SciStarter Blog http://scistarter.com/blog Covering the people, projects, and phenomena of citizen science Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:02:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 12 Days of Christmas: Citizen Science Edition!http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/12-days-christmas-citizen-science-edition/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/12-days-christmas-citizen-science-edition/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:51:36 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10747 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! Credit:  DOI 1st Day of Christmas, the American Chestnut Foundation gave […]

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santa
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!

5-precipitation
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: 

10-frog
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!

11-singscience
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!

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Citizen Science, Happening Now at a Museum or Science Center Near You!http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/citizen-science-happening-now-museum-science-center-near/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/citizen-science-happening-now-museum-science-center-near/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 22:24:38 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10717 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 […]

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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.

 

inaturalist-scistarter
Credit: FWS
iNaturalist
Download this free app to record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world. iNaturalist is a technology partner of the California Academy of Science.

nest-watch-scistarter
Credit: FWS
Smithsonian’s Neighborhood Nestwatch

Team up with scientists to find and monitor bird nests and to record and report their observations. Participants can help capture, measure, and band backyard birds. Get Started!

firefly-watch-scistarter
Credit: Museum of Science
Firefly Watch
The Museum of Science, Boston has teamed up with researchers from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College to track the fate of fireflies. With your help, they hope to learn about the geographic distribution of these amazing insects and their activities. Get Started! Read related blog post.

frogFrogWatch USA
FrogWatch is managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In local chapters, volunteers learn to identify local frog and toad species by their calls during the breeding season and how to report their findings accurately. Get Started!
.

genetics of taste
Credit: DMNS
Genetics of Taste Lab
The Genetics of Taste Lab at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is home to a citizen science project to examine the possibility that there are more than just the five known tastes. Help determine if fatty acids are the 6th taste! Get Started!


 

Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign to expand citizen science journalism! We did it, thanks to you!

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Project MERCCURI featured on NASA’s weekly updatehttp://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/project-merccuri-featured-nasas-weekly-update/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/project-merccuri-featured-nasas-weekly-update/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 13:54:15 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10713 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 […]

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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!

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The giving list: supporting science with annual donations (Guest Post)http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/giving-list-supporting-science-annual-donations-guest-post/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/giving-list-supporting-science-annual-donations-guest-post/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:58:30 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10708 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 […]

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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.

I use the end of the year as a mental reminder to plan my annual giving list comprised of worthy science and education causes. Also, I have transitioned to making donations in lieu of giving materialistic holiday gifts to maximize my donation potential and promote a philanthropic culture.

If you care about grassroots science initiatives or supporting young scientists, you too can adopt a year-end tradition and include science on your annual giving list.

Contribute to your alumni associations and university foundations

State funding for public colleges and universities continues to decline across the nation. At one of my alma maters, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, direct state support has decreased from 50 percent in 1987 to 11.9 percent in 2014.

Dick Norton, a regional director with the University of Illinois Foundation, explains the vital role of alumni support in continuing university operations: “In FY14, alumni were the second-largest source of donors to the University of Illinois. They designated $35.8 million for student support. That funding helps defray some of the educational debt that now saddles students.”

Norton adds, “The burden of debt frequently has repercussions on students’ future employment, dictating when and where they work. There are many financial ways for alumni donors to support students at their alma mater. Endowed scholarships, for example, can provide student assistance in perpetuity.”

When I graduated from college, I made a promise to contribute to the Chemistry Alumni Scholarship fund that supported me during my undergraduate days. I now give annually to that scholarship fund. Plus, I am a contributing member to the alumni association at my former graduate school institution.

In addition to supporting students, active involvement with alumni associations provides endless benefits. Alumni connections are strong and provide an important networking avenue, while many alumni associations offer career-development resources to support you throughout your lifetime.

Get involved with citizen science projects

If you are strapped for cash, you can volunteer with citizen science projects to help speed up research, provide valuable data and interpret data sets.  SciStarter features a collection of more than 850 projects open to the public.Darlene Cavalier, founder of SciStarter and Science Cheerleader, explains, “There is something for everyone: bird lovers, armchair astronomers, nature enthusiasts, concerned citizens, pet owners, DIYers and hobbyists.” Projects range from playing online games to tracking wildlife in your backyard.

Cavalier says she sees an advantage for scientists to be involved with citizen science projects, especially for projects in need of community leaders or that require data interpretation. She also said she has observed the emergence of a new project type where the public directly provides input on science policy issues (e.g., Informing NASA’s Asteroid Initiative).  [Editor’s note: There is ONE hour left to donate to SciStarter’s first ever fundraising campaign to help support citizen science journalists!]

Donate funds to nonprofit science organizations and crowdfunding projects

Nonprofit research and education centers depend on private donors to sustain their operations. I make a yearly contribution to Discover Life in America, a nonprofit that runs citizen science projects in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. DLiA is on a mission to identify all the living species in the national park to inform biodiversity and conservation efforts.

Read the full post on ASBMB.org.

