Find a Project Perfect for You

What kind of plants and animals are you curious about? Help us investigate all of L.A. wildlife!

 
Butterflies Spiders Ladybugs Ants Bees and other Pollinators Reptiles and Amphibians Birds Mammals Plants Other

Projects

Los Angeles Butterfly Survey

Los Angeles Butterfly Survey

Los Angeles Butterfly Survey

The Museum is partnering with Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) to share data and learn more about L.A. butterflies and moths. Help us snap photos of them and then come see them in the Pollinator Garden in NHM's Nature Gardens.

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project

The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) is a citizen science project involving volunteers from the U.S. and Canada. It was developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota to collect long-term data on larval monarch populations and milkweed habitat. The goal is to better understand where they live and how abudant they are during the breeding season.

 

Monarchs and Milkweed of Los Angeles

Monarchs and Milkweed of Los Angeles

The Museum has begun studying our local urban environment to better understand the biodiversity that lives in the greater Los Angeles area. Part of this study includes learning where local populations of monarch butterflies and milkweed plants are found through our Monarchs and Milkweed of Los Angeles project.


Projects

Los Angeles Spider Survey

Los Angeles Spider Survey

There are a lot of spiders out there, but in spite of their importance and abundance, we don't know much about the spiders living in L.A. In the Los Angeles Spider Survey, you can help us find out how widespread introduced spiders have become, and how these newcomers interact with the native spiders.


Projects

Lost Ladybug Project

Lost Ladybug Project

The Museum is partnering with Cornell University's Lost Ladybug Project to find out which ladybugs live in L.A. Can you help us find populations of rare native ladybugs, such as the nine-spotted ladybug, Coccinella novemnotata?

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Ants

Resources

Projects

School of Ants

School of Ants

The School of Ants project is a citizen scientist driven study of the ants that live in urban areas. Teachers, students, parents, junior scientists, senior citizens, and ant enthusiasts of all kinds are involved in collecting ants and making detailed maps of the wildlife that live around them. The map they create will yield information that tells us a lot about native and introduced ants in cities across the U.S.


Bees and other Pollinators

Resources

Projects

ZomBee Watch

ZomBee Watch

For ZomBee Watch, the Museum is partnering with San Francisco State University's Department of Biology to learn more about the zombie fly, Apocephalus borealis, and how this parasitoid (like a parasite, except they always kill their host) affects honey bees, Apis mellifera. Join this investigation and become a ZomBee Hunter!

The Great Sunflower Project

The Great Sunflower Project

Both the honey bee and native bee populations are in trouble and this could affect pollination of our gardens, crops and wild lands. In 2008, the Great Sunflower Project started this project as a way to gather information about our urban, suburban, and rural bee populations and to give you the tools to learn about what's happening with the pollinators in your yard. You can participate by growing some pollinator friendly plants yourself, like sunflowers, and then record how many bees you see.


Projects

Gecko Watch

Gecko Watch

GeckoWatch is a citizen science project to map the fine-scale distribution of nonnative geckos in the continental United States. The primary interest is in mapping the rapidly increasing range of the Mediterranean House Gecko, Hemidactylus turcius. However, we are interested in all nonnative gecko species. Visit our project page to begin contributing.

RASCals

RASCals

We want to find out where reptiles and amphibians live throughout southern California. To do this, we need your help! All you need to do is follow some very easy steps to find, take pictures of, and then submit your observations of reptiles and amphibians. By participating in Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern California (RASCals) you'll be providing our scientists with valuable data to help us answer the question: How have reptiles and amphibians responded to the dramatic changes in habitat that have occurred in southern California over the past 150 years?


Projects

eBird

eBird

A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and gets information about birds. Share your observations with an international network of eBird users. Then eBird shares that with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists.

 

 

Feeder Watch

Feeder Watch

Project FeederWatch, operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada, is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locations in North America. Participants periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April, and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. The data help scientists track broadscale movements of bird populations.

Hummingbirds at Home

Hummingbirds at Home

The National Audubon Society has launched a new citizen science project, Hummingbirds at Home, to document hummingbird sightings across the country, using a free mobile app that identifies bird species as well as the plants that feed them. By joining Audubon Hummingbirds at Home you will join a movement to crowdsource rigorous science that is meaningful for hummingbirds. Become part of a continent-wide network of citizen scientists that are helping to uncover how hummingbirds are affected by climate change and what actions can be taken to help them.

The Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count

An annual four-day event, the Great Backyard Bird Count, engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds. The goal is a real-time snapshot of where the birds are! Everyone is welcome, from beginning birdwatchers to experts. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.

Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Count

From December 14 through January 5, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual, pre-dawn mission. Everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count does it for the love of birds and the friendly competition, and with the knowledge that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation.


Projects

California Roadkill Observation System

California Roadkill Observation System

According to the Humane Society of the United States, more than a million animals are killed every day on our roads and highways. Roadkill is when cars collide with or run over wildlife, such as birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The California Roadkill Observation System, a research organization, has created a website for people to learn about roadkill, report it, and take action.

Southern California Squirrel Survey

Southern California Squirrel Survey

Regardless of where you live in southern California: urban L.A., suburban Escondido, or the rural San Bernardino mountains; scientists want your squirrel observations. Scientists need your help to better understand the distribution and behavior of southern California's tree and ground squirrel species. All you have to do is see a squirrel, take a photo of it, and submit your observation to our Southern California Squirrel Survey. With your help we can unlock some scientific secrets about our SoCal squirrels.


Projects

The Great Sunflower Project

The Great Sunflower Project

Both the honey bee and native bee populations are in trouble and this could affect pollination of our gardens, crops and wild lands. In 2008, the Great Sunflower Project started this project as a way to gather information about our urban, suburban, and rural bee populations and to give you the tools to learn about what's happening with the pollinators in your yard. You can participate by growing some pollinator friendly plants yourself, like sunflowers, and then record how many bees you see.

Project BudBurst

Project BudBurst

Project BudBurst is a network of people across the United States who monitor plants as the seasons change and submit data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants. If you would like to make a meaningful contribution to understanding environmental change, join this rapidly growing community today!


Projects

Dragonfly Pond Watch

Dragonfly Pond Watch

Dragonfly Pond Watch is a volunteer-based program of the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership (MDP) to investigate the annual movements of five major migratory dragonfly species in North America. Participants visit the same wetland or pond site on a regular basis and then note the arrival of migrant dragonflies moving south in the fall or north in the spring.

Grunion Greeters

Grunion Greeters

Grunion Greeters

Pepperdine University researchers are conducting a project involving hundreds of volunteers to study the spawning activity and habitat of grunion. Volunteer Grunion Greeters witness the remarkable behavior of these silvery little fish coming ashore to spawn on sandy beaches at night. Grunion Greeters observe small stretches of beach on nights of grunion runs during peak spawning season from April through early June.

NHM Field Trips!

NHM Field Trips!

When you come away with us on a field trip, we'll give you an education and an adventure. Our curatorial staff and our Education Department join forces for our field trip outings, which means expert science is seamlessly combined with fun. You'll not only discover Southern California's features, landscapes, and hidden treasures, you'll learn about what NHM's scientists do when they're out in the field.

Quake-Catcher Network

Quake-Catcher Network

The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost, strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. We are happy to say that NHM's Mineral Sciences Department is part of the Quake-Catcher Network.

LA Makerspace

LA Makerspace

You're invited to the Citizen Science Workshop at LA Makerspace. A monthly series where researchers, teachers, and students can meet to collaborate on projects as well as develop new research, which can be taught in the classroom.