Student identifying plant

Community Science

Community science is the use of enthusiastic volunteers to collect data and generate results. Community science projects have the potential to collect large amounts of data due to the ability to engage large populations of volunteers, but usually require technical or scientific staff to analyze data and decipher patterns. At NYBG, community science volunteers are part of several ongoing research, data collection, and Herbarium transcription and digitization projects critical to The New York Botanical Garden’s mission. Participants are trained by experts on proper procedures for the project(s) they choose, and have the opportunity to learn aspects of plant biology, ecology, and Herbarium/Living Plant collection management.

Get involved through our volunteer program or virtually with the below projects.

NYBG Volunteer Programs

Phenology Program

Community Science volunteers observe and collect data to study the effects of weather and climate change on Forest and catalogued and curated display gardens and arboreta.

Photo of Citizen Scientists examining plants in a forest


If you would like to participate as an NYBG community scientist, please complete the volunteer application and return it to

If you are a student, teacher, or principal looking to incorporate more community science into your school’s curriculum, please contact Jamie Boyer, Ph.D., at for more information.


Public Community Science Projects

Herbarium Program

For over a century, The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium at NYBG has served as a crucial resource for researchers around the world seeking to study and conserve plant biodiversity. Today, community scientists are working to accelerate the pace of discovery by helping to digitize all 7.8 million specimens of plants and fungi from our extraordinary collection through Virtual Expeditions!

Photo of herbarium scientists looking at pictures of plants