Citizen Scientists


  • Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count
    Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.

  • Shedd Aquarium Fish Migration Monitoring
    In 2017, Shedd Aquarium and collaborators launched a citizen science project aimed at documenting the spawning run of two native Great Lakes species – the white sucker and longnose sucker. These species were selected because they move into tributaries in large numbers, are easy to see, and are found all over the Great Lakes. Volunteers collected data from 17 locations around the western shore of Lake Michigan and south shore of Lake Superior in this landmark effort. They are hoping to increase the number of sampling sites and volunteers, and need your help to achieve this.

Stewardship Opportunities 

  • Lake County Forest Preserve Site Stewards  
    Each year, hundreds of people volunteer thousands of hours in forest preserves throughout Lake County. Forest Preserve volunteers play a key role in operations and public safety, habitat restoration, cultural preservation and education. There are opportunities available for individuals and groups in a variety of settings—both indoors and out. No prior experience is required, just a willingness to help. Training is provided for all positions.
  •  Habitat 2030  
    Habitat 2030 is a group of volunteers who care about the remarkable natural areas of the Chicago region. Habitat 2030 hosts habitat restoration workdays, nature hikes and weekend camping trips, social gatherings, and educational opportunities. At workdays, volunteers remove invasive plants, gather and spread seeds, and learn about nature as they go. Habitat 2030 links interested newbies to expert mentors and are building a community where people of all skill levels can discuss local ecology, conservation, and habitat restoration issues. Everyone is welcome!