Sharks are the stars of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, starting July 23rd. They’re also critical members of our ocean ecosystems.
But many of the more than 500 species of shark are endangered today as they face increasing threats from humans. Help scientists learn more about sharks, their behaviors, populations and environments, by sharing your pictures or observations from the wild, or verifying images online.
The SciStarter Team
Image credit: Project SIARC
Watch underwater videos of sharks, skates and rays and help match the fish to their species. Scientists use the videos to learn about shark behavior, which can be used to design better plans to protect them.
Image credit: Diego Delso/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0
See a shark in California? Submit your observation! Shark Watch CA uses volunteer-submitted observations to understand species ranges, seasonal trends, population sizes and human impacts.
Image credit: C Ward-Paige
Divers, snorklers and other ocean-goers worldwide: Download the eOceans app and join the eShark team to share your observations. Your observations and insights help ocean experts better understand the health of shark populations and the threats they face.
Image credit: Simon Pierce
Whale shark photos wanted! Whale sharks have unique spot patterns which global whale shark experts can use to identify individuals. Diving with the giant fish is a popular tourist activity, so make sure you submit your vacation shots and help theseDiving with whale sharks, the largest fish species in the world, is a popular tourist activity, and one that can actually help these massive creatures.
Location: Oceans, typically near the equator.
Image credit: Abbi Sands
Hunt for empty shark eggcases, sometimes called a “mermaid’s purse,” next time you’re at the shore. Submit records of what you’ve found on the Great Eggcase Hunt app, and researchers at The Shark Trust will use the data to improve their knowledge of where egg-laying sharks and skates live and reproduce.
Attn: Educators! Watch a special NSTA-hosted LIVE with NASA! Thursday, July 20th at 7pm ET: Science Update!
Interested in science education? Watch a special LIVE event with NASA and the NSTA. We discuss the first Moon landing, then learn about active NASA research that we — and your students — can do together. Watch the recording.
Tuesday, July 25th at 2pm ET: Moths!
Join us during National Moth Week to learn how anyone can observe moths and submit data to researchers studying these important insects. We’ll hear from moth expert Elena Tartaglia and Liti Haramaty, researcher and co-founder of National Moth Week. Register here.
In case you missed it: Using Citizen Science to Monitor Sharks
Join SciStarter and special guest Michael Bear, shark expert with Ocean Sanctuaries. Bring your shark questions! We’ll learn about how you can safely observe sharks and contribute your observations to help shark researchers study these important animals. Watch the recording.
Did you know that one of the major players in the field of citizen science is NASA? In this episode, we learn about three NASA projects and hear from NASA Citizen Science Officer Marc Kuchner.
Find the library offering citizen kits nearest you on our Library Locations page.
Are you a library staff member interested in bringing citizen science to your library? Check out our Library Resources page to learn more.
Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!