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
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.
If you would like to participate as an NYBG community scientist, please complete the volunteer application and return it to email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Public Community Science Projects
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!
New York City EcoFlora Project
The New York City EcoFlora project is engaging New Yorkers in protecting and preserving the City’s native plant species by recording new, original observations and data on the City’s flora and ecological associations.
The project is engaging the public as community scientists to observe, collect, and compile information about the City’s plants and their relationships with other organisms, such as birds, insects, and mushrooms, and combine this data with all that is already known from natural history collections and scientific publications. The New York City EcoFlora will be a real-time, online, ongoing checklist of plants that will result in a dynamic resource for conservation planning, as well as in New Yorkers that are better informed about the importance of urban ecologies and who can contribute to protecting them.
The New York City EcoFlora will provide community scientists at all levels from adolescents to seniors, professional and amateur with the opportunity to make observations of plants and the organisms associated with them Every observation helps build the next-generation map of species distributions and helps complete the data matrix of species attributes that refine our understanding of organisms and their place on the tree of life.