Archive for the ‘water quality’ tag

From snorkeling to selfies, here’s how you can advance scientific research

By May 25th, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Comment 1

You’re in good company 
We just returned from the 2017 Citizen Science Association conference in St. Paul, MN and we can confirm that citizen science is hot!  Give yourself a pat on the back for being part of this awesome movement!
Below, we share some new and alumni projects we think you’ll love. Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team
 

NASA
Globe at Night
Seven out of 10 people in the US have never seen the Milky Way Galaxy in the night sky due to light pollution. You can help understand light pollution in your community by measuring the night sky brightness.
Location: Global 

 

Stream Selfie
Map streams across the country and start testing the waters with Stream Selfie. All you need to do is find a stream, snap a photo, and answer some brief questions. You’ll help fill important gaps in our understanding of water quality.
Location: United States

 

Rescue a Reef
You can help with coral reef restoration with the University of Miami research team. You will be trained in data collection, coral nursery management, and coral restoration. You will need either SCUBA Certification or strong snorkeling skills.
Location: Miami, Florida

 

Avi
FloodCrowd
Across the United Kingdom, if you’ve seen a flood, big or small, you can contribute your observation to FloodCrowd. Your observations will help assess flood risk management with citizen science.
Location: United Kingdom

 

North Carolina King Tides
Be on the lookout for high water in North Carolina due to heavy rains, storms, wind, and king tides. Your photos help communities understand their vulnerabilities to coastal flooding during times of extreme high tides or sea-level rise.
Location: North Carolina

 

Congratulations to the Project Slam finalists! 

We heard over 20 fast-paced talks about new citizen science projects during the Project Slam sponsored by SciStarter at the Citizen Science Association conference. Congratulations to Sparrow Swap, Mark2Cure, and the City Nature Challenge for being the top-voted projects!


Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

River Keeping in New Mexico

By April 25th, 2017 at 9:00 am | Comment

Volunteers across the country participate in River Keeper programs. Photo: Virginia State Parks CC BY 2.0

River Keeper. Watershed Keeper. There’s something poetic—maybe a bit Celtic—about these terms, which in the world of citizen science refer to someone monitoring a waterway for soil erosion, contaminants, and loss of biodiversity. Across the United States, with sonorous names like Willamette River Keepers and Chattahoochee River Keepers, citizen scientists are keeping watch over the environmental health of our rivers, lakes, and estuaries.

Where I live in southwestern New Mexico, the Silver City Watershed Keepers are mostly teenagers—a high school class and their dedicated teacher, Maddie Alfero, organized by a local environmental group, Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP), with support from the New Mexico Environmental Department. A GRIP staff member, A.J. Sandoval, coordinates the program. A retired Environmental Department staff member, Dave Menzie, acts as their Quality Assurance Officer. Read the rest of this entry »

“Stream Selfies” Bridge Information Gap on Stream Health

By April 12th, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Comment

Izaak Walton League Celebrates Citizen Science Month With Project To Document Streams Across America

By Danielle Donkersloot, Izaak Walton League Clean Water Program Director

Every American has the right to know whether the streams running through their backyards and neighborhood parks are safe. But there is an alarming lack of up-to-date information about water quality across the country. The Izaak Walton League’s “Stream Selfie” project will help bridge that information gap.   Read the rest of this entry »

Collaborative Citizen Science for Clean Water Management

By March 15th, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Comment

By Lishka Arata, Conservation Educator at Point Blue

Volunteers collecting a sample from the lake to examine under the microscope. Photo: CMC

Despite the current administration’s efforts to roll back the Clean Water Act and dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, interest and participation is growing in a new EPA- and stakeholder-led citizen science project that aims to inform clean water management.

The Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative has been gathering steam since 2010, when Hilary Snook, EPA Senior Water Quality Scientist, began receiving calls from state water quality agencies with complaints from their constituents about cyanobacteria blooms occurring in their waters.

A collaborative workgroup was formed between New England state water quality scientists and the EPA in an effort to create something that was stakeholder-inclusive and educational for those concerned about and involved in addressing cyanobacteria blooms and the water quality issues that surround them. Read the rest of this entry »

The Poetry of Science at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

By October 26th, 2016 at 10:28 pm | Comment

Carl Sandburg Home National Historical Site stretches over 246 rolling acres in Flat Rock, N.C. The writer and poet Sandburg moved to the property in 1945 for the solitude the natural landscape provides. Today, it is a place where nature, science, and creativity intertwine.

By measuring tree canopy cover, visitors to the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site citizen science trail contribute to research showing how differences in sunlight affect the ecosystem. Photo Credit: Russ Campbell

By measuring tree canopy cover, visitors to the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site citizen science trail contribute to research showing how differences in sunlight affect the ecosystem. Photo Credit: Russ Campbell

Five miles of trails meander throughout the site – some leisurely strolls on walking paths, others intense climbs that summit onto a bucolic overlooks. One trail in particular offers a new and innovative experience that marries the beauty of the setting with the investigative opportunity that inherently exists in nature. The first Kids in Parks Citizen Science TRACK Trail, a program of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, was designed to create and interactive trail experience for children and the adults with them to stop, observe, and reflect on their surroundings.

A canopy of hemlock, maple, and pine shade the mile-long loop that encircles a lake. The citizen science trail guides participants through a series of interactive stations where visitors can measure the age of a tree by counting the rings, test the quality of the water, and observe the weather by reading a thermometer and making observations. Another station provides a bench for visitors to look out across the lake and simply record whatever nature they see. There’s also a place to record your own poem–a nod to Sandburg and the recognition of this site as a tribute to American literature and a reminder of the inexorable link between nature, science, and art.

The view from Little Glassy Mountain, part of the citizen science trail at Carl Sandburg National Historic Site. Credit: Russ Campbell

The view from Little Glassy Mountain, part of the citizen science trail at Carl Sandburg National Historic Site. Photo Credit: Russ Campbell

Administrators at Kids in Parks collect the data, explains director Jason Urroz. “It’s a great way to get kids to collect data and be involved in the science learning process,” he says.

As Carl Sandburg wrote, “Nothing happens unless first we dream.” Park staff themselves had a dream to create a new citizen science trail that would engage visitors in all aspects of what the park has to offer. Supported by the National Park Foundation, they turned this dream into an opportunity to discover the rich and unique environment of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.

 


Russ Campbell heads communication at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, a private biomedical foundation located in Research Triangle Park, N.C. He is a volunteer with the Turtle Rescue Team, based out of the North Carolina State University Veterinary School. He is the cofounder of the Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC).