Episode 1 Even Big Data Starts Small

20,000 volunteers across the U.S. measure precipitation: when extreme weather hits, emergency managers turn their data into life-saving alerts. Armchair mappers worldwide update information used by first responders after the Nepal earthquake. A new project, EyesOnALZ, enlists the crowd to speed up research on Alzheimer’s disease. DIY enthusiasts from Public Lab map the BP oil spill with kites, balloons and cameras and continue to watchdog pollution. The crowd, using mobile tech, and the cloud contribute to science that saves lives.

Teacher Resources

Citizen Science Academy

The first of its kind, the Citizen Science Academy Online is intended to be a complete professional development resource for educators and will include online courses, modules, tutorials, and a virtual community of practice.

Learn Chemistry: Enhancing Learning and Teaching

This collection of resources supports your subject knowledge and teaching of primary chemistry, including the linking of science with cross-curricula topics, with resources that detail investigations to run with your class. 

Citizen Science Links

Crowd and the Cloud

A Public Television series about Citizen Science, Crowdsourcing and Mobile Tech.


Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed. We share your findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to help scientists find and use your data. All you have to do is observe.

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

Global Biodiversity Information Facility The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international open data infrastructure, funded by governments. It allows anyone, anywhere to access data about all types of life on Earth, shared across national boundaries via the Internet.


EYESONALZ is a citizen science project from the Human Computation Institute. This project enables everyone to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease research and speed up drug discovery by playing online games.

Human Computation Institute

Human Computation Institute is a non-profit innovation center that advances the science of scalable crowd-power to tackle wicked societal problems.

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission is an international network of satellites that provide the next-generation global observations of rain and snow.

Precipitation Identification Near the Ground (PING)

The National Severe Storms Laboratory’s (NSSL) Precipitation Identification Near the Ground (PING) project is looking for citizen scientists who can report on certain weather conditions—hail and winter weather, in particular—from the ground.

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network CoCoRaHS

CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow).

Public Lab

Public Lab is a community where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms.