Macaulay Honors College to Host the 2020 NYC City Nature Challenge | Macaulay Honors College


College News

A weekend when every New Yorker can become a citizen scientist

Macaulay Honors College is pleased to be the official NYC host of the 2020 City Nature Challenge. The challenge is a global, four-day public event that invites everyone to contribute to science and observe their city’s unique urban habitat. Macaulay will be the event’s official NYC host for the fourth consecutive year. The NYC City Nature Challenge will take place over the weekend of April 24-27 and bring together nature lovers of all ages to the greenspaces of their communities to record examples of urban flora and fauna with their smartphones.

“Every day it becomes more and more important for individuals to connect with our natural world: to understand it, appreciate it, and protect it,” said Macaulay Director of Science Forward Dr. Kelly O’Donnell.

Throughout the weekend, public parks, preservation societies, gardens and other nature organizations around New York City’s five boroughs will host City Nature Challenge events that are open to all. Macaulay students, staff and faculty will be on hand to teach and guide participants in how to log observations via the free iNaturalist app. Then, after the 4 days observation period has ended, students and the iNaturalist community will help properly identify and catalog the species in a marathon technological session. Macaulay will share the results of the challenge with the public, students, and educators on May 4, 2020.

Citizen scientists from all walks of life will represent New York City in this global challenge. As they engage their sense of wonder, their efforts will contribute to our understanding of urban ecology in NYC and in the United States as a whole.

“The event allows all members of the public contribute to science. By engaging with the process of science in our city, we hope to instill an understanding of how science works and also a sense of connection to the natural environment of the city,” explained O’Donnell.

The City Nature Challenge is organized on a global scale by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences.


Kathryn Lineberger

Macaulay External Relations


Dr. Kelly O’Donnell

Macaulay Dir. Science Forward