Community Science

Community Science

Community science is a way for everyday people to get involved in science and help local and nationwide research efforts through data gathering.

Volunteers are trained to record their observations of the natural world and share this scientific data with researchers and decision makers.  In this way, community science volunteers are able to make a significant contribution in their community and in the world by amplifying data collection efforts and expanding scientific research.


BudBurst is a nationwide phenology research project to study plant responses to climate change. Volunteers learn about plant structures and life cycle events (or phenophases), then select one or more plants in the Arboretum to monitor during the growing season. Their observations become part of a national data set used by climate researchers, horticulturists, and educators.

Early Detection of Invasive Pests Project

The Early Detection of  Invasive Pests community science project aims to monitor for various Hoyt Arboretum sites for three non-native pests – spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), and Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) – that haven’t yet been observed on the Arboretum’s grounds. Their observations will contribute to developing an ongoing survey process for pests at Hoyt and also serve as a model for early detection at other public gardens.

Western Redcedar Dieback Project

Recent observations of dieback and mortality in Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) around the Pacific Northwest have raised concerns about this iconic tree species’ ability to cope with climate change. Community scientists will be trained to measure, assign a health rating, and observe the Western redcedars at Hoyt Arboretum as part of a larger regional community science effort to track dieback across the Northwest.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

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