Citizen Science

Citizen Science (CS) is a form of open collaboration in which individuals or organizations participate voluntarily in the scientific process. CS projects are science projects that rely on volunteers.

By engaging people throughout the country with software and technological tools, the Heliophysics Division (HPD) has a potentially transformative opportunity to solicit, receive, and track valuable data and other contributions from regional and lay scientists.

Check out NASA's Citizen Science projects for Heliophysics, the SMD citizen science page, the SMD professional development series for citizen scientist leaders, the list of citizen scientist profiles, and publications.

Innovation Initiative for 2023-2024: A Big Year for Heliophysics Citizen Science

Heliophysics has a transformative opportunity between October 2023 and December 2024  when two solar eclipses will occur in North America near solar maximum and the Parker Solar Probe will make its closest approach to the Sun​. Throughout this time, the public can engage their curiosity in these natural phenomena as a coupled system of the Sun, Earth, and heliosphere. These extraordinary research opportunities, coinciding with the increase of reach and scale of citizen science, set the stage for a Big Year for Heliophysics in 2024.

The Heliophysics Big Year ties together these major Heliophysics events to maximize participation in a coordinated incentivized citizen science campaign. The campaign borrows from the birding Big Year concept where birders vow to see as many species as possible within a specific geographic area in a given year. The Heliophysics Big Year will support members of the public who want to embark on a personal quest to be curious about Heliophysics, participate in monthly activities, and do Heliophysics citizen science.

As a heliophysicist, you can join the thriving community of citizen science projects gearing up for Heliophysics Big Year.




  • New projects: Apply for seed funding
  • Existing projects: Medium-size opportunity – H-CSI in ROSES22
  • EPSCoR, ML partnering to broaden participation with existing citizen science projects


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Heliophysics Citizen Science Strategy



The below Citizen Science Strategy was created by the HPD Citizen Science Working Group. It enables the continuing growth and success of Citizen Science in lockstep with its growing importance inside the Heliophysics community.

Our vision is to leverage public participation in Heliophysics to help drive innovation and diversity in science, society, and education.

Our mission will be to build a robust, dynamic, and engaging Heliophysics citizen science portfolio that fuses natural phenomena, mission opportunities, and the power of people’s diverse viewpoints to fuel collective innovation.

A core value of the strategy is that public participation contributes to societal benefit and addresses diversity and inclusion in science.

A chart of the mission for Citizen Science portfolio: grow, execute, innovate, communicate, optimize and partner

Heliophysics Citizen Science Contact Information

To get more information about Heliophysics Citizen Science, you can contact a member of the the HPD Citizen Science Working Group:

Lead: Elizabeth MacDonald​ (POC for EPSCoR and overall)
Deputy: Janet Kozyra

Team members: