12 Days of Christmas: Citizen Science Edition!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) December 21st, 2014 at 10:51 am | Comment

Photo: John Ohab
12 Days of Christmas
We’re back with our annual list of 12 merry projects!
Cheers to you for all you do for science!
2015 is already shaping up to be the Year of the Citizen Scientist. Hold onto your (santa) hats!

1 -chestnut count
Credit:  DOI
1st Day of Christmas, the American Chestnut Foundation gave to me:
A partridge in a chestnut tree. Leaf and twig sampling helps identify and map chestnut trees throughout the eastern United States. Get started!

2-audubon2nd day of Christmas, Audubon gave to me:
Two turtle doves spotted during the Christmas Bird Count, the world’s longest running citizen science project, which takes place now through January 5. Get started!

3-crab3rd day of Christmas, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center gave to me:
Three Chinese mitten hens (female crabs) on the east coast. Mitten Crab Watch needs our help to determine the current distribution status of the mitten crab. Get started!

4-canid howls
Mark Dumont (CC BY 2.0)
4th day of Christmas, University of TN gave to me: 
Four or more calling dogs, wolves and other canids! Listen and analyze the canid howls and investigate the role of these sounds. Get started!

Credit:  DHS
5th day of Christmas, Precipitation ID Near the Ground gave to me: 
Five gold PINGs! This winter, you can track snow, rain, and hail near you for the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Get started!

6-seabird6th day of Christmas, Seattle Audubon Society gave to me: 
A chance to help seabird researchers create a snapshot of geese density on more than three square miles of near-shore saltwater habitat. Get started!

7-myswan7th day of Christmas, the University of Melbourne gave to me:
The MySwan project to report sightings of tagged black swans around the world. After you submit your sighting, you’ll get an instant report about the swan, with information about its history and recent movements. Get started!

8-galaxy8th day of Christmas, Zooniverse gave to me: 
The Milky Way Project, a chance to help scientists study our galaxy, as well as the Milky Way advent calendar and even Milky Way tree ornaments! Get started!

9-mercurri9th day of Christmas, Science Cheerleaders gave to me: 

Credit:  USGS
10th day of Christmas, the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program gave to me:
10 frogs-a-leaping as citizen scientists monitor their populations across the continent. Get started!

Credit: NIH
11th day of Christmas, the University of Washington gave to me:
SingAboutScience, a searchable database where you can find content-rich songs on specific scientific and mathematical topics. These singers sure have pipes! Get started!

12-grouse12th day of Christmas, NY Department of Environmental Conservation gave to me:
The Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey to help hunters survey populations of ruffed grouse in breeding season. Get started!

Categories: Citizen Science

Citizen Science, Happening Now at a Museum or Science Center Near You!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) December 13th, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Comment

Participants deliberating about NASA’s Asteroid Initiative at the Museum of Science on November 15, 2014. Photo by David Rabkin, Museum of Science.
Science Centers are turning to citizen science to engage onsite and virtual visitors to help advance research!


Our editors have featured five such projects you can take part in below.


A related series of guests blog posts, written by the folks running theses citizen science projects at science centers, will be featured on the SciStarter blog network: SciStarter, Public Library of Science and Discover Magazine.


In the first post, David Sittenfeld, from the Museum of Science, Boston, describes the range and depth of programs offered to citizen scientists ay science centers.


Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Citizen Science

Project MERCCURI featured on NASA’s weekly update

By Darlene Cavalier December 13th, 2014 at 8:54 am | Comment

What do Buzz Aldrin’s shoe, the Liberty Bell & sports arenas all have in common? Watch Space to Ground, your weekly update on what’s happening aboard the International Space Station.

SciStarter’s Project MERCCURI, a research project to compare microbes on Earth and in space (presented by the Eisen Lab and UC Davis, SciStarter and Science Cheerleader, with support from the Sloan Foundation, Space Florida and NanoRacks), was featured on NASA’s “Space to Ground,” a weekly update on what’s happening aboard the International Space Station. Click here to read more about the status of this project!

The giving list: supporting science with annual donations (Guest Post)

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) December 12th, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Comment

This post was authored by by Donna Kridelbaugh,  (@science_mentor)  a communications consultant and founder of ScienceMentor.Me. Her mission is to create an online field guide to self-mentoring in science careers. She offers writing, editing and marketing services for early-career professionals who are ready to advance their career to the next level. Learn more at http://sciencementor.me/It originally appeared on ASBMB Today.

A season for giving to science!  (Image Credit: Flickr/asenat29 CC BY 2.0)

A season for giving to science! (Image Credit: Flickr/asenat29 CC BY 2.0)

Fundraising campaigns — from ice bucket challenges to pink cleats on the football field –have been all the craze lately, saturating our social media feeds and news headlines.

While it’s refreshing to see people pitching in to support groups that return a portion of funds to biomedical research, these donation fads can quickly fizzle out. Plus, many nonprofit research and science-education programs rely on consistent, year-round donations. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Citizen Science

Citizen participation in science at the Museum of Science in Boston

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) December 11th, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Comment

This is a guest post from David Sittenfeld, Manager, Forums at the Museum of Science, Boston.


Rica, a Museum summer youth intern, facilitates a discussion about urban air quality issues. Photo by David Rabkin, Museum of Science.

Rica, a Museum summer youth intern, facilitates a discussion about urban air quality issues. Photo by David Rabkin, Museum of Science.

At the Museum of Science in Boston, we’ve been exploring three flavors of citizen science over the last half-decade or so. We started with fireflies and have added participatory efforts around urban environmental health assessment and participatory policy formulation.  We’re excited about the way that citizen science has transformed the landscape for science and are looking forward to what’s next! Read the rest of this entry »