Citizen Science Academy

Learn how to better engage your students, visitors, or program participants with the natural world through citizen science. Citizen Science Academy courses use Budburst as a case study for learning about citizen science as a field, how to use citizen science effectively in a variety of educational settings, and how to create compelling activities and opportunities to engage with the natural world.

Some courses also include other citizen science programs, including eBird, Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), FrogWatch USA, and Picture Post. Citizen Science Academy courses allow you to participate in a community of practice dedicated to engaging youth and adults in science. While they are geared toward formal and informal educators, courses are open to all.

You will be completing these courses with a cohort of other educators. Each unit includes a combination of readings, videos, discussions, activities, and self-assessments. All courses are instructor-led with feedback and guidance provided throughout. Online discussion provides opportunities to build and contribute to a community of practice around citizen science. 

Four-week courses:

  • Course registration fee: $70
  • CPDUs: 30

Two-week courses:

  • Course registration fee: $60
  • CPDUs: 15

Optional graduate-level continuing education credits are available from the Colorado School of Mines. Four-week courses are eligible for two credits ($95 fee). Two-week courses are eligible for one credit ($55 fee). For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

Future Courses

Using Citizen Science Data in the Classroom (CSA 521)
Designed for both grades 6-12 educators and informal educators, this course will provide you with the tools you need to use citizen science data in an educational setting. This course assumes a basic familiarity with the concept of citizen science and direct experience with or participation in at least one citizen science project. Specific projects will be highlighted in this course, including Budburst, eBird, FrogWatch, Picture Post, and CoCoRaHS. The course offers background information and activities to effectively implement citizen science projects in the classroom. It provides a good starting place if you are new to integrating data collection, manipulation, and display as part your citizen science-related instructional activities.

Teaching Phenology and Climate Change (CSA 501)
Share ideas and learn from other educators as you discover how studying the life cycles of plants (phenology) reveals some consequences of climate change. This month-long, online course focuses on having students collect scientific data—in the form of phenology observations—for citizen science projects such as Budburst. The course is designed for both formal and informal educators with implementation strategies provided for both learning situations. Participants receive guidance on selecting plants and making observations, suggestions for structuring classroom involvement, and ideas for educational activities to engage students in analyzing data. (formerly: Introduction to Project Budburst for Educators).

Introduction to Citizen Science (CSA 520)
Interested in including Citizen Science in your teaching or outreach? During this 4-week, entirely online course, you will become familiar with five successful citizen science projects especially suited to both formal and informal education. Featured programs include: eBird, CoCoRaHS, FrogWatch USA, Picture Post, and Budburst. Participants explore each program, learning how to participate along with suggestions for educational activities to engage your learners. You will select two of the five projects to explore in depth, including actual participation, if possible.

Budburst Nativars for Educators (CSA 511)
Are you looking for a hands-on, authentic research experience to engage your learners in both data collection in the field and data analysis? The Budburst Nativars project provides an opportunity to contribute data to a national research project aimed at answering a critical question in pollinator conservation. This two-week, entirely online course, covers basic plant phenology, pollinator biology, how to find or plant a Nativars Research Garden, and the protocols for making and reporting weekly pollinator observations. In addition, this course provides an opportunity to form a community with other educators and suggestions for additional classroom activities to support implementation in your unique educational setting.


For more information about Citizen Science Academy, please contact Sarah Jones.