Community science projects, like climate or invasive species tracking, are reliant on observant volunteers, on the ground, able to report back findings. Think about how the Asian Giant Hornet was recently discovered in Washington State: Whatcom County residents served as the eyes and ears alongside scientists to spot, locate, and eventually destroy the nest.
In 2016, we developed guidelines to encourage OSU Master Gardener Volunteers to engage in community science projects and to have those hours count towards volunteer hours. These guidelines require that community science projects must:
- Align with the Master Gardener educational mission of discovering and disseminating research-based gardening information,
- Advance one of both of the flagship programs of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program: sustainable gardening and/or home and community food production,
- Involve participation on one or more levels of the community science typology. These levels are (from least to most involvement): crowdsourcing, distributed intelligence, participatory science, collaborative science.
The following are Oregon and national community science projects which are approved for indirect volunteer hours with the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program as of 12/2020. You may count your hours as the actual time spent collecting and submitting data. When reporting volunteer hours associated with participation in approved community 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||https://extension.oregonstate.edu/ost|
|Vegetable Variety Trials||horticulture||Oregon State University Extension||email: email@example.com|
|Forest Pest Detectors||entomology, invasive species||Oregon State University||http://pestdetector.forestry.oregonstate.edu/|
|eButterfly||entomology||Oregon State University||http://www.e-butterfly.org/|
|Oregon Native Bee Atlas||entomology, pollinators||Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Agriculture||https://extension.oregonstate.edu/bee-atlas|
|PNW Bumblebee Atlas||entomology, pollinators||Oregon State University, Xerces, Oregon Department of Agriculture||https://www.pnwbumblebeeatlas.org/|
|The Hazelnut Project||agronomy||Oregon State University||https://www.arborday.org/programs/hazelnuts/|
|Project Budburst||plant phenology||National Ecological Observatory Network||http://budburst.org/|
|Great Backyard Bird Count||ornithology||National Audubon Society||http://gbbc.birdcount.org/|
|Hummingbirds at Home||ornithology||National Audubon Society||http://www.hummingbirdsathome.org/|
|iNaturalist||biodiversity||California Academy of Sciences||http://www.inaturalist.org/|
|Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)||climate monitoring||NOAA, Oregon State University||https://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=or|
|A Tree’s Life||climate change, urban forestry||North Carolina State University||http://ecoipm.org/a-trees-life/|
|Oregon Garden Spring Bioblitz||biodiversity||Oregon State University||https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/spring-2021-master-gardener-bioblitz|
Want to know if another community science project qualifies for Master Gardener volunteer hours? Please check with your county MG Coordinator.