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Resources & Webinars


Click the drop-downs below to find resources from the Forest Service that support crowdsourcing and citizen science activities. 

  • Forest Service Projects Find and filter citizen science projects by subject area. Includes highlights of past projects and ongoing projects that are currently recruiting volunteers.
  • Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Catalog Find a project near you on this interactive map of projects sponsored by federal agencies.
  • SciStarter Find, join, and contribute to science through recreational activities and citizen science research projects. This comprehensive, searchable database of citizen science projects includes Federal, non-governmental organizations, private groups and more.

  • Join the Forest Service Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Community of Practice (FSCCS), these monthly webinars are open to all audiences. The goal of the FSCCS is to create a virtual meeting space where participants can network, learn from colleagues and partners, connect to resources and information, and be inspired to develop new projects or expand their current crowdsourcing and citizen science projects. We hope that these webinars will help you to learn more about the Forest Service and the programs and projects that we support. See Webinars below for more information and to sign up.
  • Apply for the Citizen Science Competitive Funding Program (CitSci Fund). The CitSci Fund is a collaborative approach to resource management – each project will have one USFS Project Lead and one Partner Project Lead, and demonstrate how volunteers are meaningfully involved. Participants will be part of a Learning Journey Cohort that will learn and share ideas together. This is a pilot program in 2017/2018 that directly supports National Priority #3: Promoting shared stewardship by increasing partnerships and volunteerism. Projects that support a Forest Service information need can request up to $25,000 in funds.
  • Receive our Citizen Science Digest email where we share information about Agency programs and related crowdsourcing and citizen science information.
  • To find out more about any of these items, please sign up for our mailing list: or email
  • (Forest Service Staff only) Forest Service Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Community of Practice page. Find resources and information about this growing community of practice. Do you have a great citizen science project that we should highlight? Let us know! Send an email to

  • 2017 Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act Sec. 402 of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. On January 6, 2017 the President signed into law the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, which grants broad authority for conducting crowdsourcing and citizen science projects. From Title IV, Section 402: "It is the sense of Congress that—"…"(2) crowdsourcing and citizen science projects have a number of additional unique benefits, including accelerating scientific research, increasing cost effectiveness to maximize the return on taxpayer dollars, addressing societal needs, providing hands-on learning in STEM, and connecting members of the public directly to Federal science agency missions and to each other."
  • 2015 "OSTP Citizen Science Memo" to agency heads from the Director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, entitled Addressing Societal and Scientific Challenges through Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing. This memo articulates principles that Federal agencies should embrace to derive the greatest value and impact from citizen science and crowdsourcing projects. The memo also directs agencies to take specific actions to advance citizen science and crowdsourcing, including designating an agency-specific coordinator for citizen science and crowdsourcing projects, and cataloguing citizen science and crowdsourcing projects that are open for public participation on a new, centralized website created by the General Services Administration: making it easy for people to find out about and join in these projects.
  • 2013 Open Government National Action Plan The United States has worked both domestically and internationally to ensure global support for Open Government principles to promote transparency; fight corruption; energize civic engagement; and leverage new technologies in order to strengthen the foundations of freedom in our own Nation and abroad. In support of these principles domestically, the first U.S. Open Government National Action Plan (NAP) includes a set of 26 commitments that have increased public integrity, enhanced public access to information, improved management of public resources, and given the public a more active voice in the U.S. Government’s policy-making process.
  • USDA and Forest Service policy and national strategies support the practices of crowdsourcing and citizen science. Some examples include:
    • The FS Strategic Plan FY 2015-2020 emphasizes community engagement for restoration outcomes and connecting people to the outdoors.
    • Citizen science and crowdsourcing directly support National Priority #3 – Promoting shared stewardship by increasing partnerships and volunteerism;
    • The 2012 Planning Rule requires public involvement in the development of monitoring programs including integrating the practice of multiparty monitoring, and designing and carrying out monitoring along with Indian Tribes;
    • The Integrated Youth Strategy promotes partnerships, conservation education, and place-based experiences in order to develop the next generation of conservation stewards and leaders;
    • The 2013 Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment Strategy highlights the need for landscape scale conservation, working with partners, collaboration on mnagaement and monitoring questions, quality data, open data practices and sharing information across organizational boundaries;
    • The Forest Service Digital Services Strategic Framework and U.S. Digital Service Playbook describe strategies to make open data, content and web api's the standard, and deliver better services using modern technologies;
    • The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program was established by Congress in Title IV of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 to enourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes. Many of these projects include community engagement and citizen science oppotunities.
    • The USDA Environmental Justice Strategic Plan: 2016-2020 addresses meeting the needs of minority and low-income populations by reducing disparate environmental burdens, removing barriers to participation in decisionmaking, increasing access to environmental benefits that help make all communitites safe, vibrant and healthy places to live and work, and ensuring all populations are allowed to share in the benefits of Government programs and activities.

