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Emergency Response


Solar Storm Watch

You don’t have to be a science expert to be a brilliant solar stormwatcher. Help scientists spot explosions on the Sun and track them across space to Earth. Your work will give astronauts an early warning if dangerous solar radiation is headed their way. And you could make a new scientific discovery.

Explore interactive diagrams to learn out about the Sun and the spacecraft monitoring it. The STEREO spacecraft is scientists’ latest mission to study the Sun and space weather – not clouds and rain, but how solar storms change conditions in space and on Earth.

Solar Stormwatch isn't just about classifying data. You can talk to other members on our forum, sign up for our space weather forecast from Twitter, and learn about the latest discoveries on our blog. You can also see how solar storms affect Earth at our Flickr group Aurora chasers, featuring beautiful photos of aurora.

if you’d like to know more about what you’re looking at, then explore our beautiful and interactive zoomable diagrams to find out about the Sun and the STEREO spacecraft monitoring it. And check out our scientists’ profiles too.




Quake-Catcher Network

The Quake-Catcher Network provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes.

The Quake-Catcher Network links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the world’s largest and densest earthquake monitoring system. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others.

The Quake-Catcher Network also provides a natural way to engage students and the public in earthquake detection and research. This project places USB-connectable sensors in K-12 classrooms as an educational tool for teaching science and a scientific tool for studying and monitoring earthquakes. Through a variety of interactive experiments students can learn about earthquakes and the hazards that earthquakes pose.

Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. Let's get to work!




Eyes on the Rise

The Eyes on the Rise Project Team, in conjunction with the FIU GIS Center and Code for Miami are working on an application for South Florida residents to better understand the impact of sea level rise on their homes and businesses. We are creating an app to allow South Floridians to create a database of flooding incidents in their areas. While this is not an official application (citizen reports are not filed with government agencies), it will allow local residents to create their own catalog of flooding incidents. It will also attempt to match your address to the appropriate local agency where you can report a flood.

Our initial goals between April 2014 to April 2015 are to produce participatory “crowd hydrology” and community journalism related to sea level rise and its effects to South Florida infrastructure, environments, and lives. To meet our aims, the project focuses on three veins of engagement:Citizen Science, Personal Stories and Citizen Empowerment

Eyes on the Rise is a project of the Sea Level Rise: South Florida initiative funded, in large part, by a Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education grant funded and awarded by the Online News Association, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Excellence and Ethics in Journalism Foundation, the Democracy Fund, and the Rita Allen Foundation.




SENSR

SENSR is a tool to create, share and manage a citizen science project running on mobile devices to harness the power of citizen scientists.

SENSR provides a simple and easy way to obtain a custom data collection application running on mobile devices for your project.

If you are running a grassroots project for science, education, environmental conservation, community monitoring, or other reason, and are seeking ways to expand citizen scientists' participation in contributing data, SENR can help you create a mobile data collection tool for your project.

It is part of a research project at Carnegie Mellon University. Please try out if you are seeking ways to harness citizens' power of data collection.




Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps

The Senior Environment Corps (SEC) program engages volunteers mostly aged 55 and over. SEC volunteers are engaged in numerous activities from water quality monitoring, stream habitat assessment, storm-drain stenciling, environmental education, community gardening, wildlife surveying, marking abandoned oil and gas wells, and cleaning up parks and trails.

Since 1997, SEC volunteers in Pennsylvania have contributed over 2,000,000 hours, and their contribution is estimated to be of value to the state at over $3 million per year. Coming into 2014, SEC volunteers are active in 20 counties across Pennsylvania, and will soon be expanding into to more areas.




Watch the Wild

Watch the Wild™ needs your help. As a Watch the Wild™ volunteer, you observe and report the "wild" in your community, from trees and plants to lakes and streams to weather and wildlife activity. In as little as ten minutes, your observations help us to understand how our eco-systems are changing and helps us to adapt for the future. Your observations will be entered into a database and shared with interested scientists.




iSeeChange: The Almanac

The iSeeChange Almanac is a socially networked weather Almanac for communities to collectively journal their climate experiences -- their observations, feelings, questions, and decisions --- against near-real time climate information.

Founded in April 2012 in Western Colorado, iSeeChange is a public radio and media experiment that fosters multimedia conversations between citizens and scientists about how seasonal weather and climate extremes affect daily American life. From the earliest spring recorded in the history of the United States, a landmark wildfire season, nationwide droughts, and weather records breaking everyday, climate affects every citizen and binds communities together.

iSeeChange is produced by Julia Kumari Drapkin in Western Colorado at KVNF Mountain Grown Community Radio as a part of Localore, a nationwide production of AIR in collaboration with Zeega, with principal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.




AirCasting

AirCasting is a platform for recording, mapping, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. Each AirCasting session lets you capture real-world measurements, annotate the data to tell your story, and share it via the CrowdMap.

Using the AirCasting Android app, AirCasters can record, map, and share:
(o) sound levels recorded by their phone microphone;
(o) temperature, humidity, CO and NO2 gas concentrations recorded by the Arduino-powered AirCasting Air Monitor, and;
(o) heart rate measurements recorded by the Zephyr HxM.

