Archive for the ‘Archeology’ Category

Discovering our Common Humanity through Space Archaeology

By September 21st, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Comment

Like many people, I was first introduced to the world of archaeology by Indiana Jones, that adventuresome character who lit up the big screen rescuing artifacts from villains by the skin of his teeth.

Indy was awesome and will always have a place in my heart. But while he succeeded in making archaeology seem romantic, I never understood why it was important or believed I could join the adventure until I was introduced (via the small screen) to a real life archaeologist named Sarah Parcak.

Parcak is a space archaeologist. She is one of about 200 archaeologists around the world who use satellite imagery to locate evidence of the civilizations that came before us.

Recently she launched Global XPlorera citizen science project that promises to democratize the field of archaeology while dramatically increasing the number of archaeological sites that can be found in less time. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate Change Uncovers Our Past

By September 16th, 2016 at 9:50 am | Comment

When we think about climate change, we usually picture extreme temperatures, mega-storms, and rising seas disrupting our collective future.

But climate change is also erasing our past.

At our poles, melting ice is exposing and washing out new archeological discoveries. In the world’s arid regions, severe sandstorms are unearthing and eroding buried treasures. And on our coasts, rainstorms are revealing ancient reserves and wiping them out, often before scientists can study them. Read the rest of this entry »

Time Traveling in New Mexico

By August 12th, 2015 at 11:25 am | Comment

Stewards monitoring site on the Santa Fe National Forest (Credit: Santa Fe National Forest)

Stewards monitoring site on the Santa Fe National Forest (Credit: Santa Fe National Forest)

Citizen scientists of the Santa Fe National Forest Site Steward Program in New Mexico volunteer thousands of hours through difficult terrain to record observations at archeological sites, helping protect their scientific value for future research. Find out more about this project on SciStarter. Going out on a hike? Check out these cool projects that you can participate in!

Read the rest of this entry »

Win a 25 million year old fossil at USA SciFest!

By April 24th, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Comment


Non-profit citizen science organization Paleo Quest is very excited to partner with SciStarter at the USA Science and Engineering Festival (Hall DE, Booth Number 5337). Paleo Quest researcher John Nance will share marine fossils that are up to 25 million years old with attendees. Each fossil that will be on display was collected by the non-profit’s founders Aaron Alford and Jason Osborne while scuba diving in murky swamp rivers with swift currents and black water conditions along the coast of the Chesapeake Bay. Show John how excited you are about science and our prehistoric past by asking as many questions as you can, and you may walk away with your very own fossil to add to your personal collection.


Paleo Quest will also be at the Scientific American booth where attendees can participate in our citizen science program SharkFinder. Use Zeiss microscopes to search for microfossils in 19-million-year-old marine deposits and see if you can discover a first occurrence of a species or even a new species all together. SharkFinder was recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy last year as one of the top citizen science programs in the country.

Paleo Quest fulfills its mandate through exploration and scientific collaboration, by discovering and recovering fossil specimens, including underwater (scuba) excavations, advancing the understanding of stratigraphy, and by donating materials of scientific significance to museums and universities. The organization donates fossils and fossil-bearing matrix as educational materials to elementary through college level institutions that go to support their science curriculum. This in turn promotes literacy in the earth and paleontological sciences at all academic levels, and collaborative publications of notable findings for the broader research community at a professional level.

What’s the Score?

By December 10th, 2012 at 9:45 am | Comment

Music on the mind!

The hills are alive with the sound of citizen science (and music)!

Calling all music enthusiasts–the Bodleian Libraries are enlisting the help of the public in order to improve access to their music collections. About sixty-four boxes filled with unbound, uncatalogued sheet music from the mid-Victorian period has been digitized for public access. Although this particular genre of music was considered to have little academic value in the past, it has recently come into new light as a window of insight into amateur music making as well as social practices during the Victorian era.

For instance, the “Cleopatra Galop,” written by dance-master Charles d’Albert, was advertised as “new dance music” in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay Herald in September 1878. Archival gems like these are not uncommon in the Bodleian collection. What’s even more fascinating is that the Bodleian team has partnered with the University of Oxford to make recordings of some of these works available so that users can aurally experience the pieces that they’re helping to describe. Listen to the “Cleopatra Galop” in the extensive recordings collection.

In order to help with the project, participants simply submit descriptions of the music scores by transcribing the information they see. There’s no pre-requisite of being able to read sheet music to take part, and the Library provides a superb step-by-step guide on how to do it.

Screen shot 2012-10-19 at 6.33.17 AM

The metadata collected from this project will eventually feed into a database, making the music collection ultimately more searchable online once it’s made available. By participating in this project, you’ll gain access to tons (all right, maybe pounds or kilos) of sheet music that has never been released to the public. Not only that, but the artful covers are worthy of a study in themselves.

Most importantly, the Bodleian Library has partnered with Zooniverse, a world leader in crowdsourced technology and a platform for various citizen science projects like Galaxy Zoo, Planet Hunters, and Bat Detective (many of which are searchable in SciStarter’s Project Finder).

Music enthusiasts, history buffs, archive divers, or those simply curious are all invited to take part in this sonically stimulating citizen science project. Help the Bodleian keep score!

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Image: Musical Notes, NSF
Image: Bodleian tutorial,