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A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date.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 MPA Watch - Heal the Bay
 Organization Name Heal the Bay
 Project Website
 Organization Website
 Partners Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
 Contact Name Dana Murray, Staff Scientist
 Other Contact Information

 Project Purpose (taken from project materials)

Collect unbiased data on coastal and marine resource use, which will provide important information to understand how people are using the newly established marine protected areas (MPAs), and to help inform MPA management.

 Participant Activities Volunteers walk along beaches in Malibu and Palos Verdes surveying ocean users, volunteers combine their love of the beach and ocean while collecting valuable scientific data;

 Data Entry Unknown
 System Studied Intertidal zone, Other (see Notes)
 Geographic Scope Local
 Region Los Angeles
 Location Marine Protected Areas in Malibu and Palos Verdes
 Location - Map 1444 9th Street Santa Monica, CA 90401
 Time Commitment Other (see Other Information below)
 Volunteer Training Volunteer trainings in the class and field teach volunteers to observe and collect unbiased data on MPA use.

 Other Information

"Other local citizen science groups and scientists have been collecting biological scientific data on Malibu’s rocky reefs and marine life for years. However, we identified the data gap of monitoring how people are using the resources and started the MPA Watch program. We also saw this program as a great way for people who would like to help monitor MPAs, but can’t dive, to get involved."

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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