What is Citizen Science?

The Arboretum is a treasure trove of biodiversity and visitors are encouraged to serve as Citizen Scientists – everyday people of any age who make observations and report their findings to scientists.

There are many ways the Arboretum involves the public in these real-life scientific pursuits. In addition to the educational value of projects, the Arboretum’s staff, volunteers and program participants also provide vital information to ecologists and natural resource managers. This includes information on population density, species occurrence and behavioral changes due to climate change.

The Arboretum contributes data to a number of citizen science projects, including:

  • National Phenology Network: Nature’s Notebook
  • Carolina Herp Atlas
  • Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
  • Monarch Watch
  • Project eBird
  • Project NestWatch
  • Project Squirrel
  • Box Turtle Connection
  • iNaturalist

EXPLORE at The North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is proud to introduce EXPLORE – Experiences Promoting Learning Outdoors for Research and Education. This citizen science-driven initiative offers ways for youth to participate in formal and informal programs that allow them to explore the outdoors while contributing to real scientists from around the world. Click on the links below to find out more information.


School outreach initiative that engages in environmental monitoring at the student’s own schoolyards.


Incentive-driven science enrichment program that engages kindergarten through eighth grade students in guided and self-directed citizen science activities.