Do you have any citizen science programs in which my students can participate?

Absolutely! The USGS has partnerships with several citizen science programs that are appropriate for classroom projects, for individual students, or for anyone who wants a fun and rewarding activity. See the Citizen Science page on our USGS Education website

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Does the USGS do classroom presentations?

The USGS has offices in every state , but education is not part of our mission and we do not have employees who go into the classroom as part of their job. Some employees, however, are willing to do so on their own time. If there is a USGS office in your town, you can try contacting them to ask about a speaker or presenter.

Does the USGS give teacher workshops?

The USGS does not have a formal program for teacher workshops, but USGS scientists sometimes participate in teacher workshops that are organized by universities or other education groups. Our USGS Education website lists both resources for use in the classroom and easily-understood resources that teachers can use to educate themselves.

Do you have lesson plans or activities for the classroom?

The USGS Education website is your gateway to classroom resources. Explore links to lesson plans, activities, educational videos, online lectures, posters, non-technical publications, and images for kindergarten through college. This site is an excellent resource for teachers, students, and anyone interested in learning. Our resources are...

Does the USGS offer field trips or classes?

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) does not have a formal program for providing field trips or classes. USGS employees will sometimes lead field trips or teach classes that are organized by outside organizations, but those are not advertised by the USGS. The USGS has published numerous field-trip guides to geologic areas. Use our online...

Does the USGS use volunteers to collect data?

Volunteers assist on some USGS projects. In all cases, the volunteers are carefully trained and are supervised by a federal employee while they work. To ensure quality-control, data collected by volunteers are checked by USGS supervisors. Volunteers must abide by the same rules, regulations, policies, and laws as employees. Some USGS volunteer...

Can I volunteer with the USGS? is the best starting point for volunteer positions with the USGS and other federal agencies. However, many USGS volunteer positions are not formally announced, so they do not appear on that site. You can contact a local USGS office directly to ask about possible volunteer opportunities. Another way to get involved in USGS science is...

How do I contact the USGS?

For general inquiries, call 1-888-ASK-USGS (1-888-275-8747). You can also use this website to send us a message or to initiate a live Web chat with a USGS Science Information Specialist. Most of our employees are listed in our online Staff Profiles . USGS offices are located in every state. Please note, however, that most of them perform very...
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Date published: April 23, 2020

Learning From Home with USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey Youth and Education in Science (YES) Team has revamped their web presence to better assist with online and home learning.

Date published: September 30, 2015

Citizen Science: For Citizens, Science, and the Planet

Citizen science — scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, usually in collaboration with scientific institutions — is a grassroots approach to natural science. It educates and engages the public by encouraging ordinary citizens to use their interests and their talents in tackling a wide range of real-world problems. 

Date published: May 3, 2012

A Big Day for Science: Citizens Have Contributed One Million Observations to Top Nature Database

RESTON, Va. — Thanks to citizen-scientists around the country, the USA National Phenology Network hit a major milestone this week by reaching its one millionth nature observation. 

Date published: January 3, 2012

Citizen Scientists Key to Success for National Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey

A key annual event in the recovery of Bald Eagle populations takes place January 4-18, when hundreds of citizen scientists take to the field for the 34th annual Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey.

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A citizen-scientist collects field data
February 23, 2017

A citizen-scientist collects field data

A Nature's Notebook citizen-scientist collects field data to be used in research by the USA-National Phenology Network. 

June 9, 2015

What's the Big Idea?—Using Citizen Science to Track Aquatic Food Webs

Ted Kennedy, research ecologist at the USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, discusses how citizen science helps better inform his work on aquatic food webs of the Grand Canyon.

video thumbnail: USGS Public Lecture Series: Watching Nature's Clock: A Citizen-Scientist Effort to Track Seasonal Signs of Climate Change
May 5, 2009

USGS Public Lecture Series: Watching Nature's Clock: A Citizen-Scientist Effort to Track Seasonal Signs of Climate Change

A new USGS program, the USA National Phenology Network, is recruiting tens of thousands of volunteers to team up with scientists to help track the effects of climate on seasonal patterns of plant and animal behavior. Come learn how you can contribute to this new national effort, by getting outside, and observing and recording flowering, fruiting and other seasonal events.

Image: USA-NPN Citizen-Scientist Lucille Tower

USA-NPN Citizen-Scientist Lucille Tower

USA-National Phenology Network citizen-scientist Lucille Tower records the one millionth observation on maple vine in the large nature database.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Citizen Scientists monitoring Avian populations in the Gulf Coast National Parks

Citizen Scientists monitoring Avian populations

Bird Counts: Birds are monitored annually to provide long-term assessment of bird populations.