Community Science

kid with phone at a unrc event

Community science (sometimes called citizen science) mobilizes volunteers to work alongside scientists to help answer questions about the world.

Our Community Science Program welcomes all people to participate in our projects and events, and looks forward to many valuable new partnerships and collaborations. Help us explore nature in L.A.!

We decided to change our name to community science to help make our program more inclusive. To find out more why we changed our name please read our statement.

Participating in our projects is easy.
Some involve taking photos of wildlife and sharing them with us, and some involve working with real specimens. Here’s how our photo-based projects work:

Step 1 

Discover Wildlife
Help us investigate the incredible nature all around L.A., in backyards, schools, and in neighborhoods.

Step 2

Record What You See
Snap a photo of the wild plants and animals you find, and when and where you found them. The more detailed the observation, the better!

Step 3

Share What You Find
Submit your observations with iNaturalist or by e-mailing or texting 213.663.6632 or by tagging us in social media with #NatureinLA

Put your nature eyes on

Step outside and take a moment to slow down, look, and listen. You can find nature even in small planters surrounded by concrete. Peek under leaves and rocks to find shy animals like bugs and snails. But be safe and put back anything you move—that’s someone’s tiny home.

Our Staff

Miguel Ordeñana
Senior Manager, Community Science

Miguel Ordeñana, who joined NHMLAC in April 2013, is an environmental educator and wildlife biologist.

Sam Tayag
Program Manager, Community Science

Sam works with scientists and community members through our Community Science office.

Valerie Ahumada
Coordinator, Community Science

Valerie works with scientists and community members through our Community Science office.

Amy Jaecker-Jones
Program Manager, Community Science

Amy Jaecker-Jones joined the community science program in 2018. Her primary responsibility is coordinating the City Nature Challenge, at both the local and international levels.

Maiz Connolly
Coordinator, Community Science

Maiz spent countless childhood hours exploring the fields, foothills, and tidepools of Southern California, and has loved natural history for as long as she can remember.

Lila Higgins
Senior Manager, Community Science

Lila is a museum educator with almost two decades of experience in museum education and community science programming.