  • USFS Guides to Multiparty Monitoring information on definitions, applicability and setting up multiparty monitoring programs. "Multiparty monitoring brings together people with different perspectives, who jointly identify monitoring questions and methods to answer those questions. Multiparty monitoring can help reduce conflict over proposed actions by providing a way for people with diverse views to discuss, and reach agreement about, appropriate management activities." See Webinar Session X for how the 2012 Planning Rule Policy supports multiparty monitoring, a form of citizen science.
  • Multi-party Monitoring National Forest Foundation tools, resources, webinars, training and case studies. See Webinar Session X for how the 2012 Planning Rule Policy supports multi-party monitoring and citizen science.
  • USFS GTR-680 - Broadening Participation in Biological Monitoring: Handbook for Scientists and Managers This handbook was written for managers and scientists in the United States who are contemplating a participatory approach to monitoring biological resources. Participatory (collaborative, multiparty, citizen, volunteer) monitoring is a process that...reflects the understanding that natural resource decisions are more effective and less controversial when stakeholders who have an interest in the results are involved in the process. See Webinar Session X for how the 2012 Planning Rule Policy supports multi-party monitoring and citizen science.
  • Peer reviewed publications are in TreeSearch.

  • Protocol for Citizen Science Monitoring of Urban Trees The Bloomington Urban Forest Research Group developed the Planted Tree Re-inventory Protocol which provides tree-planting organizations of all types with standardized methods to inventory the survival and growth of planted trees in urban areas. The protocol was designed for minimally-trained volunteers or citizen scientists to use. This article defines citizen science, its use to date, and what measurements to target and provides a link to the protocol guide and data sheets. Citation: Vogt, J.M. and B.C. Fischer 2014. A protocol for citizen science monitoring of urban trees. Cities and the Environment, 7(2):4.
  • The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. See Webinar Session X to explore ways the Forest Service can connect to GLOBE for citizen science, education, and community engagement.

  • Download the Natural Inquirer: Citizen Science - A free science journal is written for middle and high school students, Natural Inquirer follows the same format as a scientific article to help kids learn and love science. It includes examples of project to get involved in and classroom activities.
  • The My Public Lands Junior Ranger: Citizen Scientists at Work! activity book created by the Bureau of Land Management. Read about people who are volunteering as citizen scientists to help the BLM manage and protect public lands. Learn about cool citizen science projects that you and your family can do-- like observing the night sky, creating monarch habitat, surveying stream life, and photographing birds’ nests.
  • The Girl Scouts have launched  Think Like a Citizen Scientists Journey - Troop leaders guide the Girl Scouts on this journey. A small, curated list of projects await you on your SciStarter Journey Dashboard. After you and your troop select one of the projects, you will enter data, together, online.  After the first citizen science project is completed as a troop, they can move on to Take Action and document their Take Action projects on SciStarter, too. Then, all girls will be free to discover, find, and participate in all types of citizen science projects with their families.
  • Celebrating Wildflowers this Forest Service page has information and materials for forest visitors and educators about wildflowers including excellent teacher guides and citizen science projects for the monarch butterfly.
  • FSNatureLive brings nature learning to you through our series of webcasts, webinars, and online education resources. No matter where you are in the world, visit our LIVE programs for exciting, on-site learning about bats, butterflies, climate change, wetlands, and more! Each topic area contains teacher resources including related citizen science projects that your students can participate in.
  • PLUM Landing USFS partnership with WGBH, the primary provider of PBS Kids programming for Public Television provides science activities designed for children ages 6-9 (and their families), and most are available in both English and Spanish. There are apps and videos, and activities for families, afterschool programs, clubs, and summer camps.

Given the collaborative nature of citizen science, partnerships are often key to citizen science efforts. Partners in citizen science include schools and teachers, local and national non-profit groups, universities, state and local government and other federal agencies. Partners contribute to Forest Service citizen science projects in many different ways including helping to form research questions, recruiting. training and managing volunteers, collecting and analyzing data, and many more.

