Join the MSU Citizen Science Network

If you are interested in participating in citizen science projects from MSU, around Montana or across the nation, sign up for our e-newsletter to learn about events and opportunities. If you are involved in citizen science, have a question about citizen science or want to talk over an idea, email us at [email protected]

Archived newsletters:

December 2023: Free kits for teachers and libraries, Christmas bird count & more!

Fall 2023 // Summer 2023 // April 2023 - Citizen Science Month, Part 1 // April 2023 - Citizen Science Month, Part 2 // 2022 Year in Review  //  September 2022 //  March 2022  // December 2021  //  May 2021

SMRC featured in SciStarter/NASA live stream (Feb. 2024)

SciStarter NASAThe Science Math Resource Center was a featured volunteer during a Feb. 21, 2024 live-streamed event by SciStarter and "Do NASA Science Live" called What's It Mean to be Cool? This free virtual event featured five NASA scientists who describe their research and associated winter-themed citizen science projects.

Discover how to fill important data gaps in understanding what “cold” means on Earth AND in space. Sometimes cold is relative and the coldest objects in space—still warmer than Jupiter– are vital for teaching us about how stars and planets form. We heard from the researchers behind: Mountain Rain or Snow, Fresh Eyes on Ice, Backyard Worlds: Cool Neighbors, GLOBE Observer Land Cover, and The Sungrazer Project.

Learn more about the event on SciStarter

Watch the recording on YouTube

Presentation to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (Feb. 2024)

OLLI logoOn Monday, Feb. 7, 2024. the Science Math Resource Center presented on citizen science to members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies. The crowd of approximately 100 learned about the history of citizen science; projects and how to find them; and current movements, such as environmental justice and citizen science. We also addressed adjacent activities, including geocaching and NASA AREN - the AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network, which uses kite-borne instruments to collect data about our Earth and is often used in conjunction with GLOBE Observer for citizen science observations.

View all the resources from the talk here.

Citizen Science 101 resource

We'd like to extend a big thank you to the Lakeville Nature Conservancy for sharing a useful resource! Citizen Science 101: How Anyone Can Contribute to Scientific Research and Development highlights leading citizen scientists in history, resources for finding potential projects and tips to get involved yourself. 

The Lakeville Nature Conservancy works to improve their community through working with nature and educating the public to be more eco-friendly. Thanks for all the work you do, Ms. Garcia & Katrina, Elizabeth, Julia, and Chris!

Neuroscience citizen science kit activities - free download

citizen science kitIn June 2023, we offered free citizen science kits to 10 programs that serve Montana middle school students. 

Each kit includes a video tutorial, instructor's guide and physical materials to complete two online citizen science projects: one on Alzheimer's Disease and another on relationships between the eye and the brain. Programs may keep all the supplies for future use.

The kits are supported by the MSU Outreach and Engagement Council as part of their seed grant program to promote reciprocal collaboration with off-campus partners and improve quality of life and benefit the public good. The kits were created by MSU student Chloe Moreland.

Although the kit application period has ended, all the resources are online for anyone to use: Access the resources here

Join our BioQuest team and compete against other universities (April 2023)

Join the Science Math Resource Center in celebrating International Citizen Science Month and learn more about local biodiversity! We’re participating in a BioQuest Challenge and competing against other universities around the world to collect as many sightings of local wildlife, including wild animals, plants, and fungi, as we can. You can play from campus, home, or anywhere around the Bozeman area. Registration is free and sightings are collected throughout the year, so be sure to keep an eye out for new wildlife going into the summer months.

qr code for bioquestTo join our team, simply follow the QR code here to be redirected to the QuestaGame app, where you can photograph and upload images to the QuestaGame database directly from your phone. Alternatively, you can search for the team “Montana State University” in the app and request to join our quest – our team’s password is “montana”.

For more information, please contact Julia Wente ([email protected]), SMRC’s STEM Project Coordinator. For additional information about the app, please refer to the BioQuest website.

MSU Citizen Science Library Kits Now Available!

