Citizen Science Project 2019



We’re proud to partner with the Audubon Naturalist Society this summer to present our 2019 Citizen Scientist Project: #CreekCritters!

Empowering people to check on the health of their local streams

Creek Critters walks users through finding and identifying the small organisms – or critters – that live in freshwater streams, and generating stream health reports based on what they find. The types of critters living in our local streams tell us about the health of our region’s waters.


How Do I become a Citizen Scientist?

Download the FREE Creek Critters app




• Try it! Use the app to identify these critters.
• View a map of where we monitor. (uncheck “WQM Survey” to see only Creek Critters monitoring results)
• Dive deeper!  Learn about our water quality monitoring program or take action to conserve nature in the DC Region.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the Citizen Scientists Program?

A: The Citizen Scientist Program is sponsored by the Children’s Science Center in partnership with Audubon Naturalists Society. Your role is to assist in the health of our local streams and report any critters you find.

Q: When can my family participate?

A: The Children’s Science Center is encouraging participation in the Citizen Scientist Program over the summer months (i.e., June through August 2019), when people spend can spend more time outside and have more free time outside of school.

Q: What do we need to do?

A: Download the Creek Critters app on your phone and get started! It’s that easy! Then check out all of the fun X Stream Science Summer activities and events we have planned on our calendar!


Audubon Naturalists Society

Loudoun Water

Coming this summer!

Stay tuned to our calendar of events for more information to come!


Saturday, May 11New Experiment Bar Activity xStream Chemistry10am - 6pmNo Registration Required
Saturday, June 1Special Saturday Budding Program Focusing on Critters: Bugs & Insects11:00 amNo Registration Required
Saturday, June 8Kids Night Out! Sliding Into Summer 6:30-8:30 pm Registration Required
Sunday, June 30Stream Walk at Loudoun Water
10:00am-12:00pm Registration Required
Sunday, July 14Stream Walk at Loudoun Water
10:00am-12:00pmRegistration Required
Saturday, August 3Summer of Science Celebration1:00pm-4:00 pmGrand Court Fair Oaks Mall (Free Event)

About the Citizen Scientist Program

“Citizen science isn’t just a public relations exercise: it makes a significant contribution to the corpus of scientific knowledge. Improved public awareness of science is an important additional benefit, but it’s not the primary goal of citizen science. Rather, this emerging technique allows scientists to make use of what is still the most powerful computational resource on the planet: the human brain.”
(Dave Munger, “Creating Citizen Scientists“, SEED Magazine, December 16, 2009)

Citizen science refers to projects or ongoing bodies of scientific research in which individual volunteers or networks of volunteers, many of whom may have no specific scientific training, perform or manage research-related tasks such as observation, measurement, or computation. The use of citizen-science networks often allows scientists to accomplish research objectives more feasibly than would otherwise be possible. In addition, these projects aim to promote public engagement with the research, as well as with science in general. As such, citizen science is one approach to informal science education.

The current form of citizen science, which has evolved over the past two decades, places more emphasis on scientifically sound practices and measurable goals for public education than similar prior efforts. Modern citizen science differs from prior efforts primarily in the access for, and subsequent scale of, public participation. Technology is credited as one of the main drivers of the recent upsurge in citizen science activity.

For more information, see the following Web resources:
Citizen Science Alliance
Dynamic Patterns Research: Citizen Science
Citizen Cyberscience Centre
Scientific American