  • How to Work with Us: The Partnerships 101 page of the Forest Service website has the “How to” information for any stage of collaboration starting with understanding the Forest Service, legal requirements, funding and other details. To learn more about our Volunteers program visit the Volunteers homepage.
  • Land Use Permits: If your project takes place on National Forest System land, check with the local national forest or grassland office to see if there are any land use permits and permissions you must obtain before starting your citizen science project. Permit requirements vary by local unit.
  • Who to Contact: If you are interested in starting a partnership, see list of partnership contacts. If you are interested in coordinating a volunteer opportunity, see list of volunteer coordinators. To find contact information for the specific national forest or grassland where you are interested in working, visit the Forest Service homepage and select the location from the dropdown, once you're on their website look for the ‘Contact Information’ located on the bottom left of the page. The local district office will also likely connect you with the resource specialist (i.e. District Wildlife Biologist, Forest Botanist) who is the local Forest Service expert.
  • To find a list of Forest Service Projects: Visit our Projects page and the Federal Catalog of citizen science projects where you can search by Agency sponsor. You can also check


These webinar recordings are from the monthly meetings of the Forest Service Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Community of Practice (FSCCS). During the first two years (2015-2017), the Community was internal and those webinars are made available to external audiences here for informational purposes. Currently, the community of practice is open to all audiences and new webinar recordings will be updated frequently. Webinars take place the first Wednesday of every month at 13:00 hrs ET.

To find out more, please sign up for our mailing list:

Forest Service Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Community of Practice (FSCCS)

Date: December 8, 2021

Webinar Recording: Please check back - recording will be available soon.

Description: Join us for a webinar and sharing session focused on several of the Forest Service Citizen/Community Science projects that serve and support Indigenous communities!  These highlighted projects were funded in previous years from the Forest Service’s CitSci Fund.

The webinar will include remarks from the Acting National Program Lead for Tribal Research, a brief overview and history of the Forest Service Citizen Science Program, and presentations on several projects that involve citizen/community science, Indigenous communities, and the Forest Service.  A panel discussion will follow the project teams' presentations.


  • Jonathan Long, Acting National Program Lead for Tribal Research, Forest Service
  • Michelle Tamez, Inaugural Forest Service Citizen Science Program Coordinator (currently National Reforestation Partnership Coordinator) , Forest Service
  • Nanebah Lyndon, Tribal Relations Staff Officer, Kaibab National Forest, Forest Service
  • Dr. Sara Souther, Northern Arizona University
  • Adelaide (Di) Johnson, Ph.D., Hydrologist, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Service
  • Stormy Hamar, Haida Native Carver
  • Christian Giardina, Research Ecologist, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service
  • Leilā Dudley, Program Coordinator, Teaching Change
  • Chloe Martins-Keliihoomalu, Community Science Coordinator, ʻŌhiʻa Disease Resistance Program, Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests
  • Kainana Francisco, Natural Resource Specialist, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service
  • Michelle Baumflek, Research Biologist, Southern Research Station, Forest Service
  • Kathryn Baer, Ph.D., Research Ecologist, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Service

Date: Sept. 15, 2021

Video Presentation:

Chronolog is a photo point monitoring tool that serves multiple purposes through connections to citizen science, scientific research of changes in landscapes, as well as interpretation, visitor experiences, and education. With a simple, accessible workflow for participants, Chronolog supports consistent visual capture of a landscape through a standardized, fixed bracket at the site that orients a participant’s phone in a direction intended by the site owner. Chronolog is currently used by the National Parks Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor for landscape changes related to restoration projects, fire (including prescribed fire), invasive species, erosion, and more.


  • Jake Rose, Coordinator, Chronolog
  • Laura Brennan, Biologist, National Park Service

Also See:

Date: Sept. 21, 2016

Video Presentation:

Recently, crowdsourcing and citizen science and (CCS)—forms of open collaboration where volunteers participate in the scientific process—have seen exponential growth in the United States across a wide range of disciplines. CCS have contributed to many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and informed natural resource management decisions and policies across the nation and across the Forest Service.

The goal of the Forest Service Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Community of Practice (FSCCS) is to create a virtual meeting space where participants can network and learn from colleagues, get connected to resources and information, and be inspired to develop new or expand their own citizen science and crowdsourcing projects. Presenters will serve as experts on their topics and are open to questions and dialogue with participants, while also benefiting from the knowledge of the group.


