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Conservation: Citizen Science

Citizen Science Programs

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The Aquarium of the Pacific has begun to incorporate citizen science in our experiential learning opportunities.

Acknowledging the range of backgrounds, skill-level, and desired time commitment of those interested in volunteering for one of our programs, the Aquarium is developing a diverse portfolio of programs ranging from low to high commitment levels.

Our goal is to use our Citizen Science Program as a tool for engaging the public in science, and empowering individuals to be a part of scientific studies within their own communities. A diverse selection of citizen science programs allow the community to connect to hands-on practical science and contribute to documenting urban wildlife in unique and meaningful ways.

The following links provide information about each of our programs:

Citizen Science Programs

Woman taking photograph, dolphin coming out of water, and analysis of an image

Dolphin Photo ID

Using dorsal fin photos, our citizen science dolphin ID program identifies coastal bottlenose dolphins spotted during whale watches.

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Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Watch Water Quality Monitoring Network

Marine algae shapes the world we live in. It provides oxygen for us to breathe, and food for all sizes of marine life. However, there are some types of algae that produce toxins that, when consumed in large numbers, can impact marine life and people. When a harmful species of algae grows out of control, it is called a Harmful Algal Bloom (or HAB).

Group of citizen science volunteers

Southern California Sea Turtle Monitoring Project

The Aquarium of the Pacific has teamed up with the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority, Tidal Influence, and NOAA Fisheries conservation and wildlife management groups in order to learn more about this population of sea turtles


Giant Sea Bass Citizen Science

Spotting Giant Sea Bass is a web application where the public can submit photos of their encounters with giant sea bass in the wild.

Top view of two people looking into a tide pool

Naturalist Programs

Citizen scientists use the iNaturalist app to document and share their naturalist observations with the scientific community and fellow citizen scientists.

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Global FinPrint

Citizen Scientists at the Aquarium are counting sharks as part of Global FinPrint, the largest shark survey ever done.

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Past Citizen Science Programs

Examples of citizen science programs that have either concluded or the Aquarium’s chapter is no longer active in.