Picture of the Exploring Biodiversity citizen science lending library kit

The Science Math Resource Center and MSU Library, with support from Montana NSF EPSCoR and NASA AREN, are excited to support citizen science in Montana through the MSU Citizen Science Lending Library. With the tools inside the lending library kits, you too will be a citizen scientist: a person who helps scientists by making observations, collecting data, or documenting changes in nature. Anyone can be a citizen scientist: kids, families, classrooms, busy working adults, retired people, and even entire communities.

Want to check out a kit? Visit the MSU Library on campus – these kits are available to anyone in Montana, even if you are not affiliated with MSU.

Visit the MSU Citizen Science Lending Library webpage for more information about the kits and how to check one out. Read the MSU news article here.

Citizen Science Meetup: Thursday, Dec. 1 at 10:30-11:30am

citizen scienceWhether you’re brand new to citizen science or a seasoned citsci veteran, join us and dream big about what’s possible at MSU. We’ll start with a quick overview of citizen science, then think about what we can do for Citizen Science Month (April 2023). Then we will brainstorm on what else is possible…..from an MSU student club to an equipment lending library to a campus-wide Bioblitz. We can even join in on a global competition against other universities, plan a data sprint, or discuss how to add citizen science into the curriculum. 

This meetup is hosted by the Science Math Resource Center with support from Montana NSF EPSCoR and the NASA AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network.

Due to the interactive nature of this session, the meeting is in-person only. However, if you are interested but can't join us, please email us and we will keep you informed.

Thursday, Dec. 1, 10:30-11:30am (drop in anytime), SUB Room 236. RSVP's are appreciated but not required.

Please email Suzi Taylor for any questions.

Journal article featuring SMRC citizen science data selected for ebook

cover of open science ebookNovember 2022: A paper on which SMRC director Suzi Taylor was a co-author was selected for an e-book called Open Citizen Science Data and Methods! The original paper was about data collected via GLOBE Observer for the Summer 2019 GO on a Trail campaign.

You can access or download the e-book for free on the Fronters In Climate site.

Information about the original campaign is here. The SMRC hosted a professional development workshop for teachers about the campaign and other aspects of citizen science. Read more about the workshop and access free resources.

SMRC intern Chloe Moreland earns Outreach & Engagement seed grant

Chloe MorelandJune 2022: Chloe Moreland, a student intern with the Science Math Resource Center submitted a seed grant to the MSU Outreach & Engagement Council and was awarded $5,000 to implement a project that brings citizen science to Montana youth. Partners include Eagle Mount, the Montana Afterschool Alliance, and Aspiring Educators of MSU. 

The grant supports creating adaptive and engaging methods of communicating citizen science to Montana youth and youth educators. Working with Aspiring Educators of MSU, MSU students will lead projects and training. Aspiring Educators of MSU will expand their STE(A)M (short for science, technology, engineering, arts and math) teaching tools to be more inclusive and create adaptive lessons for varied audiences. Read the news article.

SMRC intern Sierra Fisher-Dykman presents at C*Sci 2022

Sierra Fisher-DykmanMay 2022: Sierra Fisher-Dykman, an SMRC intern and pre-service teacher, presented on Citizen Science and MSU's Inclusive Community Camp at the C*Sci 2022 virtual conference.

Inclusive Community Camp or “ICC,” was created in 2018 at Montana State University by Dr. Jody Bartz. The camp was carefully developed to give students with additional support needs, along with their peers, an authentic summer camp experience. The camp is the first of its kind in the area, and for some students, it is the only summer camp they have ever been able to attend. Nicole Wanago, parent of 7-year-old Perry who has Down syndrome, said that her son has never had a summer camp experience before, because local camps are unable to accommodate his support needs. With a 1:1 adult-to student ratio and free registration for campers, MSU’s Inclusive Community Camp gave Perry the opportunity to interact with peers and participate in camp activities for the first time

See Sierra's poster/article

Citizen Science book display at MSU Library

Citizen science book displayApril 2022: Stop by the MSU academic library during Citizen Science Month (April 2022) and you can explore a wide range of academic titles and popular books -- all with the theme of citizen science as well as community science, participatory research, and science based activism. The resources span all disciplines, too. Stop on by and celebrate Citizen Science Month!