  • Michelle Tamez, Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment Implementation Specialist, Ecosystem Management Coordination, Washington, DC;
  • Daniel Silvas, Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Ecosystem Management Coordination, Ft. Collins, CO
  • Tricia Suchodolski, knowledge Management Officer, Business Operations, Washington, DC.

Date: November 2, 2016

Video Presentation:

Government, nonprofit, and independent researchers increasingly use crowdsourced data for scientific understanding, exploration, and discovery. Having citizens act as sensors provides rich, location-based datasets. ESRI understands the need for tools to assist researchers in creating ready-to-use apps for data collection. Charmel Menzel will cover the ArcGIS apps that are currently available to us for crowdsourcing and citizen science.


  • Charmel Menzel, GISP, is a GIS Solution Engineer on the ESRI National Government Team. In her position, Charmel enjoys working with customers in determining the best options from the ArcGIS Platform for their project. She has been with ESRI since 2001. Prior to ESRI, Charmel earned her M.S. in Geography from University of South Carolina and worked for the World Wildlife Fund.

Also see:

Date: November 30, 2016

Video Presentation:

Part I: Intro to Policy

The U.S. Forest Service 2012 Planning Rule lays out a vision for a public participation process that involves all members of the community and partners throughout the three phase land management planning process and implementation of the resulting land management plan (forest plan). This will provide an overview of some of the direction for the implementation of the Rule that supports citizen science and crowdsourcing practices.

Part II: Case Study – Youth Forest Monitoring Program, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

One example of citizen science is the Youth Forest Monitoring Program, now in its 17th year at the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. See how youth are sharing their data and their voice as the Forest begins its 3rd year of plan revision. We will discuss how student data is used by forest scientists, provide suggestions for finding strong local support, and share ideas for continuing to engage with youth as they move on beyond the project.


  • Michelle Tamez: Science Delivery Specialist, U.S. Forest Service Washington Office – Ecosystem Management Coordination Staff
  • Liz Burke Youth: Forest Monitoring Program Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest.

Also see:

2012 Planning Rule Website -

Helena-Lewis and Clark Forest Plan Revision Youth Engagement Website:

Date: March 1st, 2017

Video Presentation:

Observation Error in Citizen Science Urban Tree Inventories

USFS researcher Lara Roman will present findings from a four-city study of volunteer observation errors in street tree inventories, breaking down results for each variable, discussing implications for appropriate uses of citizen science in urban forestry, and highlighting ways the training and field methods could be changed to improve volunteer performance.

Addressing Data Quality in Public Participation STEM Research Projects

NSF established strategic investment in Public Participation in STEM Research (PPSR) as a FY16-17 Agency Priority Goal. As the field grows, new concerns and approaches regarding data quality continue to arise. Program director Ellen McCallie will discuss some ways data quality is addressed at NSF, and AAAS Fellow Timna Wyckoff will share some examples from the literature of ways that researchers are ensuring that the data collected by PPSR can make productive contributions to research outcomes.

Date: April 5th, 2017

Video Presentation: Due to technical issues, this recording is not available.

Jennifer Shirk will provide an overview of the strengths and merits of citizen science as an approach to research and public engagement, and describe the diversity of project types – from one-day events to long-term monitoring efforts. For those interested in what it takes to get started, we will look at the basic steps necessary for designing and running a citizen science project, developed as the core of the first Citizen Science Toolkit. We will also look at a newer framework for citizen science programs, designed to inform US Fish and Wildlife Service work but broadly applicable to all citizen science efforts. We will take time on the call to discuss USFS-specific reflections on these resources and the challenges and opportunities for citizen science in the agency.


  • Jennifer Shirk is the Acting Director of the Citizen Science Association (CSA), and Manager of Professional Development for Citizen Science in the Public Engagement in Science Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Date: May 3rd, 2017

Video Presentation:

Ron Goode, Chairman of the North Fork Mono Tribe, and Jonathan Long, a Forest Service researcher will discuss their collaborative efforts to integrate traditional tribal knowledge into National Forest restoration in the central Sierra Nevada of California. They have collaborated on research publications that explain the ecological and cultural importance of restoring California black oak groves and associated meadow communities and how traditional knowledge can inform monitoring and on-the-ground restoration. They will discuss how such collaborations can complement more general citizen science and environmental justice efforts, and how those lessons can be extended through other partnerships involving tribes and National Forests.


