California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Community 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A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date.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 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 Project Bud Burst
 Organization Name National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
 Project Website
 Organization Website
 Contact Name Dr. Sandra Henderson, Co-Director
 Other Contact Information

To request more information about Project BudBurst or to share your suggestions or comments with us, please contact us at:

 Project Purpose (taken from project materials) We are a network of people across the United States who monitor plants as the seasons change. We are a national field campaign designed to engage the public in the collection of important ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants (plant phenophases). Project BudBurst participants make careful observations of these plant phenophases. The data are being collected in a consistent manner across the country so that scientists can use the data to learn more about the responsiveness of individual plant species to changes in climate locally, regionally, and nationally.

 Participant Activities Project BudBurst is designed for individuals or groups to make regular observations of a plant(s) in their local area. As a participant, you might observe a plant that is in your backyard, neighborhood, school, workplace, or you may want to observe a plant that you find on your daily walk.

We’ve created an easy-to-use Field Journal that you can print and use to record information about your plant. You can also download customized Field Journals for Project BudBurst plant.

In addition to basic location, you will note other features using the checklist on your Field Journal. You will be asked to describe your site in terms of proximity to buildings, presence of asphalt surfaces, slope, sunlight, and irrigation. Remember that when you register, you only have to enter this information once for each site you want to monitor. You can monitor multiple plants under the same site description, as long as those plants are within a 1/2 mile of each other.

 Data Entry Website, Data Sheets
 System Studied Plants
 Geographic Scope National
 Region All (see 'geographic scope')
 Location Anywhere there are plants
 Location - Map Boulder, Colorado
 Time Commitment Other (see Other Information below)
 Volunteer Qualifications No. All the information you need to participate can be found on our web site. We will guide you through the simple steps to participate and the Project BudBurst team will try and answer your questions as they come up.

It is worth spending some time to learn about the phenophases of your plant to make certain you are collecting useful data.
You can find phenophase information in the Plant Resources section of the website on each of the plant group pages.

 Volunteer Training There is information within the website to help volunteers learn how to make observations.

 Cost to Participant None

 How will the findings be used? We make our data freely available to all in several formats on the View Results page. The data is currently being used by scientists and educators in the Project BudBurst network.

 Other Information This project can be done independently or as a group.

Whether you have an afternoon, a few weeks, a season, or a whole year, you can make an important contribution to better understand changing climates in your area

 last update: 10/1/12

If you work with this project and would like to add to or update the information below, please email

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

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