Archive for the ‘Citizen Science’ Category
Help researchers monitor and understand light pollution with a simple smartphone app
Guest post by Christopher Kyba
How many stars can you see when you look up at the night sky? The answer depends a bit on your vision and a lot on where you live. The bright sky over cities reduces the contrast between the stars and the spaces between them, making them difficult or impossible to see. It’s similar to how the noise from traffic makes it hard to hear singing birds.
This phenomenon is known as light pollution and is of concern for both ecological and human health reasons. For example, the croaking of frogs and toads is a nighttime breeding ritual and artificial right disrupts this activity, reducing populations. Similarly, birds that migrate or hunt at night can have their navigation severely affected by artificial light. Read the rest of this entry »
by Russ Campbell
Orchids have long held an enigmatic mystique. Perhaps their origins as tropical and subtropical plants found in exotic locales and an early lack of understanding of how they survive have contributed to their status. By the 19th century, orchids were a status of the British well-to-do.
The famed voyager and scientist Charles Darwin was also obsessed with orchids. After the publication of his famous book, On the Origin of Species, Darwin devoted much of his time to exploring the connecting between the orchid and its ecosystem.
Now, you don’t need to be Charles Darwin to help contribute to the science of orchids and their environment. The Orchid Observers, a citizen science project based out of Natural History Museum in London, is asking plant aficionados armed with their smart phones and a careful tread to provide data back to the museum so researchers can study the impact of climate change on flowering time of UK’s orchids.
I interviewed Lucy Robinson, the citizen science programme manager at the museum, by email to elaborate on The Orchid Observers. Read the rest of this entry »
by Egle Marija Ramanauskaite
Earlier this year, we introduced you to WeCureALZ – a groundbreaking new project that for the first time is set to use the power of citizen science to conduct Alzheimer’s research. Enabled by the support of the BrightFocus Foundation, the team is already preparing for the alpha testing of our first online activity – a game that will allow everyone to search for stalled capillaries in the brains of Alzheimer’s-affected mice.
With a beta launch planned later this year, we thought it was about time we tell you the key part of the story – the science behind WeCureALZ, and what is it that you – citizen scientists – will be helping researchers do! Read the rest of this entry »
What better way to kick of a month long celebration of citizen science than at the USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF), probably the largest science festival in the country?
And kick it off we did! For two days, the SciStarter booth at USASEF featured citizen science projects that people of all ages could learn about and participate in, and several of its major partners including Discover Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, the Crowd and the Cloud and of course, the Science Cheerleaders.
Day 1 featured a live 1-hour Hangout on Air organized by Crowd & Cloud, an upcoming 4-part public television series about citizen science and how mobile technology is changing the way participatory research is conducted. Read the rest of this entry »