55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 4/24. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Academy’s rainforest exhibit will be closed 5/6–5/7 for routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Citizen Science

Here's your chance to be a real scientist! Help researchers answer real science questions. The Academy is involved in several citizen science projects that rely on the field work of non-professionals. Collect actual specimens and scientific data to contribute to Academy research.

California Biodiversity

Citizen Science at the Academy focuses on how California biodiversity has changed based on historic knowledge and the Academy’s specimen collections. We are looking for evidence of changing distribution patterns of terrestrial and marine organisms and the possible correlations to climate change, introduced species and/or habitat loss. For more information or to volunteer for a field day, email .

Explore our current projects below to get involved!

Citizen Science Biodiversity Projects

Biodiversity Survey on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed

This is an on-going bio-blitz of the Marin Municipal Water Districtlands, in conjunction with the California Academy of Sciences. Add photos of the organisms you observe: plants, birds, insects, reptiles, mammals, anything! Here’s what our volunteers are finding:

Learn more

Intertidal Biodiversity Survey at Pillar Point

Help the California Academy of Sciences document the biodiversity of Pillar Point Reef through large-scale bioblitzes, citizen science monitoring, and casual observation. Here’s what our volunteers arefinding:

Learn more

San Francisco Biodiversity

Help us revisit historic collections at the California Academy of Sciences to see which populations persist in San Francisco. Each month we’ll post historic specimens from that month sometime in the past. Help us revisit them, and along the way document other plants and animals you’ve observed in our city! Here’s what our volunteers are finding:

Learn more

Citizen Science Conference

In May 2012, the California Academy of Sciences held three days of meetings about citizen science and biodiversity research. The goal of these meetings was to discuss best practices of public participation in scientific research with other institutions, citizen science practitioners and participants, data managers, and biodiversity researchers. This was done not only to help inform the Academy’s new citizen science initiative on documenting California biodiversity, but also to help advance the field of citizen science as a whole through engaging discussions and presentations about working with volunteers, aligning research and conservation goals with participant needs, and the use of technology in a variety of ways to benefit projects that involve public participation in research.

The proceedings from the conference are available for download:
California Academy of Sciences citizen science conference proceedings.

Bay Area Ant Survey

Harvester ant

Citizen scientists can help determine the spread of the invasive Argentine ant while documenting the overall diversity of ants in the Bay Area. To participate, see California Bay Area Ants.

Bay Area’s Most Wanted Spider


Arachnologists at the Academy documented the distribution and spread of Zoropsis spinimana spiders. Native to the Mediterranean coastal countries and northern Africa, this spider migrated to Northern California. Although harmless to humans, it could be considered invasive if it competed with locals species. This spider was found in 33 cities in 7 different counties.

Living Roof Project

Living Roof

Citizen scientist volunteers assisted in monitoring the many plants, birds and arthropods that inhabit and utilize the unique ecosystem on the Academy's Living Roof. Collected data has been shared with researchers here at the Academy as well as at San Francisco State University. Identified were: 20 arthropod orders, 39 arthropod families, 45 bird species and more than 52 plant species.

Want to find the citizen science project that's right for you? Browse this list to see a wide diversity of programs looking for volunteers. Some projects involve fieldwork, while others are entirely online. From astronomy to marine biology to environmental sciences, there's bound to be a project to interest you!

Animals (non-insect) | Astronomy | Biodiversity | Biotech | Birds | Documenting/Digitizing

Environmental/Weather Monitoring | Geology | Insects | Marine |Microbiology/Health | Plants

Animals (non-insect)

Project Name Research Project Location Website
Otter Spotters River otters San Francisco Bay Area Otter Spotters
California Roadkill Observation Program Roadkill observations California CA Roadkill Observations
FrogWatch USA Frogs United States FrogWatch
North American Amphibian Monitoring Program Frog and toad populations United States Amphibian Monitoring
Program Instant WILD Identifiying animals in photos from camera traps Online Instant WILD


Project Name Research Project Location Website
Galaxy Zoo Classifying galaxies Online Galaxy Zoo
Milky Way Project Sort and measure the Milky Way galaxy Online Milky Way Project
Moon Zoo Describing the lunar surface Online Moon Zoo
PlanetHunters Search for planets around other stars Online Planet Hunters
Stardust@home Interstellar dust particles Online Stardust@home


