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

Phenology, or nature’s calendar, is the study of plant and animal life cycle events. Created to help advance scientific research in Acadia and throughout all of Downeast Maine, the Downeast Phenology Trail engages citizens in tracking the timing of flowering and fruiting plants, emergence of insects, and bird migrations.

Bird Monitoring Programs

The Bird Ecology Program supports several programs that welcome citizen participation, including 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 citizen scientist volunteers on week-long expeditions study changing flora and fauna of Acadia. Learn more about our partnership with Earthwatch.


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