Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Future of crowdsourcing visual data for scientific study?

By February 19th, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Comment

How cool! Imagine if 1,000 people took a photo of the same landmark in a park, let’s say, over a set period of time. We’d realize what’s in that part of the park all the time and what’s there temporarily. Changes in nature (phenological changes, in particular) and other activities would be recorded and trended but what if near infrared filters were also placed on those cameras? We could then compare sensor data from the cameras to make good estimates about the temperatures in that park and compare that to usage statistics in that same park over the same time. We might be able to predict the day when leaves will fall from the park’s trees…and so much more.
Watch this short video to learn about other possible outcomes of using visual data for scientific study in the future. The possibilities seem endless.
From Intel Labs:

“In this video episode everyday photos are turned into visual data points to aid in the collection of data for scientific study. This segment is part of Vibrant Media, a series created by Intel Labs devoted to envisioning new ways to use Technology and Media.”

Comet Lovejoy grazes the sun!

By December 22nd, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Comment

In this video from the U.S Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Comet Lovejoy takes a death-defying journey through several-million degree solar corona as it passes the Sun on December 15th, 2011 (EST). The comet defied the expectations of many experts by not only surviving its solar plunge but re-emerging as strong and bright as before.

“It’s absolutely astounding,” says Karl Battams, computational scientist at NRL. “I did not think the comet’s icy core was big enough to survive plunging through the several million degree solar corona for close to an hour, but Comet Lovejoy is still with us.”

Comet Lovejoy zooms toward the sun. This is the SECCHI COR-1 (inner coronagraph) image on the STEREO-B satellite. (Image: STEREO/SECCHI image courtesy NASA/NRL)

Comet Lovejoy zooms toward the sun. This is the SECCHI COR-1 (inner coronagraph) image on the STEREO-B satellite. (Image: STEREO/SECCHI image courtesy NASA/NRL)

The imagery used for this video was gathered from NRL’s Sun-Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI)/EUVI-A instruments, which are a part of the NASA Solar Terrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) mission. STEREO consists of two space-based observatories – one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind. With this new pair of viewpoints, scientists are able to see the structure and evolution of solar storms as they blast from the Sun and move out through space.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, Comet Lovejoy was discovered on Dec. 2,  2011, by a citizen scientist — Terry Lovejoy of Australia. As it turns out, it’s not all that uncommon for comets to be discovered by citizen scientists from the public. For years, NRL’s Sungrazing Comets Project has asked people to help discover new comets.

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Citizen Science: the Animated Movie

By October 12th, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Comment


There should be more animated movies about citizen science, don’t you think? Thankfully, the people at a weather-focused citizen science project called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (known by the funny acronym CoCoRaHS) have made this video! It tells the story of how the project started and explains how people all over the country are getting involved. Watch and find out how you can become a CoCoRaHS volunteer too!

Snowed In? Contribute to Science!

By January 28th, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Comment

As record levels of snow blanket much of the United States this year, Science For Citizens is collaborating with an important climate research project at the University of Waterloo called Snow Tweets. We’re pleased that this is the first of many scientific projects that you’ll be able to do on Science for Citizens.

To help researchers track climate change, we’re requesting that you find a ruler, put on a warm coat, go outside, and measure the depth of snow wherever you happen to be. And then report the depth to us right here. That’s all there is to it! You’re simple action will help the planet. Your data will advance climate science, and you’ll get to see your depth report appear on our world map of snow tweets.

To help you get started, we put together this “How To” video complete with some empirical evidence from your fellow citizen scientists. Enjoy, and please share wildly on your social network of choice.

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10 most visited Science for Citizens blog posts of 2010

By December 31st, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Comment

Below, I’ve listed the top 10 Science for Citizen blog posts according to the number of visits. Thanks for joining our journey in our inaugural year. Wait until you hear what we’ve got cooking for 2011!

Happy New Year from the Sci4Cits team!

10. The hummingbird versus Godzilla–on video!

To fans of hummingbirds and “nature cams,” Phoebe Allens needs no introduction. She’s an intrepid little momma bird whose adventures in nurturing her young have been well documented by a Web cam pointed at her nest in a rose bush in Orange County, California. This spring, Phoebe bravely defended her nest from a lizard several times her size. She then removed a damaged egg so that it wouldn’t attract any more attackers. The hummingbird versus Godzilla–on video!

9. What makes a good citizen science project–for you?

Before attending a panel discussion at the conference, ”Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach,” Michael asked readers  about what makes a citizen science project successful for them. how important is it that you increase your own scientific knowledge as part of the project? How important is it that you contribute to scientific knowledge? Is it important to you that you do more than collect data? ”Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach

8. Help needed: monarch butterflies in trouble

Monarch butterflies need our help! The regal butterflies, hit hard by the torrential February rains in Mexico, are at their lowest population levels since 1975, according to Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas. The storms killed 50 to 60 percent of the breeding colonies in northern Mexico; the butterfly population was already diminished by unfavorable conditions last summer. Monarch Watch  via Marty N. Davis

7. 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. It’s wild! WildLab

6. Tracking Jellyfish around the globe

Have you seen a Jellyfish on a family vacation or on your yearly deep-sea fishing trip? JellyWatch is a new citizen science project that aims to create a database of jellyfish sightings across the globe. Just snap a picture if you can, and visit JellyWatch to record your sighting. If you went to the beach but didn’t see any jellyfish, that data can be used as well. And, the study is looking at more than just jellyfish — sightings of red tide, squid, or other unusual marine life will help build a long-term database that can be accessed and further developed by schools, policy makers, and the general public. JellyWatch

5. Spot the jellyfish – here or in Malta

One thing about Science for Citizens readers: they love Jellyfish! As this little guy (in the thumbnail) peers through a jellyfish on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, hundreds of citizen scientists are recording their jelly observations on the Mediterranean island of Malta. By reporting jellyfish that swim close to shore and identifying them using the project’s online guide, participants not only increase the public’s awareness about the types of jellyfish around Malta but also help others, as the site says, “avoid those stinging jellies!” Spot the jellyfish – here or in Malta

4. 10 back-to-school projects for citizen scientists

To keep young minds entertained as well as enlightened, we recommended 10 back-to-school projects for student citizen scientists. Teachers and parents, please note: Many of these programs provide materials around which you can build lessons. And there are lots more where these came from. Visit our Project Finder for a full list of citizen science projects for primary and secondary school students. Lenticular cloud in the Canary Islands. Photo by student meteorologist Mario M. Labrador, age 12.

3. Picture Post: the art of citizen science

Sometimes, science is the happy companion of art. And sometimes, art is the happy byproduct of science, as in the citizen-science effort known as Picture Post. This project wants you to do like Richard Misrach: Take photographs of the same place over a period of time, monitoring how the landscape and vegetation change. In Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, art reveals science.  >

2. Citizen science goes to the beach

As Memorial Day approached  and Americans slide into summer vacation, we mixed up a little surf and science cocktail for the lazy summer days ahead. Here are half a dozen citizen science projects you can participate in while at or near the beach. To find more watery science to do this summer, browse through the Ocean and Water category in our Project Finder. If you’d like to recommend other ocean-based projects, REEF's volunteer divers survey fish.

1. 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. Congrats to our blogger, Liz, for crafting the most popular blog post of the year! A university for citizen scientists