One firefly mystery solved, another needs your help

Recently, my pal at Live Science.com, Dave Brody, produced this video news piece about the results of a fascinating experiment involving fireflies. Scientists at the University of Connecticut have discovered that males in a common species of fireflies synchronize their flashing patterns to attract females. In dense fields or woods, the mass, synchronized flashing patterns … Read more “One firefly mystery solved, another needs your help”

Categories: Citizen Science, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

I love an old-fashioned sky show

While in New York last week, I dropped in at the Hayden Planetarium for a real treat: an old-fashioned sky show. This was not your typical overwrought, highly digitized, celebrity narrated, long-on-glitz and short-on-insights production number that planetariums feel they have to create these days in order to get the public’s attention. This was a … Read more “I love an old-fashioned sky show”

Categories: Astronomy & Space

Got ants? Citizen scientists do

“Everybody have ants?” That’s Kelly Herbinson, an entomologist at the California Academy of Sciences, training high school students in the art of collecting ants for the Bay Area Ant Survey, one of the Academy’s citizen science projects. (You’ll find a description in our Project Finder.) The project and the problem ant that participants most often … Read more “Got ants? Citizen scientists do”

Categories: Citizen Science, Insects

Citizen scientists needed to track oil damage–by phone

An important new citizen science project turned up in our database the other day—and it urgently needs volunteers. MoGO, short for Mobile Gulf Observatory, is an iPhone app that enlists volunteers to record and report the damage of the Gulf Coast oil spill on the region’s wildlife and environment. It was created by researchers at … Read more “Citizen scientists needed to track oil damage–by phone”

Categories: Animals, Birds, Citizen Science, Computers & Technology, Ecology & Environment

“Ni Hao,” to our new friends in China.

A few days ago, Bruce Lewenstein, Professor of Science Communication at Cornell University, sent this note to me: I’ve just returned from several weeks in China, where I was giving lectures on science communication at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ graduate school and in other venues.  A story about the lectures ran in the science … Read more ““Ni Hao,” to our new friends in China.”

Categories: Citizen Science, In the News, Science Education Standards, Science Policy

State of the Science: Washington

Having just returned from a vacation to one my favorite cities of all time, Seattle, I thought I would highlight some of the amazing citizen science projects taking place in Washington state. Below, I’ve provided just a quick sampling of some the projects we’ve added to our Project Finder. Do you know of any other … Read more “State of the Science: Washington”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Birds, Chemistry, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Geology & Earth Sciences, Health, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water, Physics, Science Education Standards

The Rise of the Citizen Scientist, at the H+ Summit @Harvard

This coming Saturday, I’ll be speaking at the Humanity Plus Summit at Harvard. The so-called H+ Summit is a two day event that explores how humanity will be radically changed by technology in the near future. The focus of the 2010 H+ Summit is apropos to Sci4Cits: The Rise of the Citizen Scientist! Visionary speakers … Read more “The Rise of the Citizen Scientist, at the H+ Summit @Harvard”

Categories: Citizen Science

Amateur Astronomers Discover Massive Fireball on Jupiter

Not that we’re competing, but stargazers Anthony Wesley and Christopher Go have now spotted one more giant fireball on Jupiter than me, according to several news reports. Wesley apparently caught the impact event on camera from Australia, and Go simultaneously captured video of the resulting blast of light from the Philipines. Pretty amazing stuff. If … Read more “Amateur Astronomers Discover Massive Fireball on Jupiter”

Categories: Astronomy & Space, In the News

Citizen science goes to the beach

As Memorial Day approaches and Americans slide into summer vacation, many are preparing to make the annual pilgrimage to the beach. While basting in the sun and ambling along a coastline, those with scientific leanings will inevitably tune into the surrounding natural environment—casually observing and appreciating the water, plants, fish, and other marine life. So why not … Read more “Citizen science goes to the beach”

Categories: Animals, Citizen Science, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

Save gorillas: yeah, there’s an app for that

Pictured here are my son and a silverback gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo. As the gorilla approached the observatory window, my son nervously began to chew on his finger. The gorilla slowly, gently walked up to the window and mimicked–dare I say, empathized with–my little guy.  “No one who looks into a gorilla’s eyes — … Read more “Save gorillas: yeah, there’s an app for that”

Categories: Animals, Citizen Science