Thanksgiving 2019: Projects For Which We’re Especially Thankful

Our master chefs in the SciStarter kitchen have been working overtime to bring you this delectable Thanksgiving menu, featuring citizen science projects guaranteed to satisfy even the most insatiable curiosity.

Bon appétit!

The SciStarter Team

At Nature’s Notebook, nature is always in season; currently, the program features the spicy flavors of autumn! Deepen your connection with nature by making observations as fall turns to winter. It’s a giant smorgasbord of activities that feeds the soul, but still keeps you hungry for more.

Location: Global

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Leaven your Thanksgiving dinner with this hearty offering of yeasty science exploration: just add flour and water and discover how microbes affect the flavor and texture of bread.

Location: Global

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Refreshing and flavorful, this organic, all-natural offering consists of free-range leaves that you collect yourself, place into distinctive mesh bags, stake into a stream, and then retrieve weeks later. You’ll harvest a delightful assortment of macroinvertebrates to sort and identify! (fees may apply)

Location: United States

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Your gut bacteria work diligently and (mostly) quietly every meal, helping to regulate your appetite, metabolism, and even your mood. Shine a spotlight on these hardworking bugs with the American Gut project! Swab your sample (don’t ask…), put it in project-provided test tube and send it in! You’ll be contributing to important research, and get a report identifying your gut bugs, so you can thank each microbe by name. ($99 fee for sample kit).

Location: United States and Canada

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Bursting with B vitamins and potassium, mushrooms are a great complement to any Thanksgiving feast! Yet 95% of all species of fungi remain unstudied. This Thanksgiving, consider adding the Mushroom Observer project to your bill of fare, and start contributing to this thriving network of mushroom hunters.

Location: United States

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No matter how much you’ve indulged, there’s always room for butterflies! This year’s California- based monarch count runs from November 16 through December 8th. Not in California? No problem! Search the SciStarter Project Finder to find a butterfly project near you!

Location: United States (West Coast and Midwest States)

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Check out SciStarter’s online and printable monthly calendar of events and holidays (like National Dog Day) linked to relevant citizen science projects.

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In this podcast episode, learn about how natural history museums and public libraries have involved members of their communities in projects that can contribute to local, national, and global understandings of scientific questions. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for your local library or museum!

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Watch this webinar recording to discover how you can access many free resources to help introduce, shape, or support citizen science in your library, especially leading up to and during April 2020: Citizen Science Month.

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Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools.

Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

New on our syndicated blogs:

Caterpillars Count! via Science Connected Magazine

Explore biodiversity around you via Discover Magazine

Boston is wicked hot. This is what they’re doing about it via the SciStarter blog

Categories: Nature & Outdoors, Newsletter

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About the Author

Bob Hirshon

Bob Hirshon

Bob Hirshon, President, Springtail Media LLC Bob Hirshon heads up Springtail Media, specializing in science media and digital entertainment. He is Principle Investigator for the NSF-supported National Park Science Challenge, an augmented reality adventure that takes place in National Parks. Hirshon headed up the Kinetic City family of science projects, including the Peabody Award winning children’s radio drama Kinetic City Super Crew, McGraw-Hill book series and Codie Award winning website and education program. Hirshon can be heard on XM/Sirius Radio’s Kids Place Live as “Bob the Science Slob,” sharing science news and answering children’s questions.