Using AirCasting Luminescence, these sensor streams can also be represented using LED lights.




SUDS: Send Us your Dirt from Sandy

In the wake of Superstorm (hurricane) Sandy, many thousands of people are affected by flood waters which brought sediment (mud, sand, and dirt) into homes and businesses. We are interested in learning what chemicals may be present in this sediment and in the flood waters, and we need your help! We are asking people who are recovering from Sandy to collect samples and send them to us so that we can analyze them.




Public Laboratory Balloon and Kite Mapping

This DIY mapping tool was the first developed by Public Lab, as part of the Grassroots Mapping project. Citizens use helium-filled balloons and digital cameras to generate high resolution “satellite” maps of areas such as in the Gulf Coast and Gowanus Canal. Although this tool has been in use for two years, components of the kit -- kite and balloon design, the rig, the camera -- continue to evolve as they are adopted in new places and adapted for new purposes. Besides the aerial mapping tools, Public Lab has also developed MapKnitter.org, an online tool for stitching aerial images into maps.




Public Laboratory Infrared Camera

Infrared photography can help in assessing plant health, and has been used on satellites and planes for agricultural and ecological assessment primarily by vineyards, large farms and large-scale (read: expensive) research projects. By creating and open-sourcing a low-cost near-infrared camera and working with wetlands advocates, farmers and environmental activists, the Public Lab community has begun to explore grassroots uses for this powerful analytic technique.




SEANET

Our volunteers monitor Atlantic coast beaches from Maine to Florida documenting seabird mortality events on any scale, from a single dead gull, to a mass die-off of shearwaters.
The data collected serves as baseline for comparison after oil spills or major disease outbreaks, and as a baseline resource on the impacts of offshore development projects (e.g. oil drilling or wind) on seabird populations.




International Space App Challenge

The International Space Apps Challenge is a 2-day, worldwide citizen science event that focuses on developing technologies to solve relevant issues on earth, and in space. The event will take place on all seven continents and will even include collaborators from the international space station. From San Francisco, Nairobi, Melbourne, and even a research station on Antarctica, participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with citizen scientists and professional scientists from a variety of cultures offering a an amazing opportunity for creating unique solutions to a growing list of over 30 global challenges.

The event will take place on April 12-13, 2014 in a variety of locations across the world. At the event, participants will compete as teams to address challenges ranging from creating a mobile geospatial data visualization application to document environmental degradation activity to creating a mobile application to aid citizens in using social media to report natural disasters. The event aims to unite governments by demonstrating the principles of the Open Government Partnership, an effort endorsed by the U.S. and 52 other countries to promote transparency, participation, and collaboration between governments and citizens. A powerful Citizen Science initiative indeed! Further, the event presents a great opportunity to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education to students through applying technology as solutions to global challenges.

The International Space Apps Challenge is a ‘codeathon’ style event where highly collaborative software development processes result in innovative solutions to unique challenges. Bringing together software developers, engineers, science students, and technologists from around the world is sure to create novel ideas of global scope. The growing list of challenges has been compiled from NASA and several other partnering international agencies; however, you can work with event planners and scientists to submit your own challenge to the event.

This event holds great potential for creating meaningful solutions to global issues and is a truly unique opportunity to collaborate with scientists around the world. Register now to join other citizen scientists and help contribute to global science!




MammalMAP

THE BROAD PICTURE: The aim of MammalMAP is to update the distribution records of all African mammal species. Through collaborations with professional scientists, conservation organisations, wildlife authorities and citizen scientists across Africa, we consolidate all reliable and identifiable evidence (camera trap records, photographs) of current mammal locations into an open-access digital database. The database software automatically generates online distribution maps of all recorded species which are instantly visible and searchable. The information consolidated within MammalMAP will not only yield crucial information for species conservation policies and landscape conservation policies, but provides an excellent platform for educating the public about African mammals and their conservation challenges.

WHY MAMMALMAP IS NECESSARY: In Africa, our knowledge of mammal distribution patterns is based largely on historical records. However, the last three centuries have seen extensive human-modification of African landscapes with the associated conversion, compression and fragmentation of natural land. With further land development presenting a likely reality for the future, the effectiveness of mammal conservation efforts depends on ecological records being updated so that they accurately reflect mammal distribution patterns in the 21st Century. With MammalMAP we plan to conduct these ecological updates over the coming years, by mapping the current distribution of mammal species (including marine mammals and small mammals) across Africa.

HOW MAMMALMAP CONTRIBUTES TO CONSERVATION: The conservation benefits of this research are multiple. First, the comparison of these updated distribution records with both historical and future records will enable the detection of species’ distribution changes in response to human-related and climate-related habitat changes. These change detections will assist the guidance of continent-wide conservation policies and decision making processes. Second, the research will promote and facilitate interdisciplinary and international collaboration amongst scientists and conservation practitioners, with potential benefits to the advancement of conservation science. Finally, both the project input stage (data collection) and output stage (data dissemination) will offer interactive, dynamic and widely applicable education tools suitable for both formal and informal education sectors.

