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U.S. Forest Service Now Accepting Applications for Citizen Science Funding Program

By: Devon Merriman, Science Writer U.S. Forest Service Headquarter
04 January 2018

Do you have a brilliant idea for a citizen science project? The U.S. Forest Service may be able to fund it. The agency’s new Citizen Science Competitive Funding Program – the CitSci Fund – is an opportunity to receive up to $25,000 for your project.

Young citizen scientist measuring wildlife.

This pilot program’s goal is to demonstrate how collaborative citizen science projects can meaningfully engage partners and volunteers in the scientific process, while also filling gaps in Forest Service information needs. The selected projects will increase shared learning by being part of a Learning Journey Cohort – project leads will meet regularly to discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing citizen science projects in the Forest Service.

Projects can be for any topic, including biological, social, economic, and more. They must have a genuine scientific or management outcome, have two Projects leads – one from the Forest Service and one from a Partner organization, and demonstrate meaningful engagement of volunteers. The proposed project must take place on National Forest System lands or data and information collected must be used to meet a Forest Service information need.

Group of citizen scientists holding butterfly nets.

The CitSci Fund is meant to foster collaboration and learning. Participants can refine their project plans using the Federal Citizen Science Toolkit, and provide insights to improve the forthcoming Forest Service-specific toolkit. Once projects are completed, participants can present what they learned to the Forest Service Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Community of Practice (FSCCS), sharing their insights and best practices. Ultimately, the Fund and its projects are intended to strengthen the agency’s partnerships with people who love their national forests and grasslands.

Project applications are due January 31st, 2018 and should be sent to Have questions? Read the FAQ on the CitSci Fund webpage or send an email to You can also sign up for updates about the CitSci Fund and FSCCS at