Spiders in Your World

Spiders in Your World

Just by taking photos and observing spiders, citizen scientists can help the Explorit Science Center in Davis, Calif., learn about which climates certain spiders live in and track the distribution of spiders over time. Use your camera or smart phone to take a photo of the spider and submit it online.

Spiders have long been thought of as a useful natural method of pest control, but how will expected temperature changes or other environmental changes affect the spider’s usefulness as pest-killers and their distribution? We don't yet know how climate change will impact spiders, and in turn impact agriculture such as crops and farms. When we understand where spiders are living today, we will be better able to predict what may happen to spiders and agriculture in the future.

Project Details

  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: Explorit Science Center
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages

    Please register first to get your personal CSP ID #.

See more projects in FreeFieldworkAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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