Ever wondered how you can get involved in marine science and conservation? Then look no further! Here, we look at some brilliant UK-based projects that are always recruiting volunteers to help.

Learning more about our oceans and beaches is vital to helping them, but it’s a lot of work for scientists to do alone. That’s where citizen science comes in! Citizen science is when organisations rely on members of the public to help with data collection and monitoring. Whether you want to improve your personal statement or CV for a potential career in marine biology, or if you would just like to get involved and do your part, citizen science is a brilliant thing to get involved in.

Shoresearch – The Wildlife Trust

Started in 2003, this The Wildlife Trust project began due to a lack of data, making it hard to know about the health of UK shores. The trust now trains volunteers to identify and record the wildlife that is found along beaches and shore.

This data is vital for understand and monitoring the coastal wildlife, as well as giving a better understanding of climate change and pollution. The data has even been used to help with Marine Protected Areas.

Get involved in Shoresearch

Great Egg Case Hunt – The Shark Trust

Egg cases are tough leathery capsules that protect the embryo of many shark and ray species. Once the young hatch, these empty cases often wash up onto the beach. The Shark Trust started a project in 2003 to involve the public in the identification and reporting of egg cases.

This data can tell us what species of sharks and rays are found in our waters, as well as giving us an idea of where they give birth. An app has been developed meaning it’s extremely easy to get involved!

Join the egg case hunt

Beachwatch – Marine Conservation Society

As well as encouraging the public to clean up our coastlines, Beachwatch volunteers can note down every piece of litter that they find in an 100m stretch. Litter surveys have been run by the MCS for over 30 years, this data can tell us where marine litter comes from and helps with campaigning for changes in legislation.

Find a beachwatch beach clean

Sea Watch Observer – Sea Watch Foundation

In the UK we are lucky to be able to spot some of the most beautiful and charismatic sea animals off our coastlines: dolphins, porpoises, and whales. You can get involved with the monitoring of these incredible species by taking part in surveys or reporting sightings from around the UK. Both types of data are vital for understanding what species we have in our waters as well as understanding possible changing in the ranges. You can find out online how to get involved in your local surveys.

Get monitoring with the Sea Watch Foundation

Big Seaweed Search – Natural History Museum

It’s not only important to know what flora and fauna we can find on our beaches; seaweed can give us an important insight into the effects of the changing environment. The Big Seaweed Search started in 2009 to collect data on the distribution of seaweed and how it might be changing.

To take part you can print the Big Seaweed Search Guide and a recording sheet, head down to the beach and start your survey!

Find more details on the Big Seaweed Search

For more careers advice visit our WiseOceans Careers pages

Ready to start your ocean exploring journey? To sign up and become an Ocean Explorer today click here. While you wait for your first class, why not follow us on Facebook, where we regularly share fun facts, craft ideas and cute videos. You might also like to sign up to our monthly WiseKids newsletter for a monthly dose of marvellous marine-themed content straight to your inbox!

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