The YardMap Network

The YardMap Network

The YardMap Network collects data by asking individuals across the country to literally draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools and gardens. The network connects citizen scientists with their landscape details and provide tools for them to make better decisions about how to manage landscapes sustainably.

YardMap is also an interactive citizen scientist social network. Participants are instantly connected to the work of like-minded individuals in their neighborhoods, and across the country. Together they can become a conservation community focused on sharing strategies, maps and successes to build more bird habitat.

The project seeks to answer the following questions:
What practices improve the wildlife value of residential landscapes?
Which of these practices have the greatest impact?
Over how large an area do we have to implement these practices to really make a difference?
What impact do urban and suburban wildlife corridors and stopover habitats have on birds?
Which measures (bird counts? nesting success?) show the greatest impacts of our practices?

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Rhiannon Crain, Yardmap Project Leader
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages

    Sign up at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Web site.

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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