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Conservation: Citizen Science

Community Science Programs

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The Aquarium of the Pacific offers community science as part of its experiential learning opportunities.

Community science programs are 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 community science programs allows the community to connect to hands-on practical science and contribute to documenting urban wildlife in unique and meaningful ways.

The Aquarium’s programs provide opportunities to participate for people with a variety of backgrounds, skill levels, and availability.

Community Science Programs

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

Dolphin Photo ID

Using dorsal fin photos, our community 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 to learn more about this population of sea turtles.


Giant Sea Bass Community 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

Community 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

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

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Past Community Science Programs

Community science programs that have either concluded or the Aquarium’s chapter is no longer active in are catalogued here.