Datasets available online

There are many freely available online datasets. Here we have pulled together a collection of our favorites. These can be used to create a Data Nugget and for student inquiry projects. 

  • Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Datasets – Funded by the NSF. Data can be searched through their portal.
  • Dryad Lab – collection of free, openly-licensed, high-quality, hands-on, educational modules for students to engage in scientific inquiry using real data. Data contributed to the Dryad Digital Repositorydirectly from scientists who collected it.
  • Climate Change and Phenology Datasets
    • Lilac flowering phenology: Excel file of long-term trends of flowering time in two species of lilac. Also available here.
    • Project BudBurst: Funded by NEON, participants make careful observations of the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting phases of plants throughout the year.
    • Ice cover duration for Michigan lakes: Collected by Michigan State scientists showing long-term trends of ice cover in Gull and Fair Lakes.
    • Nature’s Notebook: A national plant and animal phenology observation program. Students can contribute their phenology data as citizen scientists.
    • ebird: A global bird observation program through Cornell University, students can become citizen scientists and enter data on local bird counts
  • Lake Erie Biological Station – Western Basin Trawl Survey

0 posts

Create your own Data Nugget

By creating a Data Nugget based upon your own research, you will improve your communications skills, share your research with a broad audience, and increase your broader impacts!

We want to help encourage all scientists to make Data Nuggets, and ask that you contact us once you begin this process. If you plan to include Data Nuggets in a Broader Impacts section of a grant, please contact us (Liz:, Melissa: and we will be happy to write a letter of support or provide some text describing the impacts that your Data Nugget will have on science education and society. We would be happy to host your Data Nugget on our website and can provide page analytics and teacher feedback to share with funding agencies.

Ready to make your own Data Nugget? Check out our Template and materials to help you get started.

2 posts

Telling your science story

Data Nuggets provide you as a scientist with an avenue to share your work and findings with a broad audience of students, teachers, and fellow scientists. Sharing research findings with the non-science public is an important part of the science process, yet is often one of the most challenging to achieve. With broader impacts a factor in most grants, finding effective methods of communication and transmission is key. Data Nuggets are an easy way to increase your broader impacts, as we are constantly working to share these resources with K-12 audiences to improve the understanding of science in society.

When creating a Data Nugget, you must dig deep to uncover the core messages of your research and think back to the big question that got you passionate about the research in the first place. Also, by creating a Data Nugget and practicing communicating research to a 6th grader, you can rest assured that at your next conference you’ll be better able to discuss your work with collaborators and those outside your field!

Here is a collection of our favorite resources to help you get started making your own Data Nugget!

7 posts