Citizen science is a way for people to learn about science and the world through meaningful participation in research. Schoodic Institute works with the National Park Service and other partners to provide opportunities for volunteers to participate in science programs in Acadia National Park and also regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Schoodic Institute co-founded the Citizen Science Association, and continues to serve as the fiscal sponsor of the Association. Since 2015, the association has developed annual conference, Citizen Science Day, and the first peer-reviewed journal devoted solely to research on citizen science. The Citizen Science Association now has more than 5,000 members from 81 countries.

Latest Citizen Science Projects

Downeast Phenology Trail

The Downeast Phenology Trail was created to help advance scientific research in Acadia and throughout all of Downeast Maine all while providing the opportunity to engage citizens in data collection. Phenology, or nature’s calendar, is the study of plant and animal life cycle events. This project includes tracking the timing of flowering and fruiting plants, emergence of insects, and bird migrations. Learn more about the Downeast Phenology Trail.

Bird Monitoring Programs

The Bird Ecology Program supports several programs that welcome citizen participation. Sea Watch, Cadillac Mountain Hawk Watch, and Songbird Watch at Frazer Point. Check the calendar for upcoming bird tours.

Climate Change: Sea to Trees at Acadia National Park with Earthwatch Expeditions

In partnership with Schoodic Institute and Acadia National Park, Earthwatch brings citizen scientist volunteers to Acadia National Park. These week-long expeditions study changing flora and fauna of Acadia. More information at the Earthwatch website. Learn more about Earthwatch.


Since 2004, volunteers have documented thousands of insects, spiders, bees, beetles, butterflies, and moths during annual “bioblitzes.” Learn more about past bioblitzes.