American Spring Live

What is a citizen scientist?

Spring is one of nature’s greatest performances – a time of rebirth, renewed energy, and dramatic transformations. For three consecutive nights, Monday, April 29 – Wednesday, May 1, 2019 on PBS and Facebook, Nature: American Spring LIVE presented the change from winter to spring in real time from iconic locations across America. The series included a mix of live and pre-taped footage highlighting some of the most pivotal events in nature’s calendar. A diverse group of researchers and citizen scientists  investigated how a wide range of organisms respond to the change of seasons. They shared their insights into the natural world, revealed new technologies that make their discoveries possible and encouraged audiences to join the adventure of science.

Watch the full series on

The Great Sunflower

Sunflowers, Did You Know?

  • In 2014, the tallest sunflower was recorded at 30 feet, 1 inch in Germany.

More Fun Facts

Interested In The Health Of Your Pollinator Community?

Become a citizen scientist and join The Great Sunflower Project!

Step 1: Start by recording the date, time, and location.

Step 2: Choose the plant you are going to watch and write down its name (common name or scientific name).

Step 3: Start your timer and record the number of visits your chosen plant gets from pollinators.

  • If you can identify the pollinator, write it down! However, if you are uncertain that’s ok, it is not required.
  • If a specific pollinator visits more than once, write it down. The project is interested in the number of visits, rather than the number of pollinators.

Step 4: Observe the plant for at least 5 minutes, then enter your data here!

To see other citizen scientists complete The Great Sunflower Project watch American Spring Live.

Interested? Click here to learn more!  

National Citizen Scientist Partners

NET is coordinating with community organizations in order to provide science based activities and training sessions. We look forward to encouraging citizen science participation during the broadcast and beyond. There will be several opportunities to take part in citizen scientist activities—the schedule below will be updated as new activities are announced.

Upcoming Schedule of Activities

Ducks Unlimited bases its conservation programs on the results of scientific research and the variety of habitat waterfowl need to be healthy and reproduce. Although DU has completed a wide range of studies, there is still much to learn about how the birds respond to landscape, habitat and environmental changes. This year as a partner in American Spring LIVE! Ducks Unlimited will be focusing on the following citizen science projects:

All citizen scientist training for Ducks Unlimited will be online. Citizen Scientists will be provided the link when they volunteer. The training will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. The training will be available from February 2019-June 2020. Additional information coming soon.


Nebraska Stories: The Sound of Spring

For Doreen Pfost, the Platte River is a place for respite, escape, and a source of inspiration. She documented her experiences in a book and shares her reflections about the annual sandhill crane spring migration in this story.


Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. American Spring LIVE is a production of Berman Productions, Inc. and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET.

Major support for Nature: American Spring LIVE was provided by the National Science Foundation and Anne Ray Foundation.

Additional financial support was provided by the Arnhold Family in memory of Henry and Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Anderson Family Fund, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, the Halmi Family in memory of Robert Halmi, Sr., Sandra Atlas Bass, Doris R. and Robert J. Thomas, Charles Rosenblum, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation’s public television stations.