Archive for the ‘Citizen Science’ Category

The Lure of the Redwood Forest

By August 17th, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Comment

Walking through Purisima Creek Redwoods Reserve in northern California, I am the paparazzi of Western sword ferns (Polystichum munitum). When I find one, I stop and click, click, click my smartphone photos and then approach boldly for a closer look. Are new leaves emerging as curled fronds or fiddleheads? Are there round spots called sori—reproductive structures that produce spores—on the underside of the fronds? Are these spots brown or green? And how many centimeters are the four longest uncurled fronds? I am really getting intimate here, probing for the most personal of details, and ready—yes—to post it all online on the Fern Watch website. Researchers there won’t handle this information discreetly. Instead they share among themselves and all their citizen scientists, using our data to learn more about how redwood forests are responding to climate change.

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Celebrate National Parks with Citizen Science

By August 11th, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Comment

Photo: NPS
Celebrate the National Parks with Citizen Science
On August 25, the United States National Park Service turns 100! The park system provides many excellent citizen science opportunities to visitors.
Below, you’ll find five great national park projects. Find even more projects with the SciStarter Global Project Finder.
The SciStarter Team

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Meteor Hunters Track Fireballs in the Night Sky

By August 3rd, 2016 at 9:04 am | Comment

May 17, 2016, AMS Event

May 17, 2016, AMS Event

Have you ever glanced up at the night sky, at just the right moment, and seen a streak of bright light dart across the heavens and disappear?

The next time you do, instead of making a wish upon the “shooting star” (or maybe just after making your wish), consider reporting your observation to the American Meteor Society (AMS).

And that “next time” could be now, as Earth is crossing paths with the comet Swift-Tuttle this month, bringing about the beautiful Perseid meteor shower, with peak meteor shower viewings promised for Aug. 11 and 12. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Citizen Science

Call for Citizen Science Abstracts: American Geophysical Union

By August 2nd, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Comment

Consider submitting abstracts to two exciting education sessions being offered at the Fall American Geophysical Union (AGU) Meeting in San Francisco, December 12-16, 2016 ( Abstracts may be submitted at The deadline for abstract submission is August 3, 2016 at 23:59 EDT. If you are not a member of AGU, an AGU member may sponsor you to submit an abstract.

Session ID# 13679: “ED020. Educator/Student Programs Promoting Authentic Scientific Research:  Celebrating its 14th year, this session seeks to highlight programs and initiatives that provide authentic research experiences for educators and students at all levels from K-12 to undergraduate experiences.  Presentations can address the roles of scientists and education experts in bringing research experiences to the classroom. We welcome presentations from educators, scientists, and students as well as those who design, facilitate, evaluate or fund programs. Presentations can focus on designing and implementing research experiences that align with national, state, and/or local reform efforts in science education. Other topics may include recruitment strategies, program sustainability, internet and archival research projects, citizen science, mentoring, student outcomes, evaluation results, and lessons learned from past efforts. Additionally, we invite presentations from student-led research projects. Presentations are welcome from all scientific disciplines including astronomy, planetary and space science, geology and geophysics, seismology, biogeoscience, atmosphere and ocean sciences, and climate and environmental science.Session ID# 12673: “ED008. Citizen Science with Big Data: Intersection of Outreach, Crowd-Sourced Data and Scientific Research: The traditional method of outreach to formal, informal, science and non-science audiences has undergone a fundamental change with recent advances in technology, social media and crowd-sourced data, giving way to citizen science with many applications. With increasing “Big Data” projects, active partnerships between professional, amateur and data scientist communities are necessary. Innovative design, sustainability and evaluation of these projects is as important as the citizen science they generate. This session invites papers from scientists, educators and as well as those who design, facilitate, evaluate or fund such programs. Topics may include methodology, applications of citizen science to enhancing outreach, transformative approaches to science education, lessons learned, and the future of citizen science. Presentations are invited from all scientific disciplines including astronomy, planetary and space science, geology and geophysics, seismology, biogeoscience, and atmosphere and ocean sciences. Join us for our 8th year, to learn and share experiences.

Session ID #12794: “The Priceless Science of Citizen Science: Questions, Q-Values and QA/QC”: Citizen science data in Earth and Space Science is priceless, providing both invaluable information and effort beyond the means of the largest research budget. People with smartphone accelerometers capture earthquakes for USGS, while online astronomy enthusiasts count craters. Insights into the changing Earth system also come from biology. Outdoor explorers record phenological data at more sites than could ever be reached by university or government staffers. Projects like the century-old Audubon Christmas Bird Count allow citizen ornithologists to go from spotting birds to contributing invaluable data. This single project – one of over 1500 in the SciStarter database – has accumulated 25 million volunteer hours. Now Big Data approaches convert those records into transformational results on bird migration and climate. This session invites leading academic/agency researchers working in a wide range of disciplines to describe results from citizen science, and address questions of QA/QC and implications for professional researchers.
For more information, please feel free to contact the session conveners listed below.Sincerely,
Connie Walker, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, (both sessions)Sanlyn Buxner, UArizona Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, (Session ID# 13679)
Padma Yanamandra-Fisher, Space Science Institute,  (Session ID# 12673)
Edgar Bering, III, Physics Dept., University of Houston,  (Session ID# 13679)
Rachel Freed, Consultant, Educational Technology and STEM Curriculum Development, (Session ID# 12673)
Stephen M. Pompea, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, (Session ID# 13679)
Thilina Heenatigala, Galileo Teacher Training Program/NUCLIO,  (Session ID# 12673)
Pamela Gay, Southern Illinois University, (Session #12794)

Categories: Citizen Science

Citizen Science takes a bite out of Natural Disasters

By August 2nd, 2016 at 9:19 am | Comment

Collectively, your small acts lead to big results.
Natural disasters, like earthquakes, tornados, and landslides, are frightening and deadly. There are small, but important, steps citizen scientists can take to help predict and respond to these occurrences.Our editors have selected five exemplary projects, below. Be sure to read the safety warnings when applicable.

Find even more projects with the SciStarter Global Project Finder.

The SciStarter Team

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