The OSU Extension Home Horticulture working group (comprised of faculty & staff involved with the Master Gardener program) met in November 2016 in Corvallis.  One of the items discussed was how citizen science projects relate to the Master Gardener program requirements.  The group agreed to the following:

To be approved for Master Gardener volunteer hours, citizen science projects must:

  1. Align with the Master Gardener educational mission of discovering and disseminating research-based gardening information,
  2. Advance one of both of the flagship programs of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program: sustainable gardening and/or home and community food production,
  3. Involve participation on one or more levels of the citizen science typology.  These levels are (from least to most involvement): crowdsourcing, distributed intelligence, participatory science, collaborative science.

 The following are Oregon and national citizen science projects which are approved for indirect volunteer hours with the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program as of 08/2020. You may count your hours as the actual time spent collecting and submitting data.  When reporting volunteer hours associated with participation in approved citizen science projects, volunteers should report in the category of ‘Citizen Science’ (indirect volunteer hours).

Projects approved for OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer hours

Project Name Discipline(s) Sponsoring Organization(s) Website
Oregon Season Tracker climate monitoring, phenology Oregon State University Extension
Vegetable Variety Trials horticulture Oregon State University Extension email:
Forest Pest Detectors entomology, invasive species Oregon State University
eButterfly entomology Oregon State University
Oregon Native Bee Atlas entomology, pollinators Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Agriculture
The Hazelnut Project agronomy Oregon State University
Project Budburst plant phenology National Ecological Observatory Network
Great Backyard Bird Count ornithology National Audubon Society
Hummingbirds at Home ornithology National Audubon Society
iNaturalist biodiversity California Academy of Sciences
Backyard Bark Beetles entomology, invasive species University of Florida
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) climate monitoring NOAA, Oregon State University http://www.cocorahs.or/state.aspx?state=or
A Tree’s Life climate change, urban forestry North Carolina State University

Want to know if another project qualifies for Master Gardener volunteer hours?  First check with your county MG Coordinator.  Other contacts are Gail Langellotto (statewide MG coordinator) or Brooke Edmunds (project coordinator).

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