March 2022: Citizen Science—Leveling Up at MSU

citizen scienceWhether you’re brand new to citizen science or a seasoned citsci veteran, join us and dream big about what’s possible at MSU. We’ll start with a quick overview of citizen science, then think about what we can do for Citizen Science Month (April 2022). Then we will brainstorm on what else is possible…..from an MSU student club to an equipment lending library to a campus-wide Bioblitz. We can even join in on a global competition against other universities, plan a data sprint, or discuss how to add citizen science into the curriculum. 

This meetup is hosted by the Science Math Resource Center and the MSU People-Places-Water Lab with support from Montana NSF EPSCoR and the NASA AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network.

Due to the interactive nature of this session, the meeting is in-person only. However, if you are interested but can't join us, please email us and we will keep you informed.

Thursday, March 24: 9:30 to 10:30, SUB Room 236. RSVP's are appreciated but not required.

Thanks to everyone who attended! Please email Suzi Taylor if you are interested in being notified of the next meeting.

Young citizen scientists learn about water at Family Science Day

February 2022: 153 fourth and fifthgrade students from Bozeman's three Title 1 elementary schools attended (Irving, Whittier, Hyalite) MSU Family Science Day in 2022. A Title 1 school is a federal designation for schools with high percentages of students from low-income families. 

The visiting students interacted with MSU faculty, staff and students from across disciplines. At a booth hosted by Montana NSF EPSCoR, students learned about water quality with Madison Boone, Professor Erika Espinosa Ortiz, and other members of the EPSCoR research team. They also received citizen science stickers and learned how, eve as young people, they can contribute value data and observations to the scientific community.

We are now a partner on SciStarter!

SciStarter logoScience Math Resource Center is now an official partner on!

Go straight to our projects through our new mini-site at or go to and select Partner Gateways in the upper right-hand corner, then look for MSU-SMRC. You'll find direct links to Crowd the Tap, iNaturalist, GLOBE Observer and others of our favorite citizen science projects.

SMRC presents on citizen science at Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute

MSU Library logoJune 2021: At the virtual Tribal College Librarians Institute 2021 hosted by the Montana State University Library, Suzi Taylor of the MSU Science Math Resource Center shared information about citizen science and how tribal college libraries can get involved.  She also shared information about the recently funded NOAA project called Citizen Science, Civics and Resilient Communities. TCLI is hosted annually and has promoted professional development opportunities for tribal college librarians since 1990.

You can watch the recording of the presentation here. For more information about TCLI contact Mary Anne Hansen at [email protected]

MSU celebrates Citizen Science Month

Field Guide to Citizen ScienceApril 2021: Celebrate Citizen Science Month as the Science Math Resource Center and MSU Library offered free citizen science kits on April 12 and 13. The kit included supplies to do three citizen science projects; details on several more free projects; and information on how the subjects of the projects connect to MSU research projects. The kit was sponsored by Montana NSF EPSCoR, the People-Places-Water Lab, NASA AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network, the NSF-supported WAFERx project, and the Montana Institute on Ecosystems

100 kits were given on a first-come/first-served basis on Monday, April 12 from 2pm to 4:30pm and Tuesday, April 13 from 9am to 11am. People who completed the projects by April 26 were eligible to win prizes, including the Field Guide to Citizen Science!

Visit the second floor of the library. 

If you can't make it to the Library to get a kit, you can still do the projects on your own: Learn about citizen science and make a free account at then look for

For information about Citizen Science Month at MSU or citizen science in general, email [email protected].

MSU chosen for national citizen science project — February 2021

Cirizen Science, Civics and Resilient Communities forumThe Science Math Resource Center and the MSU Library have been selected by the National Informal Science Education Network (NISENet) and the Museum of Science in Boston to receive the Citizen Science, Civics and Resilient Communities (CSCRC) stipend. This award, which is funded by NOAA, will be used to support citizen science initiatives at tribal college libraries in Montana via the Tribal College Librarians Institute, which is led by Mary Anne Hansen of the MSU Library.

