Get Involved

Operation Healthy Air


For our brand new program Operation Healthy Air, we are looking for citizen scientists and volunteers to kickstart our pilot sampling “campaigns” in Long Beach, and Chino, and the Inland Empire (e.g. Riverside and Redlands) in the summer of 2017. We will look to expand the program in 2018 to greater Los Angeles and other cities.

Operation Healthy Air is a partnership between national and local partners, community-based organizations, Universities, Aquaria and government agencies, and community members.


Join Operation Healthy Air as a Citizen Scientist and Volunteer


If you live in one of our pilot sampling areas (Long Beach, Chino or Inland Empire), then attend one of our training and information events soon! More information on upcoming events will be found on our Events page. Keep in touch with us through Facebook and subscribe to our monthly newsletter for regular updates on Operation Healthy Air.


Resilient Trees


Who are we looking for?

Scientists are doing research in Southern California and they are looking to people from local communities to help collect data about trees.  Volunteer or become a Certified Citizen Scientist and help influence tree planting practices in your neighborhood and contribute to our global understanding of how to mitigate the effects of climate change.


Volunteers or Certified Citizen Scientists

The easiest way to get involved is to join one of our existing data collection events as a Volunteer to begin contributing to scientific research. 

Looking for a more in-depth way of getting involved and/or want to collect scientific data on your own? Join an in-person training event or go through our online training course to become a Certified Citizen Scientist.




Current opportunities: Resilient Trees 3.0

We are looking for citizen scientists (Volunteers and Certified Citizen Scientists) to collect data on these ten specific tree species in greater Los Angeles, Riverside, and the Coachella Valley (from the beaches to the desert- regional map below) for Resilient Trees 3.0:

  • Canary Island Pine (Pinus canariensis)
  • American Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
  • Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)*
  • Brazilian Pepper Tree (Schinus terebinthifolia)
  • Red Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon)
  • Broad-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia)
  • Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus)
  • Chinese Banyan (Ficus microcarpa)*
  • Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
  • Camphor Tree (Cinnammum camphora)

Our goal

We plan to measure over 400 trees in 2017, taking detailed measurement of tree health, canopy and trunk size, GPS coordinates, and % permeable surface for 10 tree species that have widespread tree planting implications in our region. This program is a partnership between University of California, Riverside, Earthwatch Institute, and many Southern California nonprofits.

The study region represents a massive 150 mile-long geographical gradient. Volunteers and Certified Citizen Scientists will play an essential role in collecting enough scientific data to draw meaningful conclusions on how these trees use water and provide cooling benefits in different regions.  All 10 species are being considered as drought-tolerant trees, so understanding how each tree actually performs under different conditions will influence right tree right place planting practices for years to come.

We need your help to be successful.

The management of urban street trees, parklands, and forests is an integral and active part of urban planning to ensure vibrant green space, ecosystem services, and resilience for cities and municipalities. We rely on participants, educators, and partners to help spread the word and pitch in and help us record important data across the greater Los Angeles area and beyond.

citizen science

cit·i·zen sci·ence

the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.

Citizen science is a key element to the Earthwatch Urban Resiliency Program in Southern California. Partnerships between local residents and scientific researchers generates more research accomplishments and connects people from the coast to the desert in an environmental movement.

Volunteers make a direct contribution to scientific research, learn about trees, and gain perspective about the challenges of urban resiliency. The data is used by scientists at the University of California, Riverside to determine the water usage and cooling benefits of common urban tree species in Greater Los Angeles. The results help build urban resiliency in Southern California.

Scientists gain access to a wider geographic area and connect the public to the vision behind the research. The data collected is used to further our research and to inform decision-making about how urban trees positively impact the LA region ecosystem.

  • Sun
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  • Sat
    9:30am - 12:30pmFairmount Park, 2601 Fairmount Blvd., Riverside CA 92501


    #loveriverside2016 is coming up on National Make a Difference Day. Saturday, October 22 come show us you love Riverside by giving back to your local urban forest.

    RSVP here:

  • Thu
    1:00 pmTree People Conference Center, 12601 Mulholland Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210


    Earthwatch Institute invites you to join us in celebrating 2016 Southern California Teacher and Student Fellows!

    Teachers and student fellows will share their first hand experiences studying caterpillars, climate change, coral reefs, and much more on expeditions ranging from the Cayman Islands to the Arctic.

    We look forward to seeing you there!


  • Thu
    2:30 - 4:30pm PSTBill Botts Field, Duquesne Avenue, Culver City, CA 90232

    Have an Android phone?  Want to help take measurements with the pros and see the hybrid method (video link here) in action?  Join this collection event with Earthwatch staff to measure park and street trees using iNaturalist. Volunteers and Certified Citizen Scientists welcome, but be ready to move fast for this highly mobile event.  RSVP via EventBrite by Tuesday, November 15th to secure your spot.


Sign up for upcoming events or organize a custom event for your group.

Get Certified

Become a Certified Citizen Scientist to learn how to collect research-grade scientific data independently.

Become a Partner

See what organizations are working with us.
Search Earthwatch Urban Resiliency Program