National Wildlife Federation
- iNaturalist; for example, see the iNaturalist site for SCDNR-selected properties.
- Nature's Notebook is a national, online program where amateur and professional naturalists regularly record observations of plants and animals to generate long-term data sets used for scientific discovery and decision-making.
- Wildlife Health Event Reporter (WHER): The Wildlife Data Integration Network has a site where you can report sick or injured wildlife. Viewed as a collection, these sightings can detect possible outbreaks that can affect both wildlife and humans.
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service has a volunteer program where citizens can lead tours, take photography of natural
and cultural resources, assist with habitat restoration, and conduct population surveys for fish and wildlife species.
To apply, fill out a volunteer application form and mail to the Region 4 Volunteer Coordinator:
1875 Century Blvd., NW
Atlanta, GA 30345
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
- Hunter / Angler Surveys – The SCDNR always wants to hear from its hunters and anglers. Surveys are often advertised to gather information on various harvested species. Check the main page of the website for links.
- The SCDNR and State Parks utilize volunteers to lead tours, conduct research, and help manage public lands. Please contact a representative of the agency for more information.
- The ACE Basin NERR hosts a volunteer program at Botany Bay Plantation. Vounteers help direct visitors, give out educational information, monitor wildlife populations, protect historical structures on the property, and assist with management of the property. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Bess Kellett for more information.
- Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is an organization focused on precipitation measurements taken by volunteer members.
- NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory's (NSSL) Precipitation Identification Near the Ground (PING) project. Reporting can be done online or through an iPhone or Android app.