THE WHERE AND THE HOW OF MAMMALMAP: The area of interest for MammalMAP is the whole of Africa. To achieve this we collaborate with scientists, conservation organisations, wildlife authorities and citizen scientists across the continent. Our methods involve consolidating evidence of mammal occurrence in a given location (camera trap records, photographs and other reliable records) into a digital database hosted by the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town. In time, we will use the records in the database to generate distribution maps for all recorded species, in the same way that the ADU has done for birds, reptiles, frogs and butterflies.




MyHeartMap Challenge

When someone collapses and stops breathing, an automated external defibrillator or AED can save their life. In Philadelphia, PA, a city with about 1.5 million people, AEDs are all around us. Near our homes, workplaces, and even grocery stores! Currently there is no comprehensive map and as a result AEDs are often not used when they are most needed. With the crowdsourced information we collect from our contest, we will build a map of AED locations in Philadelphia which can inform 911 services and the public.

There are three ways to play:

1. Find and photograph the most AEDs in Philadelphia County through Tuesday, March 27, 2012 and win the $10,000 grand prize. The team or individual that finds the most "confirmed," "eligible" AEDs by the contest end date will receive the grand prize of $10,000.

2. Be the first to submit a photograph of a "Golden"AED and win $50. We have identified between 20 and 200 AEDs in Philadelphia County as "Golden" AEDs. These are unmarked and you won't know it's a winner when you photograph it.

3. Want to help but not compete for a prize? Submit addresses of locations without AEDs or that you wish had an AED - this is just for fun and it will help us with our map.

Read the Scistarter interview with the lead researcher here: http://scistarter.com/blog/2012/01/spot-the-most-defibrillators-in-philly-win-10k/




OpenSignalMaps

With your help, OpenSignalMaps is creating a comprehensive database of cell phone towers, cell phone signal strength readings, and Wi-Fi access points around the world. This data is collected via an Android application and uploaded to the project's servers, taking care to use as little processing power and battery life as possible.

You can use the project website to browse the data they've collected, including heat maps that show exactly how strong signal is in any particular area, as well as all the nearby towers for your carrier. And don't worry -- the data is stripped of any identifying information and available on a graphical interface to enable you to make sense of the raw data.




SKYWARN

SKYWARN is a national network of volunteer severe weather spotters. The spotters are trained by local National Weather Service Forecast Offices on how to spot severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, and flooding. In some parts of the country, spotters also report snowfall and ice accumulation.

During hazardous weather, such as severe thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, SKYWARN volunteers report what is happening at their location. They are asked to report whenever certain criteria are met such as when one inch of rain has fallen, four inches of snow is on the ground, a thunderstorm is producing hail, or trees have been blown down.

Reports arrive at the forecaster's office via the telephone, fax, Internet, and amateur radio. The reports are combined with radar and satellite data to determine what the storms will do next. Spotters provide the "ground-truth" to forecasters. Radar may tell us that heavy snow is falling, but it can not tell us how much snow is on the ground or if rain is mixing with the snow. Spotters do. The reports are used by forecasters to send out public statements, warnings and advisories, and short-term forecasts.

Two-thirds of SKYWARN volunteers are licensed amateur radio operators. Amateur radio plays a big role in the SKYWARN program. During severe weather, amateur radio volunteers man a radio station at our office. They talk to our spotters in the particular area that a storm is hitting and request information needed by the forecasters such as hail size or rainfall accumulation. Large storms such as hurricanes can knock out phone service. SKYWARN amateur radio volunteers help us when there are communications outages so that we can continue to receive weather reports and feed warnings and other critical information out to communities.

SKYWARN volunteers are people who either have a strong interest in weather or are public service oriented. This includes amateur radio operators, REACT members, or emergency response personnel. Our spotters are all ages beginning as young as 14 and range well into retirement age. We have farmers, pilots, engineers, housewives, lawyers, television cameramen, teachers, students, firemen, and more. Our volunteers are truly diverse but with a common interest in weather and a strong desire to help their community.




The Twitter Earthquake Detection Program

The US Geological Survey's Twitter Earthquake Detection Program gathers real-time, earthquake-related messages from Twitter and applies place, time, and keyword filtering to gather geo-located accounts of shaking.

This approach provides rapid first-impression narratives and, potentially, photos from citizens at the hazard’s location. The potential for earthquake detection in regions that are populated but where seismic instruments are sparse is also being investigated.

Data from the project will support other earthquake projects that rapidly detect and report earthquake locations and magnitudes in the United States and globally. The Program will also determine the best way to broadcast scientifically confirmed earthquake alerts via Twitter.




Did You Feel It?

"Did You Feel It?" provides an opportunity for people who experience an earthquake to share information about its effects to help create a map of shaking intensities and damage.

By taking advantage of the vast numbers of Internet users, the project garners a more complete description of what people experienced, the effects of the earthquake, and the extent of damage. The resulting “Community Internet Intensity Maps” contribute greatly to the quick assessment of the scope of an earthquake emergency and provide valuable data for earthquake research.





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