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

Rad Astronomy: Interview with Global Telescope Network Director Kevin McLin

Whether tackling the mysteries of the universe or studying birds in the backyard, citizen science projects rely on collaboration between scientists, volunteers, teachers, students, and many other dedicated participants. One great example from our Project Finder is the Global Telescope Network, an informal association of amateur astronomers who partner with scientists to conduct cutting-edge astronomy research. Using … Read more “Rad Astronomy: Interview with Global Telescope Network Director Kevin McLin”

Categories: Astronomy & Space, Computers & Technology, Physics

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

Map pollination while beautifying your garden

Think you can spot the difference between and a honey bee and a bumble bee? Well, there’s one day left to test your bee knowledge with the online Bee Challenge, brought to you by the folks at the Great Pollinator Project! A collaboration between the Greenbelt Native Plant Nursery and the Center for Biodiversity and … Read more “Map pollination while beautifying your garden”

Categories: Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, Insects

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

A webcam for things that go bump in the night

If you like Phoebe Allens, the famous Allen’s hummingbird whose comings and goings are video-recorded in a southern California yard, then you should know about The Animal Detector. The Animal Detector is a video blog devoted to the nocturnal critters that visit the backyard of University of North Carolina developmental biologist Bob Goldstein. One night … Read more “A webcam for things that go bump in the night”

Categories: Animals, Birds

Want to chat with the physicists from Einstein@home?

Our pal, Elsa Youngsteadt, at Sigma Xi (one of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world) asked us to invite you to participate in an online conversation taking place right now over at The World: Science. Elsa co-produces the popular science podcast for The World, a daily international news magazine broadcast on public radio stations … Read more “Want to chat with the physicists from Einstein@home?”

Categories: Astronomy & Space, Citizen Science, Computers & Technology