Field Biology

Field Biology Projects including outdoor, biology, ecology, and conservation

NatureMapping is all about identifying the common species of animals in your own back yard, school grounds, favorite park etc.  The last official wildlive surveys for most Iowa species were completed in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  A LOT has changed since then and some species that were only found in small parts of the state are found almost everywhere while others may live in different areas.  NatureMapping is a way for any Iowa citizen to help the state update these surveys.  You pick where you observe and which groups of animals you look for.  NatureMapping does require a short training, see the site for details.


Take a photo of a living thing, identify it and the location you spotted it, submit to, browse through over 80K observations by other iNaturalists, people also post pictures of organisms that they can not identify, as an iNaturalist member you can help identify the unknowns, correct mistakes and help calculate how accurate the iNaturalist database of species is. Opportunities to contribute to special projects, like contributing to the galleries of state flower photos, invasive species of North America Photos, etc.  You keep the copyright to the photos you submit.



Project FeederWatch is for the birds!  Set up a bird feeder at your school or home and then observe and report the number and type of birds that visit.  You could even develop your own research project by comparing the species that visit different types of feeders, feed mixes or times of day.



The Ruby-throated Hummingbird nests in Iowa over the summer.  When do they arrive in your area each spring?  When do they head south for the winter?  Where do they go and what path do they take to get there?  No one knows the answers to these questions, but you can help discover them.  Hummingbird Data can also be reported to the GLOBE Program if your school has a GLOBE certified teacher.

Project BudBurst

Do the trees in your community get their spring leaves at the same time each year?  Which species of tree gets it's leaves first?  With Project BudBurst you can make discoveries about patterns of plant growth and seasons.  This citizen science project even has it's own mobile app!

The Great Sunflower Project

Just 15 minutes observing a sunflower (or bee Balm or Purple coneflower) and recording the number of bee visits can help the Great Sunflower Project team learn more about the pollinators of North America. 


IOWATER is Iowa's citizen science water monitoring program.  At least one member of your team needs to be IOWATER trained, but then IOWATER provides the materials you need for as long as your team reports data.  You pick a local stream, pond or lake and collect periodic water quality data to assist in our understanding of the quality of Iowa's surface water.


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