The project will provide materials, equipment and training to approximately three Montana tribal college librarians (more, if they are interested) so they can launch a citizen science project in their community. The focus of this national project is to engage the public in active learning and resilience planning around heat waves, sea level rise, extreme precipitation or drought (we chose drought for Montana). Participating libraries will be able to choose from a suite of citizen science activities that are most relevant for each of their communities. In addition, we will host a forum on resilience planning and citizen science with all participants in the June 2021 Tribal College Libraries Institute, hosted by MSU Library. The event is virtual this year and has offered professional development to tribal college librarians all around the world since 1990. 

Land Use Explorers: What we value about the land is now available online – Spring 2021

Land Use Explorers logoLand Use Explorers, a youth curriculum kit on what we value about the land, launched in Spring 2021. Land Use Explorers is an outreach program of WAFERx - the Water, Agriculture, Food, Energy Research Nexus project supported by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Track II (Selena Ahmed, MSU, PI). The curriculum includes 11 lessons for youth aged 9-13, including one on citizen science. Other lessons prompt students to think about how the land around them is used; what they most value about the land; and how the land may change over time. All the resources are available for free download.

View the activity book in HTML

See the curriculum book in PDF

Go straight to the citizen science lesson

Citizen Science for Graduate Students — January 2021

SciStarter logoThe MSU Science Math Resource Center and, an online hub of more than 3,000 citizen science projects, presented a citizen science workshop designed specifically for MSU graduate students (but open to all!) on Jan. 21, 2021.

You can view a recording of the workshop here

A citizen science project is a collaboration between scientists and curious, motivated citizens who do everything from collect and share photos on clouds, birds or water; to analyze tweets to predict COVID outbreaks; or solve puzzles to design specialized RNA-based medicines and sensors.

No matter your field, this workshop will demonstrate how citizen science can be a valuable component of your academic and professional career, including:

  • Citizen science as part of your degree program
  • Citizen science in grants, broader impacts and program management
  • The relevance of citizen science for academic and non-academic careers 


  • Caren Cooper, North Carolina State University
  • Bradley Allf, PhD student at NCSU who studies citizen science for his research
  • Darlene Cavalier, founder of SciStarter and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University
  • Deron Ash, Director of Programs at ASU School for the Future of Innovation in Society
  • Caroline Nickerson, SciStarter Program Manager

Whether you want to create your own project, harness the data from another, or simply share your own observations to help the scientific community, this workshop is for you! Thank you to National Science Foundation EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement OIA-1757351, which supported this work.

Montana State Library presentation: Earth Day Programming for Libraries — January 2020

Originally recorded on January 21st, 2020. In this Webinar for libraries, we discuss

  • Earth Day resources from NASA and the Space Science Institute
  • Citizen Science research projects and how average people can help contribute to important research both around the world and here in Montana.

Suzi Taylor and Dr. Selena Ahmed from MSU Bozeman will join as guest speakers to discuss local Montana research projects as well.

View the slide deck for this webinar

CE Category: library services to the public
To view this video with closed captions, see the YouTube version here:

MSU project that encourages citizens to connect to science recognized by NASA — October 2019

GLOBE Observer iconData gathered for a Montana State University project that encouraged citizens to connect to science has been recognized by NASA.

Citizen science data that MSU submitted to NASA in preparation for a teacher workshop placed the university in the top 10 of all summer participants from around the world. The data was gathered using NASA’s GLOBE Observer citizen science app, which allowed participants to take photos and document land cover usage at sites in Montana and beyond. GLOBE Observer’s summer campaign, which ran from June 1 to Sept. 3, awarded extra points to participants who took observations along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Read the full article.

SMRC educator workshop blends Lewis and Clark Trail with citizen science – June 2019

This workshop for educators in June 2019 combined a new citizen science project from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail with Montana projects supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation. For resources from the workshop, please contact Suzi Taylor at [email protected]

Questions? Would you like to be involved in future citizen science efforts?

Contact Suzi Taylor with Science Math Resource Center at [email protected]