Participate in Citizen Science with National Moth Week

Gather a group of family or friends to celebrate National Moth Week.

This year's National Moth Week is July 19-27. It's a great opportunity to participate in citizen science by joining in a mothing party or hosting your own! By documenting the moths you see and submitting the data, you can help scientists who study moths to track populations, hone in on species' habitat ranges, or even identify new species. Citizen science is a great way to bring the spirit of scientific inquiry home, and projects like this also offer a valuable opportunity to help scientists by assisting with data collection.

To start your mothing party, you'll need to set up a way to attract moths. There are two easy ways: simply switch on a light outdoors near a surface where they can rest, or make a "moth food" mixture from overripe fruit and alcohol that they can smell from a distance. At night, when moths are active, they will be attracted to the light or to the smell of the moth food, giving you an opportunity to photograph them.

For more ideas on participating in citizen science, take a look at our Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard lesson based on the book by Loree Griffin Burns, and check out the video of Burns reading a chapter from her book. Our lessons How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate and Watersheds also offer opportunities for citizen science in the classroom. Finally, for moth and butterfly enthusiasts, take a look at our Observing the Life Cycle of a Butterfly and A Butterfly's Home lessons.

Originally posted on AAAS Science NetLinks.