Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Shark Week: A feeding frenzy for citizen scientists!

By July 21st, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Comment

Sink your teeth into these projects!

Photo: Shark Count

The Discovery Channel kicks off Shark Week in three days, when we’ll will find out if Michael Phelps is faster than a shark! Not quite up for racing a shark yourself? You can still celebrate Shark Week by getting involved in one of the many citizen science projects that study and protect sharks. Below, we’ve highlighted five projects we think you’ll love. In some cases, you can even participate from the comfort of home. Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later. Remember to update your profile before August 15th to unlock access to a special prize!

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

eShark
eShark
Calling all divers and snorkelers! You have valuable information to share because you can census areas that fishers can’t. Help track how shark and ray populations have changed.
Location: Global

SharkBase
SharkBase
Even if you’ve never seen a shark in the wild, you can still contribute to SharkBase by submitting sightings that you see in the news or on the internet. Your observations will help track sharks’ global population changes.
Location: Global. Online.

New England Basking Shark and Ocean Sunfish Project
Help monitor basking shark and ocean sunfish in New England waters by sending in your photos from the seas!
Location: New England, USA

Credit_ Kelli Shaw
Sevengill Shark Identification 
Scuba divers are needed to help monitor sevengill sharks as they return each year to San Diego, CA and South Africa. Share your photos which will be analyzed online, using a pattern recognition system.
Location: San Diego, CA; South Africa 

ELMO South African Elasmobranch Monitoring
Collect data on South African sharks, skates, rays and chimaera sightings as well as their eggcases along the South African coastline. Whether you are a snorkeler, diver, swimmer, skipper, angler or a beachwalker, you can assist by reporting your sighting or reports you’ve seen in the news.
Location: Mozambique Republic, South Africa

Discover more summertime citizen on the SciStarter Calendar. Needed: 1,000 skilled photographers to help create the Eclipse MegaMovie on August 21Want 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!

Wildlife Disease Citizen Science

By February 2nd, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Comment

Photo: USFWS

Photo: USFWS

Wild animals get sick from parasites, fungi, and other causes just like people and pets do, but they don’t usually have doctors to help them get better. Instead, you can help them with citizen science! Below, we highlight five projects that study wildlife diseases. Find more projects on SciStarter to do now, or bookmark your favorites for later!

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Photo: USGS
ZomBee Watch
Honey bees across North America are being infected by tiny parasites called Zombie Flies; the sick bees abandon their hives and die. Volunteers can capture honey bees and test them for the presence of the parasite.

Photo: Bethann Merkle
Bee Germs
Many bee species nest in the ground, and often we know very little about the diseases that impact them. If you have ground-nesting bees in your area, you can collect a few and send them to researchers to be tested for diseases.

Photo: NPS
Project Monarch Health
A parasite called OE affects monarchs throughout the United States; the disease causes malformations and even death. Volunteers can help track the abundance of this disease by capturing monarchs, painlessly collecting a sample of their scales, and then releasing them.

Photo: SERC
Chesapeake Bay Parasite Project
If you live in the Chesapeake Bay area, you can help survey for an invasive parasite that is infecting native mud crabs. Volunteers are needed for this summer, so use our new bookmark feature to save the project for later!

Photo: USFWS
OK Amphibian Disease Testing
Students and teachers in Oklahoma are needed to catch frogs, swab them for a fungus called chytrid (potentially lethal to frogs), and then safely release them. Request a monitoring kit now to be prepared for the March-June peak monitoring season.


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!

How to Tell a Rock from a Penguin: It’s Harder Than It Sounds

By January 26th, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Comment

Adelie penguins. Credit: Jean Pennycook

By: Lishka Arata

Many things distinguish penguins from rocks. There’s color difference (usually), behavior (penguins waddle, rocks don’t), social structure (rocks don’t have one) — the list goes on. But why might someone need to distinguish between rocks and penguins?

It’s a skill central to a long-term project that relies on citizen scientists, working from the comfort of their homes, to identify penguins in photographs taken by remotely operated cameras in Antarctica. The project, focused on Adelie penguins, aims to determine how climate change affects living systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story

By January 25th, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Comment

Join Jojo and her family counting bats as citizen scientists in the soon-to-be-released book Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story!

Soon-to-be-released: Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story

It won’t be in stores until the end of February, but you can read — and listen to — a free digital review copy today.  The story, written  by Philadelphia-area author Anna Forrester and illustrated by Susan Detwiler, encourages kids to get involved in citizen science and make it their own.

Forrester worked with Katie Gillies, Director of the Imperiled Species Program at Bat Conservation International, and Catherine J. Hibbard, White-nose Syndrome Communications Leader with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to verify the accuracy of the information in the book.

Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story will be available in bookstores in February 2017 in  hardcover and paperback in English, and in paperback i nSpanish. Preorders are being accepted now and will ship as soon as the books arrive.

For information about ordering the book, including wholesale and non-profit rates, contact Donna German, general manager of Arbordale Publishing, at donna@arbordalepublishing.com

 

And the Squirrels were Merry

By January 21st, 2017 at 8:00 am | Comment

I grew up in Fishtown, Philadelphia, an inner city grid of red-brick row homes, corner bars, candy shops, and barely-breathing factories. Fishtown was not known for its wildlife. There were birds. A wide variety, if two counts as a wide variety: big birds (pigeons) and small birds (sparrows). There were cats and an occasional dog that escaped out of someone’s yard.

On rare occasions, I’d see a squirrel scampering about on the telephone pole in my backyard. This was an occasion to call all the neighbor kids and we would stand there like we were at the zoo. The squirrel stared right back, Philly-style. Read the rest of this entry »