Fred Clark, Director of the Office of Tribal Relations and Tasha Lo Porto, of the Environmental Justice Board will also brief us about their work and be available for the discussion.

Also see:

Date: June 7th, 2017

Video Presentation:

Citizen science projects, by definition, are opportunities to engage volunteers. Learn basic requirements for engaging Forest Service volunteers, and get tips for managing large projects and recognizing participants for their contributions. Funding opportunities for citizen science projects will also be discussed.

Carmen Young is the volunteer coordinator in the Office of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources in Washington, D.C. and is the agency contact for National Public Lands Day, a national day of service which engages the public in education, recreation, and stewardship activities.

Join us after the FSCCS presentation for an open conversation that will allow us to build the community for our community of practice. During this time you can: get to know others in the agency that are interested in citizen science and crowdsourcing, share project highlights, ask questions of the group, get feedback from other members in the community, and help us to meet your needs for future sessions. This conversation will be led by the FSCCS team:


  • Daniel Silvas, Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Ecosystem Management Coordination
  • Tricia Suchodolski, Knowledge Management Officer, Office of Regulatory and Management Services

Date: ​September 6, 2017

Video Presentation: (unfortunately, a technical glitch means that the audio was not recorded. There is closed captioning, however).

Experts will share how their Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) projects are using citizen science approaches to advance their multi-party monitoring goals.

The Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) in Arizona is using citizen science for stream temperature monitoring, wet/dry mapping perennial streams, and spring surveys. Learn how they are developing and fostering relationships with local non-profits.

The Southwestern Crown Collaborative in Montana has collaboratively developed Adopt-a-Stream and School Stream Monitoring programs that engage the local public and students in monitoring. Learn how these examples are creating shared ownership and youth engagement through citizen science.


  • Lindsay Buchanan, CFLRP Coordinator, US Forest Service Washington Office
  • Cory Davis, Coordinator for the Southwestern Crown of the Continent Collaborative, Research Associate in the University of Montana's College of Forestry and Conservation
  • Joann Wallenburn, Aquatics Director, Clearwater Resource Council, partner on the Southwestern Crown of the Continent Collaborative
  • Dick Fleishman, Operations Coordinator for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, Coconino National Forest

Also see:

Date: ​October 4, 2017

Video Presentation:

You're invited to learn about the new U.S. Forest Service Washington Office Citizen Science Competitive Funding Program – CitSci Fund.  

After a successful first year of the Forest Service Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Community of Practice, it's time to gear up for year two. One of our goals is to "inspire new and expand existing projects". Now that we have the knowledge under our belts, it's time to put it to practice!

The Ecosystem Management Coordination staff is investing $100,000 of FY '18 funds for up to 5 projects through a competitive proposal process. The goal is for projects to demonstrate the value of citizen science for delivering USFS mission results. Specifically, increased collection and analysis of usable data and information, and enhanced collaboration between units and stakeholders.


  • Chris French, Director, Ecosystem Management Coordination, US Forest Service Washington Office
  • Michelle Tamez, Agency Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Coordinator, Ecosystem Management Coordination, US Forest Service Washington Office

Date: ​December 5, 2017

Video Presentation: 

A timely presentation and discussion, December's USFS Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science webinar is on two efforts that are using the knowledge of the crowd to respond to critical information needs when disasters strike.  

Operationalizing Crowdsourcing at FEMA in Response to the 2017 Hurricanes

During the 2017 hurricane season, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operationalized crowdsourcing at the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) by coordinating existing and new crowdsourcing efforts with Digital Volunteer Networks as well as organizing a FEMA Disaster Hackathon. These efforts that engaged over 5,700 volunteers, have shown that leveraging crowdsourced data, tools, and services can enhance situational awareness, decision-making, and inform machine learning and artificial intelligence for emergency management.

Smoke Sense – A Crowd Sourced Study of Health Impacts of Wildland Fire Smoke Exposures

Exposure to particles and gasses found in wildfire smoke are linked to a range of adverse health outcomes, negatively influencing wellbeing and productivity in the affected communities. The Smoke Sense Study is a citizen science, crowdsourcing initiative that leverages observations and insights about wildland fire smoke from individuals across the country to help inform what we know about these exposures. The Smoke Sense app was piloted during the latter part of the 2017 fire season. In just a few weeks, over 4,500 individuals participated in the study. This presentation will cover the protocol and features of the app itself, as well as interim results from the pilot season. Additionally, we will share initial plans for the next version of the Smoke Sense app, and emerging research studies that are part of the broader Smoke Sense initiative.


