We invite your participation in Project eTrout to engage students, anglers, and citizen scientists in fish ecology and climate change research using new virtual reality (VR) methods. Participants will learn about fish ecology first-hand by exploring streams in VR and will be members of a research team lead by US Geological Survey (USGS) scientists. This program is free and designed for students, anglers, and citizen scientists of all ages.


Here’s how it works: 

  1. USGS collects 360-degree video samples from trout streams in the Chesapeake Bay headwaters (completed during summer 2018).
  2. Participants access videos from a website and use standard computer monitors or VR headsets (e.g., Google cardboard) to watch them.
  3. Participants then record data on fish species abundance and behavior using Google Forms (or email).
  4. USGS then analyzes the combined data and reports key findings to participants.


The inaugural program runs February to May 2019 and supports flexible scheduling: participants can watch as few or as many videos as they want at any time. The program begins with an introductory webinar by USGS in February and concludes with a webinar reporting results in May. Your ideas and participation are essential for the success of this new program!


For more information and to register contact:

Nathaniel (Than) Hitt, PhD

US Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center

nhitt@usgs.gov; 304-724-4463