Meet us at the World Maker Faire in NYC!

Science For Citizens is teaming up with Discover Magazine to help inspire more people to get involved in citizen science activities! Come get your hands dirty with science at the World Maker Faire in NYC, September 17-18 at the NY Hall of Science. Organized by the staff of MAKE magazine, makezine.com and craftzine.com, Maker Faire … Read more “Meet us at the World Maker Faire in NYC!”

Categories: Citizen Science, Science Cheerleaders

Citizen Paleontologists Are Making History

During the last Ice Age, mammoths and mastodons roamed Florida. Today, fossil hunters like James Kennedy of Vero Beach, Florida find their bones. “I'm not a scientist,” said James in a recent interview for National Public Radio. “I just go out and dig up bones good. I'm good at finding them." But I’d contend that James is a scientist – a citizen scientist. Many people collect fossils. I like to think of these fossil hunters as “citizen paleontologists” and they can play important roles in scientific discovery. For example, one of the bones James collected is more than just a fossil. It’s also prehistoric art. An image of a mammoth is engraved on the bone. Scientists estimate that the engraving was made at least 13,000 years ago. It’s an important clue to how humans lived at the time. Several research projects are combining the skills and interests of citizen paleontologists with those of scientists in order to help us understand more about earth’s history and evolution. Here are a few examples of projects that are getting citizens and researchers working together and leading to scientific discoveries. … Read more

Categories: Animals, Citizen Science, Geology & Earth Sciences, Nature & Outdoors, Science Education Standards

“Changing Planet” Town Hall: clean energy, green jobs

On Tuesday, July 26 at 9pm ET, The Weather Channel will air the “Changing Planet” Town Hall focused on clean energy and green jobs. Science for Citizens is a partner in this three-part series. Here’s more information from NBC News: This town hall broadcast is the second in a 3-part series that brings together scientists, … Read more ““Changing Planet” Town Hall: clean energy, green jobs”

Categories: Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, In the News, Science Education Standards, Science Policy

Changing Currents turns students into environmental scientists

Changing Currents, a project originating in Toronto, Canada, familiarizes middle- and high-school students with local watersheds and teaches them how to conduct water quality analyses. This is a great way for students to become environmental scientists for a day! After heading out to a local stream and donning hip waders, students collect water samples and analyze … Read more “Changing Currents turns students into environmental scientists”

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

Citizen Science in Puerto Rico

Citizen science is taking off in Puerto Rico! According to a story at Ciencia PR, citizen scientists are playing an important role in the conservation efforts for the Hacienca La Esperanza Reserve, which houses the only coastal forest in Northern Puerto Rico. Through the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust’s Citizen Science Program, volunteers have the opportunity to explore and observe the … Read more “Citizen Science in Puerto Rico”

Categories: Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, In the News, Science Education Standards

Studying Dragonfly Swarms with Citizen Science

In July of 2009, a friend and I arrived at a lake to collect water samples for work. We had worked at the lake many times, but something was different that day: several hundred dragonflies were flying over the grass. We often saw dragonflies, but there were 50 times the usual number and they weren’t … Read more “Studying Dragonfly Swarms with Citizen Science”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Guest Contributor, In the News, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

Spotting Fireflies for Science

Ever seen little points of light buzzing around outside on summer nights? Those lights - fireflies – are beetles that create light through a chemical reaction. By controlling the reaction, fireflies can turn on and off their lights. They flash light to communicate and find a mate. Fireflies may be disappearing from some areas where they have been found in the past, so researchers are looking to citizen scientists for help understanding more about what is affecting fireflies. Changes in the way we use land might be taking a toll on fireflies. For example, as natural landscapes are turned into lawns, fertilizers, pesticides and mowers may jeopardize fireflies, which spend daytime hours on the ground. Fireflies might also be affected by outdoor lights such as streetlights and the amount of water in the environment. The Firefly Watch project gets the public involved collecting data about where fireflies are found. If you live east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and have ten minutes a week to look for fireflies in the evening, consider signing up as a volunteer. … Read more

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

Beyond Gloom and Doom: Young Citizen Scientists Address Climate Change

It is becoming more apparent that people of all ages want to learn more than just the facts about climate change—they want to know what they can DO to address this problem. The Sciencenter in Ithaca, New York has been working on projects that go beyond learning the facts about climate change, empowering children to use science to shape a better future. Sure, we still encourage kids to save energy by turning the lights off and riding their bikes whenever possible, but a recent collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO) has allowed us to start exploring citizen science as an avenue of climate change education. Three years ago we embarked on a project to engage middle school students in CLO’s NestWatch program, which contributes to our understanding of how climate change affects nesting birds. Studies have already shown that some bird species are nesting earlier in the year, which impacts important timing considerations such as food availability. With funding from the National Science Foundation, great support from scientists at CLO, and a group of middle school volunteers we began using citizen science to explore the link between climate change and nesting birds. … Read more

Categories: Animals, Birds, Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Nature & Outdoors, Science Education Standards

Start spotting sharks for science!

Da-dum … da-dum … Don’t look now, but there are  researchers hoping you’ll hop in shark-infested waters in the name of science! Members of ECOCEAN want your help photographing whale sharks on your next ocean outing. Your pictures will be uploaded to the ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-identification Library, a photographic database of whale shark (Rhincodon … Read more “Start spotting sharks for science!”

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