  • Dr. Sophia Liu, Innovation Specialist, U.S. Geological Survey, Science and Decisions Center.
  • Dr. Ana Rappold, Statistician, and Dr. Mary Clare Hano, postdoctoral scholar, EPA, Office of Research and Development, Environmental Public Health Division.

Also see:

Date: ​February 7, 2018

Video Presentation:  

In crowdsourcing – an open call for volunteers to provide information or help solve a problem – researchers and managers can tackle complex challenges by conducting scientific studies and monitoring at large geographic scales and over long periods of time in ways that professional scientists alone cannot easily duplicate. This approach also provides people with hands-on, engaging experiences in science, and creates a sense of community and ownership in solutions. Although crowdsourcing as a concept is not new, in recent years, the ubiquity of geospatially-enabled mobile technology has made crowdsourcing more accessible than ever.

Recognizing the value of these projects and the need to better understand how these practices are being used, the Forest Service conducted an assessment in 2017, Crowdsourced Geospatial Data in the Forest Service. This webinar will describe the information gathered from a project review, Agency survey, and in-depth interviews with Agency project leads. We will also have a discussion about the steps the Agency is recommending to advance crowdsourcing efforts in the Forest Service.


  • Tim Love, Assistant Program Lead, Geospatial Technology and Applications Center, USDA-Forest Service
  • Abbey Schaaf, Remote Sensing Project Manager, RedCastle Resources contractor, onsite at the Geospatial Technology and Applications Center, USDA-Forest Service

Also see:


AGOL (ArcGIS Online) Tools For Citizen Science

Date: Jan. 24th, 2017

Video Presentation: (Note: There are some audio issues at the beginning of the recording)

We start by introducing you to the technical support network of the USFS with an overview of the CIO and GMO. Plan to attend this webinar if you are new to ArcGIS Online or want to know the latest on Web GIS and how ArcGIS Online supports the creation of location based information products. The first in a series of tech transfers focusing on how to create and manage crowdsourcing and citizen science apps, this webinar is an ArcGIS Online overview. The capabilities to be covered include analysis, smart mapping, data enrichment, and communicating your project initiatives using a rich set of configurable templates.


  • Tim Clark: Esri Solution Engineer, is the primary technical resource providing Esri software expertise for the account management team managing the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service.  Tim also supports the Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior.  Tim has worked with Esri technology since 1987 in different roles and market sectors including local government, private consulting, federal government and for the last 19+ years with Esri.

Also see:

Date: April 26th, 2017

Video Presentation: mp4 video

Continuing the series of tech transfers about how to collect, manage, analyze, and visualize crowdsourcing and citizen science project with ArcGIS tools, this next session focuses on easily creating forms to get your project off the ground. This webinar will help you understand the benefits of public participation in scientific research. Christine Buckel from NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science will describe their citizen science app collecting crowd sourced water level information informing weather and model predications, and providing data to scientists and the public. Charmel Menzel, Esri, will provide tips on getting started. We will give a recap of ArcGIS data collection apps, a NOAA example of GeoForm data collection embedded into a Story Map, and show how to create your first GeoForm app:


  • Charmel Menzel: GIS Solution Engineer on the Esri National Government Team based in Vienna, VA.  Charmel has worked with ArcGIS technology since 1994 first being introduced to GIS while working at the World Wildlife Fund and then cementing her desire to pursue a career in GIS while supporting a federal contract.  During her tenure at Esri, Charmel has worked with state, local and federal agencies.
  • Christine Buckel: Ecologist at NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science located in Beaufort, NC.  She has been with NOAA since 2001.  Christine utilizes GIS while working on a variety of topics, including endangered species, fish & habitat conservation, and sea level rise

Also see:

Date: July 19, 2017

Video Presentation:

Continuing the series of tech transfers on how to collect, manage, analyze and visualize crowdsourcing and citizen science projects with ArcGIS tools, this next session focuses on creating a publicly available data collection app using Survey123 for ArcGIS.


