Citizen Science Opportunities

Citizen science is a way for people to learn about research through meaningful participation. Schoodic Institute works with the National Park Service and other partners to provide opportunities for volunteers to participate in citizen science programs in Acadia National Park and also regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Schoodic Institute and the National Park are helping to lead the formalization of the field of public participation in scientific research in an effort to facilitate communication, collaboration, and innovation in the field.

Education and research at Schoodic Institute are deliberately intertwined, with experts, students, and participants of all ages contributing and learning through innovative Citizen Science projects.  Programs at Schoodic Institute focus on relevant research that informs natural resource managers in a time of rapid environmental change.

The theme of citizen science runs through many of our public education programs, programs for schools, teacher professional development programs, and research activities.  Explore the links to the left to learn more about these programs and to find more opportunities to get involved with us here at the Schoodic Education and Research Campus on Schoodic Point.  Through these programs and others, we contribute to national and international databases of observations.

If you want to get started on your own, rather than participating in an organized program, you can contribute observations to programs such as : eBird, iNaturalistSigns of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program, or the USA National Phenology Network.

Recent papers describing the importance of citizen science for conservation:

Citizen science is already contributing to biodiversity monitoring.

Contribution of citizen science towards international biodiversity monitoring To meet collective obligations towards biodiversity conservation and monitoring, it is essential that the world’s governments and non-governmental organizations as well as the research community tap all possible sources of data and information, including new, fast-growing sources such as citizen science (CS), in which volunteers participate in some or all aspects of environmental assessments.

Citizen science and conservation: Recommendations for a rapidly moving field. Research taking place at the intersection of conservation and citizen science holds great potential for advancing both fields as well as for addressing grand challenges in the field of conservation. This Special Issue highlights the work of twenty research groups actively working at this intersection and examining participant motivation, learning and action; evaluating and improving research design and data quality; and investigating conservation science applications.

Citizen Science Association

The Schoodic Institute is a leader in the development of the Citizen Science Association. The mission of the Association is to foster communication, collaboration, and professional development in citizen science.

Hawk Watch on Cadillac Mt

The 2015 season is underway! You can help gather data about the fall migration of raptors on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park and participate as a volunteer in Hawk Watch! One-time volunteers are welcome. Cadillac’s summit may be reached by hiking, biking, riding the free Island Explorer bus, or driving.
Acadia National Park’s Hawk Watch on Cadillac Mountain is a collaborative effort between the park’s Interpretive Division and Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program.

Frazer Point Early Bird Watch

Frazer Point Early Bird Flight is the newest migration monitoring program being conducted by the Schoodic Institute Bird Ecology Program. The public is invited to join the observation gathering on the following Wednesday mornings from 7 to 8:30 AM: September 30 and October 14, 21, and 28. Witness songbird migration, learn identification tips, gain bird conservation knowledge, and find out about a variety of opportunities to participate as a Schoodic Institute citizen scientist.


BioBlitz is a signature citizen science program for Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. During BioBlitzes, huge numbers of arthropod species are documented, many never previously observed at Acadia National Park.

SeaWatch at Schoodic Point

2015 marks the 5th year for Schoodic Institute’s SeaWatch migration monitoring effort. We can expect thousands of birds to pass by Schoodic Point between September and Thanksgiving. The expected variety of species includes: loons, cormorants, Northern Gannet, scoters and other seaducks, gulls, falcons, and songbirds. SeaWatch at Schoodic Point is a citizen science program conducted by staff and volunteers of the Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program. Click to learn more and participate!

Earthwatch Expeditions

Schoodic Institute is partnering with Acadia National Park and Earthwatch to bring citizen scientist volunteers to Acadia National Park. Five teams of Earthwatch participants will join Schoodic Institute staff, along with Acadia National Park and partner researchers, at the Schoodic Institute for 10-day expeditions in 2015.