Tracking Jellyfish around the globe

Jellyfish, in addition to being one of many ocean creatures that terrify me, are an important part of the underwater ecosystem. However, several reports have indicated an unusually high increase in Jellyfish populations, and scientists are in need of help to understand why. Enter JellyWatch, a new citizen science project that aims to create a database of jellyfish … Read more “Tracking Jellyfish around the globe”

Categories: Animals, Ecology & Environment, Ocean & Water

Valiant volunteers watch out for our water

You might say this post misses the boat. It’s about citizen scientists who monitor water quality—and World Water Day was last week. But  the remarkable thing about these volunteers is that they never stop. They work all year round and nearly around the clock to keep our rivers, streams, and lakes healthy. Now I know … Read more “Valiant volunteers watch out for our water”

Categories: Biology, Chemistry, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

Philly citizens help toads cross the road

They come by the hundreds, always under cover of night: It’s the annual migration of American toads in Upper Roxborough, a suburb of Philadelphia. And that means it’s time for the Toad Detour, when citizens and officials come together to close local roads—and educate commuters—so the amphibians can cross safely to their breeding grounds. From … Read more “Philly citizens help toads cross the road”

Categories: Amphibians, Animals, Biology, Nature & Outdoors

What’s all the buzz about bees?

Before I headed to Austin, TX  last week for the SXSW music, film, and interactive conference (I helped put together a panel discussion there on the Future of Gaming for Discover Magazine and the National Science Foundation), I Googled “citizen science in Austin” and came upon the Texas Beewatchers. The organizer of this citizen science … Read more “What’s all the buzz about bees?”

Categories: Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

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 … Read more “Help needed: monarch butterflies in trouble”

Categories: Ecology & Environment, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

“Who’s whoo-ing” in your backyard?

Are you a Westchester (NY), Putnam (NY), or Fairfield County (CT) resident just itching for a reason to dust off that old boombox? If so, the The Who’s Whoo-ing citizen science project needs you to play a CD of owl calls for 10 minutes and record if a response is heard. Using simple “call playback surveys”, the Mianus River … Read more ““Who’s whoo-ing” in your backyard?”

Categories: Animals, Birds, Citizen Science, Nature & Outdoors

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. Now that spring is nearly here, it’s time for another exciting … Read more “The hummingbird versus Godzilla–on video!”

Categories: Animals, Birds, Citizen Science, Nature & Outdoors

Phone apps for citizen scientists: What are you packing?

One of the many reasons I love to sneak up to Point Reyes is the night sky.  It’s often stunningly clear up there compared to foggy, urban San Francisco, offering a gorgeous celestial show to anyone inclined to look up. But on a recent getaway, I was bummed to find out that I’d forgotten to … Read more “Phone apps for citizen scientists: What are you packing?”

Categories: Animals, Apps, Astronomy & Space, Biology, Birds, Computers & Technology

Harvard scientists want your thoughts on how to improve Type 1 Diabetes research. $5K prize!

This is a very cool, new entry in the ScienceForCitizens.net database. It’s from the folks at Innocentive, the world leader in open innovation. (We’ll have more to say about our blossoming alliance with them shortly.) For now, check out this Innocentive Challenge which seeks to advance  knowledge about Type 1 Diabetes. Citizen scientists are invited … Read more “Harvard scientists want your thoughts on how to improve Type 1 Diabetes research. $5K prize!”

Categories: Citizen Science, Health

Turn a snow day into a science experiment

Tired of winter? Are snowball fights, sledding, and snowmen just not cutting it anymore? I just might have the cure for those winter blues: SnowTweets, a new citizen science project that uses the popular micro-blogging service, Twitter, to gather snow depth measurements from all over the world. Measuring snow is actually as easy as sticking … Read more “Turn a snow day into a science experiment”

Categories: Climate & Weather, Computers & Technology