  • Esther Godson and Damien Hoffman: USFS National Technology & Development Program. They will discuss the Accessible Feature Survey FSAD app created by the Outdoor Recreation For Everyone team. The project collects USFS Accessibility data for outdoor recreation sites from employees and volunteers utilizing Survey123.
  • Charmel Menzel: Esri, will get you started with Survey123 and show you how to take advantage of the ArcGIS platform to analyze and visualize your data. These apps will work on a smartphone, laptop, or desktop as a native app and in a web browser.

Also see:

Date: October 18, 2017

Video Presentation: (note: intro was not recorded)

Collector for ArcGIS is a map-centric mobile app that can be shared with the public for crowdsourcing and citizen science projects.  Use Collector for ArcGIS online or offline to create and edit information in the field.


  • Dan Kipervaser will discuss two recent citizen science projects that used Collector for ArcGIS. These projects were within the Forest Service's Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), a 2.4 million acre ponderosa pine restoration project located in Arizona. One project centers on ephemeral stream surveys that use citizen scientists to identify areas with compromised bank structure and other signs of degraded function. This data helps identify areas of concern and allows resource specialists to use their time field more efficiently. The second project is a long term monitoring program modeled after The Nature Conservancy's wet/dry mapping project for the San Pedro River. Here, citizen scientists follow a series of interrupted perennial streams within the 4FRI project area, recording the location and length of wet stream segments during the driest part of the season. Over time, this data will provide a view into the condition of these stream systems and will help land managers understand the effects of forest restoration treatments on surface and groundwater availability.
  • Charmel Menzel, Esri, will provide an overview of capabilities and show how to create web maps for deployment on Collector apps.  Guidance on which ArcGIS App to utilize for your project will be discussed.  When to use Collector for ArcGIS or Survey123 for ArcGIS?

Also see:


More Webinars

Date: December 15, 2015

Video Presentation:

Recently, citizen science and crowdsourcing (CSC)—forms of open collaboration where members of the public participate in the scientific process—have seen explosive growth in the United States across a wide range of disciplines. CSC are growing and innovative fields that have been applied to everything from ecology and environmental education to human health and space exploration. CSC have contributed to many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and informed natural resource management decisions and policies across the nation. The goal of this webinar is to deepen our understanding of CSC and to show the value and potential of working with volunteers in advancing our mission.


  • Jamie Barbour: U.S. Forest Service Washington Office – Ecosystem Management Coordination, Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment Strategy Implementation Team Lead
  • Duncan McKinley, PhD: U.S. Forest Service Washington Office – Research & Development, Policy Analysis Staff

Research Publication:

Date: January 28, 2016

Video Presentation:

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Join us to explore ways the Forest Service can connect to GLOBE for citizen science, education, and community engagement.


  • Susan Cox: Conservation Education Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service State & Private Forestry, Northeastern Area
  • Jennifer Bourgeault: U.S. Country Coordinator, University of New Hampshire GLOBE Partnership Coordinator, The GLOBE Program

Also see: GLOBE Training Webinar:

Date: February 28, 2016

Video Presentation:

Note: This webinar was for a specific funding opportunity but contains a good tutorial about how to host a bioblitz.

In 2016 the National Geographic Society (NGS) and USDA Forest Service (FS) teamed up to host BioBlitzes across the United States. A BioBlitz is an outdoor citizen science activity where teams of scientists, students, teachers, and community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, and other organisms as possible. BioBlitz events are a fun and meaningful way to connect people to public lands. During the webinar, participants learned how to share science and interpretive skills by participating in a scheduled BioBlitz across the country or hosting their own bioblitz. Staff from National Geographic also shared a toolkit of fun and successful public outreach tools that are available for all BioBlitz participants.


  • Cindy McArthur: U.S. Forest Service Washington Office – National Partnership Office
  • Mary Ford Senior: Manager, Experiences National Geographic

Also see:

Scientist recruitment video:

Resources Mentioned During the Session:

Date: January 20th, 2017

Video Presentation:

  • Lisa Myers, Urban Connections and Conservation Education Program Coordinator, Region9, USFS-Purpose of our community of practice and announcements
  • Michelle Tamez, Agency Citizen Science Coordinator, USFS, - Intro to Forest Service Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Community of Practice
  • Lara Roman, Research Ecologist, Philadelphia Field Station, USFS – Findings from her study of volunteer data quality for street tree inventories
  • Matteo Garbelotto, UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory & CNPS – Sudden oak death blitz citizen science program in northern California.