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A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date.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.

Bay Area Ant Survey

  • Organization Name
    Naturalist Center - California Academy of Sciences
  • Partners
    N / A
  • Contact Name
    N / A
  • Contact Email
    naturalist@calacademy.org.
  • Contact Phone
    (415)379-5494
  • Other Contact Information

    Bay Area Ant Survey
    Naturalist Center
    California Academy of Sciences
    55 Music Concourse Dr
    San Francisco, CA, 94118

  • Project Purpose (taken from project materials)

    Obtain baseline data for ants living in local counties.
    Goals include:

    • Documenting the ant diversity of the Bay Area
    • Mapping the spread of invasive ants, including the problematic Argentine ant
    • Creating a permanent collection of ant species for scientific research and teaching
    • Allowing the community to experience scientific discovery firsthand
  • Participant Activities

    1. Pick up a free collecting kit from the Naturalist Center inside the California Academy of Sciences. You can also download spare data sheets.

    2. Look for ants anywhere you can think of – in your backyard, on a hiking trail, in your school yard. Sunny days work best.

    3. If you can’t find any ants, try setting out bait. Ants love honey, tuna, or cookies (try Pecan Sandies!). Check back in an hour or so.

    4. Collect ants gently, perhaps using a leaf. Try to get at least 5 ants from a single collection site into the vial of ethanol. This liquid preserves the bodies.

    5. Fill out a data sheet for each unique collection site. Be accurate and thorough, as this data will be used for scientific research. You can attach a map of your survey site if you’d like.

    6. Drop off your data sheet and ant-filled vial at the Naturalist Center, or go ahead and mail these items using a padded envelope to: ATTN: Bay Area Ant Survey, Naturalist Center, California Academy of Sciences,55 Music Concourse Dr,San Francisco, CA, 94118

  • Data Entry
    • Collection Kits
    • Data Sheets
  • Other Participant Activities

    Participation in other Citizen Science project, visits and educational workshops with the organization.

  • System Studied
    • Invertebrates
  • Geographic Scope
    Regional
  • Region
    Northern California
  • Location
    Bay Area backyards, hiking trails, school yards - anywhere you can think of
  • Location - Map
    Naturalist Center California Academy of Sciences 55 Music Concourse Dr San Francisco, CA, 94118
  • Time Commitment
    • Other (see Other Information below)
  • Volunteer Qualifications
    N / A
  • Volunteer Training

    None required, but fact sheets and other materials are available through the website for volunteers to learn about ants.

  • Cost to Participant
    N / A
  • How will the findings be used?

    Each month, Bay Area Ant Survey identifies, databases, and provides housing for the new ant specimens. They then upload the data to AntWeb for public viewing.

  • Other Information
    N / A
  • Photo
    ppsr_bay_area_ant_survey
  • last update:
    N / A

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.