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Welcome to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County's (NHMLA) SuperProject! We are excited that you are interested in participating in the world’s largest urban biodiversity survey, now in its second year.
We want to make sure you are aware of project requirements before you sign up.
- This is a one-year commitment that requires a bit of your time each month.
- You’ll need to live in one of our two study areas for this year: either the San Fernando Valley or South Los Angeles (our South L.A. Study Area includes a number of neighborhoods around South L.A., so please view the map on the sign-up page for the study area boundaries)
- Lastly, you’ll need a smartphone and internet access to report your data. Your results are going directly to NHMLA scientists who are studying wildlife across the L. A. Basin.
It is our sincere hope that using the collective power of interested citizen scientists like yourself, researchers at the Natural History Museum of L.A. County can continue to make exciting discoveries about the world around us! Previous project participants have helped collect new species, discover new records, and map fascinating location data. We have had citizen scientists inspire us with their finds and coauthor papers with us based on their discoveries. We hope you are interested in joining this exciting community! Please read a bit about what participation in the SuperProject entails below, we hope you’ll join us.
Your participation in this project comes with many exciting benefits!
- First and foremost, you will be contributing to NHMLA’s urban nature research. Your backyard might contain the next new species. Your observations might give us new insight into an animal’s range or behaviors. You are collecting real scientific data for our scientists to use.
- You’ll be a part of an amazing community of citizen scientists. We will connect you through social media and events throughout the year.
- You’ll receive special invitations to field trips and meet-ups throughout the year, to hone your skills and hang out with other citizen scientists and NHMLA researchers.
- You’ll be invited to exclusive “thank you” events for SuperProject participants. In the past, we’ve offered behind-the-scenes tours of our laboratories and collections at the Museum, and fun offsite events with presentations of breaking news from our researchers.
The NHMLA SuperProject requires you to conduct nature surveys of at least three areas. These surveys collect observations on both animals you see and your surroundings that day (temperature, weather, etc.). You will need to fill out an online form to record data about each of your surveys, and you will need to add your sightings to the SuperProject page on iNaturalist. All participants will learn how to conduct these surveys at an upcoming training event at the NHMLA.
Here are the types of surveys our Super Citizen Scientists will be conducting:
- Core Site. This might be your backyard, the grounds of your apartment complex, or a garden at your school. This is a site you will survey once every month from April 2017 to March 2018.
- Neighborhood. Also once a month from April 2017 to March 2018, we ask that you take a 15-30 minute walk through the neighborhood around your core site and record your observations.
- Parks/open spaces. We ask that you conduct at least three surveys of parks or open spaces.
For all surveys there is a goal of at least 5 observations per survey, with a focus on snails, slugs, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
How to participate:
We hope you feel inspired to contribute, and that you’re up for the challenge! If not, you are always welcome to contribute to our iNaturalist projects on your own. Check them out here. If you’re ready for SuperProject 2017, click the sign up button where we will get some information from you and have you sign up for a training session.