California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Citizen Science for CA Naturalists

Welcome to our ongoing effort to catalog citizen science and other public participation in scientific research (PPSR) projects for UC California Naturalists and other citizen scientists.  We invite you to browse the listed projects or enter key words (like birds, youth, invasive, coast, Alameda, etc.) in the search box above to find projects in your area. It's a great way to stay involved and keep developing your skills as a natural scientist!

A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date. We encourage you to contact projects directly to get involved and learn about most recent opportunities. If you work with a listed project and would like to add to, update, or correct the information we have, please email cghdixon@ucdavis.edu. Also, please consider filling out the "PPSR perspectives" survey. Click here to access the survey, which will help guide this project in the coming year.

If you know of a project not on our list, please go to the "tell us about a project" link on the left so we can list the project here. Thanks for your help!

Special thanks goes to the National Science Foundation Informal Science Education program and the Stephen J. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for supporting this database of projects.

 Project Name Calflora
 Organization Name Calflora
 Project Website http://www.calflora.org/
 Organization Website http://www.calflora.org/
 Partners Multiple project partners, including BAEDN,
 Contact Email spprt@calflora.org
 Project Purpose (taken from project materials) Calflora is structured as a digital library to fulfill the following objectives:

  1. to serve as a repository for information on California wild plants in electronic formats from diverse sources, including public agencies, academic institutions, private organizations, and individuals.
  2. to provide this information in readily usable, electronic formats for scientific, conservation, and educational purposes.
  3. to serve public information needs related to scientific study, land management, environmental analysis, education, and appreciation of California plant life.
  4. to coordinate and integrate efforts towards these objectives undertaken by scientists, public agencies, private organizations, and members of the public.

Calflora offers resources for an informed, timely approach to biodiversity protection. Through Calflora, scientists, citizens, and policymakers have quick and easy access to data they need for analyzing species distributions, modeling spread of invasive species, or identifying consequences of habitat loss.  Furthermore, Calflora provides a mechanism for citizens to participate directly in building the information resources they need, and gives all users an opportunity to learn about the beauty and diversity of California plant life.

 Participant Activities Participants enter observations of California flora through Calflora web or mobile interface. Data for the observation includes fields for identification, location..

Photos can be associated with the entry and there are specialized entry forms for weeds (in collaboration with the Bay Area Early Detection Network), checklist observations, negative observations, and others.

There are many different kinds of useful observations, depending on what goals the participant or collaborating partner are trying to achieve.

  1. Documenting species not previously known from a county or area.
  2. Documenting new weeds to an area, especially invasive weeds targeted for early removal.
  3. Further documenting plants previously predicted or reported to occur in an area, but that currently lack expert documentation or specimens.
  4. Confirming the continuing presence of plants not observed in the last 25 years in a county/area.
  5. Filling in distribution 'holes' for species. For example, California poppy is presumed to grow in every county of California, however there are still several counties that have no documented or voucher based records available.
 Data Entry Website, Cell Phone
 Other Participant Activities Participants can contribute to projects associated with Calflora and have access to Calflora data.

Participants with specialized knowledge can also contribute to the annotation system that facilitates expert input and review of observations

 System Studied Invasive Species, Plants
 Geographic Scope Statewide
 Region All (see 'geographic scope')
 Location wherever observations of California flora are made
 Time Commitment Other (see Other Information below)
 Volunteer Qualifications Participants must create a Calflora account and must be able to reliably identify the plants they are observing. Participants must have access to a computer or mobile device to create an account and contribute observations.

 Volunteer Training Instruction on use of web tools is available on the website.

 How will the findings be used? Observations are converted into appropriate formats and stored in a database. Additional copies of your observation may be forwarded to appropriate individuals and agencies responsible for managing particular areas, projects, or plant groups. For example, observations of rare plants may be forwarded to the California Department of Fish and Game as well as the Rare Plant Program of the California Native Plant society.

Data is also available through Calflora website, on maps and as downloadable data.

 Other Information The Calflora Database is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation

If you work with this project and would like to add to or update the information below, please email cghdixon@ucdavis.edu.

If you know of a project not on our list, please go to the "tell us about a project" link on the left so we can list the project here. Thanks for your help!

This database is focused on projects in California focused on the environment. For opportunities outside California, as well as national projects that don't have a California-specific components, check http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citscitoolkit/projects.

Webmaster Email: canaturalist@ucanr.edu