Keep an eye out for hot air over Washington, D.C.

While there might be a lot of metaphorical hot air hovering around Washington, D.C., hazardous weather is no joke. Volunteer scary-weather spotters are needed for many chapters of the SkyWarn network, including the unit that keeps an eye on the sky throughout the Baltimore-Washington corridor. Volunteers are needed to report what the atmospheric forces have … Read more “Keep an eye out for hot air over Washington, D.C.”

Categories: Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Nature & Outdoors

Citizen Sky needs citizen scientists

There’s a mystery in the night sky that you can help solve. Every 27 years, in the constellation called Auriga (the charioteer), a bright star designated epsilon goes dim for nearly two years. Epsilon Aurigae is a “binary eclipsing variable star,” which is astronomer-speak for a star that appears to change brightness as an orbiting … Read more “Citizen Sky needs citizen scientists”

Categories: Astronomy & Space, Citizen Science, Science Education Standards

Mountain monitors needed

Crisp fall air in the northeastern Appalachian Mountains will soon signal trees to splash entire hillsides with red, yellow, and orange as far as the eye can see. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) hopes that many future generations of hikers will be able to enjoy similarly colorful views to the horizon. However, they need your … Read more “Mountain monitors needed”

Categories: Biology, Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, Nature & Outdoors

Snail sleuth wins BBC amateur scientist contest

Ruth Brooks, a gardener with a soft spot for snails, has just won the BBC’s “So You Want to Be a Scientist?” contest. You may recall that she was our favorite when we reported in April on the four finalists for the contest. Brooks’s ground-breaking (if slow) project showed that, contrary to what many scientists … Read more “Snail sleuth wins BBC amateur scientist contest”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Contest, In the News, Nature & Outdoors

Squirrels: spot, jot, share your sightings

Love ’em or not, squirrels play an important role in local ecology. Mapping changes in their population can help researchers better understand–and predict–a range of corollary environmental changes. As described on the Project Squirrel website, “Squirrels can be important indicators of local ecology because they are resident in small territories and active year round, they … Read more “Squirrels: spot, jot, share your sightings”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment

Don’t know a chickadee from a warbler? There’s an app for that!

Looking for a convenient way to identify birds during your next citizen science excursion? Consider the WildLab Bird iPhone app, which uses photographs, audio, and maps to help you determine which bird you’ve spotted and makes it easy to share the observation with researchers at Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology. Here’s how it works: Visit … Read more “Don’t know a chickadee from a warbler? There’s an app for that!”

Categories: Animals, Apps, Birds, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Nature & Outdoors, Science Education Standards

10 back-to-school projects for citizen scientists

As summer comes to a close, a young person’s fancy may turn to fretting at the thought of being cooped up in a classroom. But for fans of science and nature—and by that we mean kids who like to watch clouds, hunt mushrooms, prowl around graveyards, and check out what gets squashed on the side … Read more “10 back-to-school projects for citizen scientists”

Categories: Animals, Astronomy & Space, Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, Nature & Outdoors, Physics

Here be dragonflies

While dragonflies and damselflies might belong to the same scientific class as the common housefly, the gossamer-winged zoomers seem a world apart from their less-enchanting six-legged cousins. Sitting outdoors in the San Juan Islands last weekend, I had a chance to observe a few blue dragonflies up close as they swooped in to check out … Read more “Here be dragonflies”

Categories: Citizen Science, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

Picture Post: the art of citizen science

Sometimes, science is the happy companion of art. Take Spiral Jetty, a piece by the late sculptor Robert Smithson. In 1970, Smithson arranged 6,650 tons of basalt boulders into a spiral that reaches 1,500 feet into the Great Salt Lake. Built during a drought, the stony coil soon disappeared beneath the lake’s rising, algae-reddened waters. … Read more “Picture Post: the art of citizen science”

Categories: Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment

A university for citizen scientists

Bard College, a liberal-arts school in New York state, is hoping to foster a lifelong interest in science with its new “Citizen Science Program,” a three-week intensive regimen required of all first-year students. The course, ready to roll in January 2011, aims to give all Bard’s freshmen in-depth exposure to scientific problem solving. The director … Read more “A university for citizen scientists”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Computers & Technology, Science Education Standards