ecoExplore

About

ecoEXPLORE

ecoEXPLORE (Experiences Promoting Learning Outdoors for Research and Education) is an incentive-based citizen science program for children in grades K-8. Developed by The North Carolina Arboretum, this innovative program combines science exploration with kid-friendly technology to foster a fun learning environment for children while encouraging them to explore the outdoors and participate in citizen science.

 

What is citizen science?

Citizen Science encourages volunteers of any age to collect and submit scientific information to real life scientists, which will assist in their research and data analysis. Scientists around the world need help collecting data. By becoming a citizen scientist, participants can help professional scientists understand changes in the environment and see how these changes impact plants, animals and other natural resources.

 

How to EXPLORE

 

Sign Up!

Sign up to be an ecoEXPLORER using the form on this page. Then have your parent check their email for an email where they can click a link to give permission for your participation.

See It!

After signing up online, participants go outside in their own backyard or at designated ecoEXPLORE HotSpots to find wildlife species, including plants, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds.

Snap It!

Participants can use their own device – or check out an iPod Touch at a participating LoanSpot location – and photograph their wildlife observation, noting the data, location, time, size and species observed.

Share It!

Participants then log into their ecoEXPLORE profile online and submit their “share” or observation. Arboretum staff will then review the data and submit all approved submissions to the iNaturalist Network, which is used by real scientists!

 

Where to EXPLORE

ecoEXPLORE is a North Carolina-based program, but you can submit observations from anywhere in the world. The North Carolina Arboretum is both the lead institution of the ecoEXPLORE, and is the hub for the Mountain Region.

The Greensboro Science Center is the hub for our Northern Piedmont Region.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences serves as both the Central Region Hub from Prairie Ridge Ecostation; and their Whiteville location as the Southern Coastal Region Hub.

This program is free of charge to all children and families in North Carolina. Non-North Carolina residents are also welcome to attend programs, post observations and earn badges but are not permitted to earn prizes at this time.

 

Visit the Library

Join the Robeson County Public Library and the North Carolina Arboretum for regular educational programs about the state’s wildlife and ecosystems.