Project Name Research Project Location Website
Bay Area Bio-Atlas Documenting biodiversity in San Francisco Bay Area reserves San Francisco Bay Area Bay Area Bio-Atlas
What lives on Albany Hill and Cerrito Creek Documenting the biota of Albany Hill and adjacent Cerrito Creek San Francisco Bay Area Five Creeks
iNaturalist Organism observations International iNaturalist
Project Noah Organism observations International Project Noah


Project Name Research Project Location Website
BioCurious Hacker space for biotech San Francisco Bay Area BioCurious


Project Name Research Project Location Website
Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey Shorebirds San Francisco Bay Area PRBO
Raptor monitoring Raptors in the GGNRA San Francisco Bay Area GGRO
Celebrate Urban Birds Urban bird ecology North America Urban Birds
NestWatch Bird nesting/reproduction North America NestWatch
Great Backyard Bird Count Bird distributions across N. America North America Backyard Bird Count
North American Breeding Bird Survey Birds North America Breeding Bird Survey
PigeonWatch Pigeons North America PigeonWatch
Project FeederWatch Winter birds at bird feeders North America FeederWatch
Christmas Bird Count Bird distributions across N. America International Christmas Bird Count
eBird Birds International eBird
CamClickr Sort and tag 8 million archived NestCam images Online CamClickr


Project Name Research Project Location Website
FoundSF Geotagging historical photos, contributing stories, editing articles San Francisco Bay Area FoundSF
Citizen Archivist Dashboard Transcribing, tagging photos, contributing to articles Online Citizen Archivist
Old Weather Digitize weather observations made by Royal Navy ships around the time of World War I Online Old Weather

Environmental/Weather Monitoring

Project Name Research Project Location Website
Common Sense Air quality monitoring San Francisco Bay Area Common Sense
Contra Costa Volunteer Creek Monitoring Creek surveys San Francisco Bay Area CC Creek Monitoring
Bucket Brigade Air quality monitoring United States Bucket Brigade
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) Measure and map precipitation North America CoCoRaHS
Citizen Weather Observer Program Weather International Weather Observer
Gravestone Project Acid rain International Gravestone Project
Snowtweets Snow depths International Snowtweets
Sound Around You Building a sound map of the world to investigate how sounds in our everyday environment make us feel International Sound Around You


Project Name Research Project Location Website
Morphology Analysis Project for Participatory Exploration and Research (MAPPER) DeepWorker sub photos of microbialites in Kelly and Pavilion Lake Online MAPPER
Quake-Catcher Network Links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network International Quake-Catcher


Project Name Research Project Location Website
Lost Ladybug Project Ladybugs United States Lost Ladybug
School of Ants Ants United States School of Ants
The Great Sunflower Project / The Backyard Bee Count Pollinators United States Great Sunflower
Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Monarchs North America Monarch Larva
AntWeb Diversity and identification of ants International AntWeb


Project Name Research Project Location Website
Beach Watch Coastal/marine mammals, birds, beaches San Francisco Bay Area Beach Watch
California King Tides Initiative Document the highest seasonal tides to help visualize the impact of rising waters on the California coast. California CA King Tides
Reef Check California California rocky reefs California Reef Check
SERC Marine Invasions Citizen Science/ Plate Watch Marine invasives: Asian Kelp, Chinese mitten crab, invasive tunicates California Marine Invasions
JellyWatch Jellyfish sightings International JellyWatch
REEF Fish, invertebrates, algae International REEF
DigitalFishers Tagging video data of underwater features and organisms off the coast of Vancouver Island Online DigitalFishers
Whale.FM Cataloging the calls made by pilot whales and killer whales Online Whale.FM


Project Name Research Project Location Website
Your Wildlife Personal biota: wildlife on your body and in your home International Your Wildlife
EteRNA Creating the first large-scale library of synthetic RNA designs Online EteRNA
EyeWire Mapping the retinal connectome Online EyeWire
FoldIt Protein folding Online FoldIt
PatientsLikeMe Treatment and side effect information Online PatientsLikeMe
Personal Genome Project Sharing genome sequence and many types of personal information with the research community and the general public Online Personal Genomes


Project Name Research Project Location Website
Urban Forest Map Build an inventory of San Francisco's urban forest San Francisco Bay Area Urban Forest Map
Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN) Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) to infestations of invasive plants San Francisco Bay Area BAEDN
Calflora California plant observations California Calflora
OakMapper Sudden oak death California OakMapper
Redwood Watch Redwood observations California/Oregon Redwood Watch
Project BudBurst Plant phenophases United States BudBurst

Naturalist Center


Naturalist Center

The Naturalist Center offers a wide range of resources and services to individuals interested in learning more about the natural world.

Learn more

Contact Us


For more information, email us: