Archive for the ‘changing planet’ tag

Saving California’s Seals and Sea Lions

By October 11th, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Comment

We tend to think of famine in human terms. But animal populations also experience wide-spread hunger, and the hundreds of emaciated young seals and sea lions stranded on California beaches in the past year were a poignant example.

Fortunately, a large team of citizen scientists at The Marine Mammal Center—an animal hospital and research institute north of San Francisco—were ready for the challenge. Twenty-eight crews of 15-20 people worked day and night shifts to rescue and rehabilitate the starving pups and yearlings. By July, 2016, about 1200 volunteers and 50 staff members had fought to save 380 sea lions, 220 elephant seals, 120 harbor seals, and 20 Guadalupe fur seals.  Read the rest of this entry »

Darlene Cavalier – The Citizen Scientist

By January 16th, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Comment

Darlene Cavalier, founder of SciStarter and Science CheerleaderIn a former life, Darlene Cavalier was a cheerleader for the Philadelphia 76ers. Today, she’s the founder of SciStarter and Science Cheerleader, two websites dedicated to spreading the word that science is something anyone can do (as you know!).

Discover Magazine author, Katie Palmer, recently sat down with Darlene to get the inside scoop on SciStarter and a host of other topics.

What led to the creation of SciStarter? What are Darlene’s favorite citizen science projects? What got her interested in communicating science 
to the public?
 Can hands-on 
activities really help us make sense of the 
complexities of 
climate change?

Read the story to find out!

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

By July 20th, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Comment 1

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, thought leaders and students for a discussion on the issues of climate science.

The Weather Channel announced that it will air a “Changing Planet: Clean Energy, Green Jobs, and Global Competition” on Tuesday, July 26th at 9 PM/ET. NBC News Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson moderated the event, which was hosted by George Washington University. The town hall meeting is the second in a three-part series produced under a partnership between NBC Learn (the educational arm of NBC News), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Discover magazine.

The “Changing Planet” town hall series is intended to encourage student learning and to open a dialogue about climate change by gathering scientists, thought leaders, business people, and university students to discuss the facts of climate science, understand their implications, brainstorm solutions and even get involved in real research through citizen science projects on

“Today’s technology allows us to think about new energy options that impact the planet less and help the economy more,” said Thompson. “It is critical that we have these important discussions about how clean energy and the economy can go hand in hand, in order to bring the best solutions to the spotlight.”

This edition of “Changing Planet” brings together over 100 students and features four leading experts from the science and business communities: Chris Busch, Director of Policy and Program at Apollo Alliance; Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Chief Executive Officer of Green For All; Timothy Juliani, Director of Corporate Engagement at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change; and Ken Zweibel, Director at the GW Solar Institute.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Earth Day! Five ways to help the planet

By April 22nd, 2011 at 11:25 am | Comment

Spot Robins, Help the PlanetToday is Earth Day, a perfect excuse to get out and help the planet!

Researchers need YOUR help tracking the presence of American robins, so they can compare your observations with other environmental data, including climate and weather changes.  American robins are arriving in the Colorado Rockies 14 days earlier than they did 30 years ago and have been spotted in parts of Alaska for the first time. Because robins consume a wide variety of foods, an increase or decrease in their population may indicate (or impact) changes in other animal and plant species. It’s time for you to get involved and help the planet!

All you have to do:

1. Spot a robin
2. Record the date and location
3. Take note of its activity (what is it doing? what is it eating? is it near other birds?)
4. Share your results

This project is part the Changing Planet series, presented by the National Science Foundation, NBC News, Discover Magazine, Science For Citizens and Planet Forward. Changing Planet” is a series of three televised Town Hall meetings, hosted by Tom Brokaw of NBC News, on what climate change means. The first event, held at Yale, airs on the Weather Channel tonight at 8pm ET. We’ll also post the video here on Monday, April 25.

Here are four other awesome projects to start on Earth Day:

2011 IGES Earth Day Photo & Essay Contest for Grades 5-8 Earth Day Photo and Essay Contest: Celebrate Earth Day with middle school students (grades 5-8) across the country by taking a photograph of something changing in your local environment. Then, research and write an essay about the photograph. The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies will award a variety of prizes, including a digital camera, digital photo frame and digital photo keychain, and more. Send in your pictures by April 29, 2011!
Sound Around You Sound Around You: Help researchers build a sound map of the world as part of a study into how sounds in our everyday environment make us feel. Just use your mobile phone (or other recording device) to record 10 to 15 second clips from different sound environments, or “soundscapes” – anything from the inside of a family car to a busy shopping center. Then, upload the clips to a virtual map!
Cloned Plants Project Cloned Plants Project: Plant a lilac and contribute to a phenology monitoring project over 50 years in existence! Participants plant a lilac clone and record observations of recurring life cycle stages such as leafing and flowering on the USA National Phenology Network webpage. Observations of cloned plants help predict crop yields and bloom dates of other species, control insects and disease, and assist with monitoring the impact of global climate change.
BeeSpotter BeeSpotter: Get out there with your camera and capture some good pictures of bees! Researchers need your help better understand bee demographics in the state of Illinois. You’ll help BeeSpotter researchers establish a baseline for monitoring bee population declines and learn about bees in the process.

Looking for more citizen science opportunities? Sign up for the Science for Citizens newsletter!

Join us at the Philadelphia Science Festival this Saturday

By April 14th, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Comment

Philadelphia Science FestivalYou’re invited to join Science for Citizens at the Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival on the Ben Franklin Parkway this Saturday, April 16!

The festival promises to be an event like no other, with over 80 exhibitors offering non-stop family-friendly experiments, interactive activities, games, and a packed line-up of live entertainment. Best of all, the event is free, open to all ages, and requires absolutely no pre-registration.

The Science for Citizens team will be there to host our own exhibit (Booth 62), featuring two different opportunities for you to participate in hands-on scientific research. Come and join the fun. We hope to see you this weekend!

robins Researchers need YOUR help tracking the presence of American robins, so they can compare your observations with other environmental data. If you spot a robin at the festival, record the time and note its activity. Then visit our booth to log your data. The person who logs the most robin sightings wins a prize!
bubbles Did you know that you can contribute to science by blowing bubbles? It’s true! We’ll be creating our very own “bubble cones” and launching bubbles into the air. Then, you’ll  simply record in which direction and how far the bubbles travel.  All of this data will be submitted to the Open Air Laboratory in support their larger effort to study how obstacles in our environment affect the speed and direction of wind around us.

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