Spot a Squirrel and Help Science

By Eva Lewandowski January 19th, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Comment

January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day! Celebrate by participating in one of these squirrel-centric projects. It sounds a little nutty, but researchers unnamed (2)rely on your squirrel observations to advance research about these furry friends.  Find more projects on SciStarter to do now, or bookmark your favorites for later!
The SciStarter Team

Photo: USFWS
Project Squirrel
Squirrels are some of the most common forms of backyard wildlife. Wherever you are, you can join the study of wildlife by counting squirrels in your neighborhood and reporting your findings online.

Photo: USFWS
Southern California Squirrel Survey
Squirrels are abundant in Southern California, but some native species are in decline and other introduced species are spreading a little too quickly. Learn what’s happening in your neck of the woods by by posting a photo and location information on this website.

Photo: WA State DFWC
Western Gray Squirrel Project
The western gray squirrel is threatened in Washington state, and biologists need to know more about them to understand what’s happening. Residents in the Methow Valley can conduct squirrel surveys to estimate the size and distribution of the population.

White Squirrel Mapping
Have you ever seen a white squirrel? Throughout the world, squirrels of species that are normally grey or red are sometimes white. Report sightings of white squirrels and add to a global map of their distribution.

Photo: USFWS
In some locations, gray squirrels have evolved to be black! By mapping the locations of black squirrels, you can help biologists understand more about this change and how it benefits the squirrels.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is launching a wildlife camera trap study called North Carolina’s Candid Critters. Find out more here.  Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Turtle Crossing in Wisconsin

By Russ Campbell January 12th, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Comment

Why did the turtle cross the road? Change the “why” to a “where,” and conservation biologist Andrew Badje just might be able to tell you. Through his work with the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program, Badje collects turtle road crossing data to help map populations, especially at precarious road and rail crossings. Read the rest of this entry »

Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public: A #CitSciChat about the report for EPA on the role of citizen science

By Darlene Cavalier January 10th, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Comment

Oneida citizen scientists are ready to plant wild rice to help restore wetlands in the Coyote Run Natural Area, Oneida, Wisconsin. Credit: Oneida Environmental Health and Safety Division.

Last month, the National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), an EPA advisory council, transmitted a report to EPA titled Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public: A Vision for Citizen Science at EPA outlining thirteen specific recommendations for EPA. (Learn more about the report, its genesis, and NACEPT, in this post, coauthored byShannon Dosemagen, Public Lab and Alison Parker, ORISE Fellow hosted by EPA.)

Tomorrow, January 11, 3-4pm ET, join some of the co-authors of the NACEPT report for a #CitSciChat, presented by Caren Cooper @CoopSciScoop and sponsored by @SciStarter.

Panelists include: 

Darlene Cavalier @scicheer and @SciStarter

Bridgett Luther @BridgettCLuther

Alison Parker @athousandflies

Post questions and/or weigh in on questions including:

In NACPET @EPA report, what are key take-home messages abt #CitizenScience?

How can @EPA best support #CitizenScience (big data) & #CommunityScience (small data)?

How can #CitizenScience support @EPA_research? How can #CitSci support regulatory role of @EPA?

What sort of #CitizenScience might @EPA @EPA_research hope to fund in future?

How much do #sensor innovations matter to future of @EPA #CitizenScience?

and more!

Join this critical conversation on Twitter by following #CitSciChat tomorrow between 3pm and 4pm ET.

NACEPT report image




Categories: #CitSciChat

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SciStarter’s Top Projects of 2016: From Microbes to Meteors

By Eva Lewandowski January 5th, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Comment

Top 10 Projects of 2016
Happy New Year!
Looking for opportunities to make the world a better place this year? Start with these popular projects, which had the most traffic on SciStarter in 2016.
Find more on SciStarter then simply bookmark your favorites to receive seasonal reminders!
The SciStarter Team

Read the rest of this entry »

From Pokémon to Pollinators: SciStarter’s Top 10 Posts of 2016

By Catherine Hoffman January 4th, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Comment

Every January, the SciStarter team begins the new year with a look back to the past. What kinds of stories did we tell in the past year, and which ones were our readers’ favorites? Below we’ve highlighted ten of our most popular posts from 2016. Check out what you might have missed and share with your friends!

Augmented Reality in Citizen Science to Connect with Reality


What can citizen science learn from augmented reality technologies like Pokémon Go? Hear from Caren Cooper in this piece from the summer.

Science in the Skies: Studying Clouds with CitSci

Image Credit: Elroy Limmer

Nothing beats cloud-watching—possibly the easiest way to participate in science. Hear from Sharman Apt Russell on the majesty of clouds and the science behind S’COOL. (photo: Elroy Limmer)

SciStarter’s Citizen Science Gift Guide


The holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a new tool to help you explore science! Check out our gift guide for our top ideas.

Making Citizen Science Tools Discoverable and Accessible

NASA Soil Moisture Probe. Credit; Lea Shanley

Hear from Erica Prange about the new SciStarter Tools Database, where we aim to make it easier for citizen scientists to find the right project AND the necessary tools to participate. (photo: Lea Shanley)

Autoimmune Diseases Affect Millions of Americans: Here’s How Citizen Science Can Help


Autoimmune disease affects over 50 million Americans. The new Autoimmune Citizen Science app is helping to address the multifaceted symptoms and treatments confronting people with autoimmune diseases.

Poké Around With Citizen Science

It's taking the world by storm. How can citizen science benefit? (Credit: Eduardo Woo/(CC BY-SA 2.0)

Still enthralled by Pokémon Go? Find ways to contribute to science while battling at gyms and finding local PokéStops. (photo: Eduardo Woo/ CC BY-SA2.0)

PocketLab + SciStarter = a [citizen] science lab that fits in your pocket.

Screen shot 2016-07-22 at 11.10.08 PM

With PocketLab you can fit a whole science lab in your pocket! Use it to measure motion, acceleration, angular velocity, pressure, altitude, temperature and more.

Celebrate Pollinator Week with Citizen Science

Even if it isn’t Pollinator Week, you can still celebrate the birds, bees, beetles, and other animals that provide essential ecosystem services. Get started with these 6 projects. (photo: Wendy Caldwell)

Why it’s OK to fail: empowering students to discover

Lea Shell CC BY-NC 2.0

Failure happens and it’s not all bad—sometimes, students learn best when things don’t go as planned. A willingness to accept failure encourages students to test boundaries and make new discoveries. Hear from Lea Shell on the importance of this process in discovery through citizen science. (Photo: Lea Shell CC BY-NC 2.0)

An Unlikely Journey into Citizen Science


SciStarter founder Darlene Cavalier shares her compelling story of discovering citizen science as a way for ordinary people to contribute to science. This blog post is an excerpt from her co-edited book.

Thanks for making 2016 a great year on the SciStarter blog! We look forward to making new discoveries with you in 2017!


The SciStarter Team.