Phone apps for citizen scientists: What are you packing?

One of the many reasons I love to sneak up to Point Reyes is the night sky.  It’s often stunningly clear up there compared to foggy, urban San Francisco, offering a gorgeous celestial show to anyone inclined to look up. But on a recent getaway, I was bummed to find out that I’d forgotten to … Read more “Phone apps for citizen scientists: What are you packing?”

Categories: Animals, Apps, Astronomy & Space, Biology, Birds, Computers & Technology

Hey pretty ladybug: you come to this ski lodge often?

A few weeks ago, I snapped a photo of my kids skiing in the Poconos (while I hung out in the lodge). I noticed this ladybug walking along the windowsill. A quick Google search informed me that it’s not uncommon for folks living in mountainous regions to be invested with ladybugs seeking shelter in the … Read more “Hey pretty ladybug: you come to this ski lodge often?”

Categories: Citizen Science, Insects

Make Science History with the Open Dinosaur Project

Here’s your chance to be part of science history! In the video below, Andy Farke and Matt Wedel introduce the Open Dinosaur Project, a collaborative research effort to develop a database of dinosaur bone measurements. The best part? You don’t need formal scientific training, a background in research, or even to have seen the Jurassic … Read more “Make Science History with the Open Dinosaur Project”

Categories: Animals, Archeology, Biology, Citizen Science, Geology & Earth Sciences

Nine million birds and counting

There is definitely no breed of citizen scientist more enthusiastic and dedicated than bird watchers. The results of last weekend’s birding binge are now being tallied on the Great Backyard Bird Count website—and they are mighty impressive. Here are some highlights: Total checklists submitted: 81,590 Total species observed: 582 Total individual birds counted: 9,443,847 Even … Read more “Nine million birds and counting”

Categories: Animals, Birds, Citizen Science

Don’t miss the Great Backyard Bird Count

Get those binoculars out: The Great Backyard Bird Count 2010 takes place this Friday through next Monday, February 12 to 15. In as little as 15 minutes a day, you can help scientists learn how climate, disease, and habitat changes are affecting bird populations. Plus, you’ll have fun checking out your backyard visitors. The bird … Read more “Don’t miss the Great Backyard Bird Count”

Categories: Animals, Birds, Citizen Science, Nature & Outdoors

An introduction to bird watching.

New to bird watching? Professor Stuart Pimm talks us through the basics in this video. Many bird watchers share their observations with researchers in an effort to learn about and protect these  little critters that are so important to our ecology.  If you’re interested in getting involved in bird watching to help science, you’ll find … Read more “An introduction to bird watching.”

Categories: Birds, Citizen Science

Octopi use coconuts as mobile homes

Cephalopods use their heads: Australian researchers Julian K. Finn, Tom Tregenza, and Mark D. Norman have discovered octopi that carry around coconut shell halves and use them as shelter. They say it’s the first report of tool use by an invertebrate, a skill that crows, chimps, and, of course, humans share. Check out the amazing … Read more “Octopi use coconuts as mobile homes”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Birds, Nature & Outdoors