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Why citizen science matters

At Earthwatch, we ❤ citizen science! Here are seven reasons why.

It's open to everyone

From corporate leaders to children, anyone, anywhere can help save the planet. Citizen scientists gather robust data that generates environmental insights and informs future policy.


For every hour spent training citizen scientists, we get NINE hours of data collection back

A study in the journal BioScience showed just how effective citizen science can be. Without the help of our volunteers, we'd never be able to gather so much data on issues affecting oceans and coasts, fresh water, climate change and wildlife and habitats.


Citizen science is good for you!

Environmental volunteering immediately and significantly improves your well-being, even more than other nature-based activities do. According to research published in F1000Research, volunteers had fewer negative emotions and were less lonely, and they remembered feeling this way long after their volunteering ended.


Local actions can have a global impact

At Earthwatch, we believe that if we all work together, we can tackle the challenges which threaten the natural world.

Our hands-on projects and activities get people thinking about critical environmental issues and help them commit to personal actions. When lots of us take steps at a local level, we can have a global impact.


We're able to investigate the biggest environmental challenges of our time...

The evidence our volunteers collect contributes to vital scientific research and helps inform environmental management and policy. When FreshWater Watch volunteers in Lincoln, UK, spotted pollution entering a river, for example, local businesses were visited and the sources soon identified.


... on a scale never seen before

In the case of FreshWater Watch, nearly 20,000 data sets have been submitted by people from across the globe. And in 2017, Earthwatchers collectively spent more than 1,100 hours counting earthworms and categorising soils for Earthworm Watch, contributing to an improved national spread of records.

We're also helping take citizen science to the next level through projects like GroundTruth 2.0, MONOCLE and OPENER.


Citizen scientists know who (and what) lives nearby

Citizen science is a collaborative activity, bringing people from all walks of life together to explore their local environment. We believe that noticing nature is the first step towards protecting it — one of the reasons why our new urban wildlife project is so important.

Images: John Hunt, Rory MacKinnon

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