Measuring Environmental Stewardship

Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Environmental Behaviors Project seeks help in sorting and ranking environmental stewardship. Many citizen science projects have been very successful in collecting high-quality scientific data through the participation of citizen scientists. However, less emphasis has been placed on documenting changes to citizen scientists themselves. In particular, many projects hope participants will increase their environmental … Read more “Measuring Environmental Stewardship”

Categories: Ecology & Environment, Guest Contributor

Track hummingbird migration changes starting March 15.

By Carolyn Graybeal Hummingbirds are mesmerizing. Their iridescent feathers. How they hover in the air. But these tiny birds are not just eye candy. Hummingbirds play a critical role in the ecosystem. They help keep insect populations in check. They pollinate flowers as they roam for nectar. Unfortunately scientists are observing that migration patterns are … Read more “Track hummingbird migration changes starting March 15.”

Categories: Citizen Science

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

Conversations about conservation: public participation in scientific research

Energy is a strange thing.  It floats around you, fills you up until you’re about ready to burst, and then it skips off, leaving you to keep up as best you can.  Last Thursday and Friday were two full days of such energy, when 60 professionals from such exotic places as Alaska, Colombia and New … Read more “Conversations about conservation: public participation in scientific research”

Categories: Biology, Birds, Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, In the News, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water, Science Education Standards, Science Policy

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

Charlotte Observer: “Citizen Science is in full flight.”

This week, an article in the Charlotte Observer newspaper featured citizen scientist Benton Bragg and his family. The Braggs installed a video camera in an owl box to track the habits of the owl and her babies. “We never know what we’re going to see,” Bragg said. “One night she brought in seven snakes. Another … Read more “Charlotte Observer: “Citizen Science is in full flight.””

Categories: Animals, Birds, Citizen Science, In the News, Nature & Outdoors