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To find a list of platforms that will host your citizen science project, browse our Science Platforms section.

This is not an exhaustive list; rather it is a list of resources that may be helpful for those considering leading a community or citizen science project. Email us at if you’d like to suggest a resource for this page.

Theories and strategies for community/citizen science

Collaborative Modeling With Fine Resolution Data Enhances Flood Awareness, Minimizes Differences in Flood Perception, and Produces Actionable Flood Maps 

This paper demonstrates a new process for communities to build flood resilience: collaborative flood modeling. High-resolution flood visualizations help diverse community members build a shared awareness about flooding, which creates conditions favorable to improved flood management.

NOAA Coastal Inundation at Climate Timescales Whitepaper

This whitepaper calls out citizen science as a potential strategy to encourage local residents to co-develop, provide, and apply actionable information to assist decision making.

Ecology and Society: Public Participation in Scientific Research: a Framework for Deliberate Design

Academic research paper that suggests a framework and models, used in tandem, can support deliberate design of PPSR (public participation in scientific research) efforts that will enhance their outcomes for scientific research, individual participants, and social–ecological systems (2012).

NOAA Citizen Science Strategy

Solid principles and examples with specific goals and objectives.

Recruiting and Retaining Participants in Citizen Science: What Can Be Learned from the Volunteering Literature?
An academic paper that brings together key theories from the volunteering literature with examples from the environmental volunteering and citizen science literature to describe the factors that influence people to start and continue participating in citizen science projects.


Planning Resources

These resources are useful for communities and individuals planning a crowd-sourcing project.

AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange
Thriving Earth Exchange supports community science by helping communities find resources, project managers, and experts to address their pressing concerns.
» See example community science project about coastal flooding in Greenwich, CT.
This website is an excellent resource full of case studies, a planning toolkit, and a resource library. Anyone interested in starting a citizen or community science effort can find relevant information here. The toolkit helps with scoping the problem, designing a project, building a community, managing data, and sustaining and improving the project.

Community Monitoring of Shoreline Flooding and Erosion: A Practice Primer
This step-by-step guide created by Rhode Island Sea Grant is a concise manual on how to plan and execute a community monitoring project.

This platform for citizen and community science projects also hosts resources and catalogs projects to help recruit participants.


Creating Equitable Projects

What’s in a name? Citizen vs. Community Projects
Making citizen science inclusive will require more than rebranding

NOAA's Community Resilience Education Theory of Change | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Well thought out documentation of how to make community science work for the community. Bottom line: Involve everyone.

STEM Brief: Designing and participating in community and citizen science efforts to support equity and justice
Projects promoting equity and justice in STEM must engage communities underrepresented in STEM, not only in data collection, but as full collaborative partners.

River Network Community Led Research Toolkit.pdf
“Nothing about us without us.” Advice for building and running equitable projects by encouraging community members to lead.

Community Peer Review Manuscript
An idea for implementing community-led research. Community peer review is a method that extends the ethics of consent into scientific practices. It gives communities affected by scientific research the ability to determine whether research may cause them harm and be part of determining how knowledge should best circulate to reduce or eliminate that harm.


Webinars from the Northeast Sea Grant Learning Network

Lightning Talks 1 (~10 min each) on MyCoast (Pam Rubinoff, RISG), Community Flood Watch (Katie Graziano, NYSG), and CoastSnap (Greg Berman, WHOISG), Nov. 2020

Lightning Talks 2 (~10 min each) on Chronolog (Jessica Kuonen, NYSG), Signs of the Seasons and Sensing Storm Surge (Esperanza Stancioff, MESG), King Tides Photo Contest and other sea level rise project (Lisa Wise, NHSG), Dec. 2020

Citizen Science 101 - Kristen Grant, MESG, and Alyson Eberhardt, NHSG, March 2021

Coastal Monitoring with CoastSnap - Greg Berman and Stephanie Murphy, WHOI Sea Grant, April 2021

Using Community Science for Decision Making: Coastal Flooding - Bob Rulli, Planning Director, Warren, RI; Rebecca Fischman, NYC Mayor's Office of Climate Resiliency; and Julia Knisel, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Oct. 2021

Using Community Science for Decision Making: Beach Monitoring - Kristen Grant, ME Sea Grant; Shelley Whitmeyer, James Madison Univ.; Ian Conery, US Army Corps of Engineers, Nov. 2021

Flood Sensor Network in NYC - Katie Graziano, NYSG, Feb. 2022


Coastal Monitoring Tools


Citizen science for monitoring seasonal-scale beach erosion and behaviour with aerial drones - Nature, Feb. 2021.  , David M. Kennedy, Rafael C. Carvalho, Blake Allan and Daniel Ierodiaconou

Drone-Based Citizen Science for Monitoring Coastal Hazards Throughout the Great Lakes of North America - webinar by Lucas Rabins, Ethan Theuerkauf, Erin Bunting, and Elizabeth Mack, Michigan State Univ.


Surging Seas Coastal Mapping tools
From Climate Central. And here’s a YouTube tutorial on how to use the mapping tool.

FEMA High water mark toolkit (PDF)
The High Water Mark (HWM) Initiative encourages communities to improve the public’s awareness of flood risk so they can take mitigation actions to address this risk.

Sea Level Rise Viewers

NOAA Sea Level Rise viewer

Coastal County Snapshots


Popular Press articles

As storms and sea level rise reshape beaches, volunteers keep track of changing coasts | NOAA

Nice account of how residents develop a sense of place (and even “ownership”) of a beach by monitoring it. Take away message: Opportunistic photo snappers are not as likely to sustain interest and involvement as folks who really get into it.