 

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Citizen participation in science at the Museum of Science in Bostonhttp://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/citizen-participation-science-museum-science-boston/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/citizen-participation-science-museum-science-boston/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:16:15 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10698 This is a guest post from David Sittenfeld, Manager, Forums at the Museum of Science, Boston. FIREFLIES, HEALTHIER CITIES, AND POLICY INPUT: CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN SCIENCE AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE IN BOSTON At the Museum of Science in Boston, we’ve been exploring three flavors of citizen science over the last half-decade or so. We […]

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

FIREFLIES, HEALTHIER CITIES, AND POLICY INPUT: CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN SCIENCE AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE IN 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!

The nationally recognized Firefly Watch project, created by Museum educators Don Salvatore and Maureen McConnell in 2008 in collaboration with researchers from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College, allows volunteers to submit firefly flash data collected from their own backyards. The data help the project researchers to explore the reasons for observed changes in firefly populations.

Citizen scientists who sign up for the project spend ten minutes on a single evening each week counting the number of flashes that they see, and then upload their data to the project database.  The project website includes a virtual habitat that helps data collectors get familiar with the flash patterns, as well as a discussion board and a data visualization portal.  A smartphone app allows volunteers to view data from other contributors, double-check on flash patterns, and read about emerging firefly research. Learning about firefly natural history is an important aspect of the project.

FireflyWatch website

FireflyWatch website

Building upon the success of the Firefly Watch, the Museum has begun engaging youth in other kinds of citizen science projects. A multi-year project called “Planning For Healthier Cities” engages teens in a series of participatory environmental health assessments around issues such as urban heat island effect, air quality, and water quality.  Project partners include the City of Cambridge, the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, Northeastern University, MIT, Harvard University, and the Charles River Watershed Association. Working in collaboration with a group of expert mentors and community stakeholders, youth interns and volunteers formulate research questions, choose instruments and data collection protocols, and gather data for a number of environmental health issues such as ultrafine particle pollution, indicators for harmful cyanobacterial blooms in the Charles River, and urban summer temperatures.

Students measuring temperature, windspeed, and relative humidity in Boston’s Public Garden as part of the Urban Heat Island data collection phase. Photo by Katie Behrmann

Students measuring temperature, windspeed, and relative humidity in Boston’s Public Garden as part of the Urban Heat Island data collection phase. Photo by Katie Behrmann

After collecting their datasets, the students work closely with Museum project staff to visualize and model their data using geospatial mapping and statistical software, and then create “decision-making dashboards” that are used in a community forum that occurs at the culmination of the experience.  In this concluding event, the students present their findings to a group of peers, local residents, and stakeholders, and then ask the participants to consider and recommend policy strategies for making urban spaces healthier places to live and work in light of the students’ work.  The interns create discussion scenarios that invite the attendees of the forum to think about the issues of air quality, water quality, and urban geomorphology from a variety of policy perspectives.  In the iteration from last summer, the interns and project team created this website (“Planning for Healthy Cities”) to present and share their results. 

Summer Youth Interns collecting water quality samples on the Charles with two expert mentors from Northeastern University's Marine Science Center. Photo by David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science.

Summer Youth Interns collecting water quality samples on the Charles with two expert mentors from Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center. Photo by David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science.

Average dissolved oxygen measurements along the Charles River as collected by youth data collectors on the Charles River. Graphic by David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science.

Average dissolved oxygen measurements along the Charles River as collected by youth data collectors on the Charles River. Graphic by David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science.

Two-day mean temperatures from Boston Urban Heat Island Mapping undertaken by the youth intern data collectors working at the Museum of Science.

Two-day mean temperatures from Boston Urban Heat Island Mapping undertaken by the youth intern data collectors working at the Museum of Science.

Finally, the Museum also taps into the power of citizen participation in a different way, through its Forum program. The Museum has held over 50 citizen forums in the last five years around topics such as genetically modified mosquitoes to children and computer use, nanotechnology, and adapting to sea level rise. In these events, participants consider and make decisions about socio-scientific issues that science informs, but cannot answer on its own.

Now, with the help of our partners from a network called Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST), we’re trying to increase our impact by connecting to formal policymaking.  The Museum was a host site for two global deliberations called World Wide Views on Global Warming in 2009 and World Wide Views on Biodiversity in 2012 to inform United Nations delegates.

Most recently, we worked with partners from SciStarter, Arizona State University, and others from ECAST, as a client for NASA, to plan and host two deliberations to inform NASA’s Asteroid Initiative. Approximately 100 everyday citizens at two science centers in the US learned about, considered, and made policy recommendations for planetary defense strategies, the NASA’s proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission, and the proposed Proving Ground framework for prioritizing deep-space exploration.  Sign up now to get involved in the final stage of NASA’s Asteroid Initiative: A Citizen Forum.  Participant recommendations are in the process being of analyzed and sent along to NASA.

When we started thinking about getting into the citizen science sphere, we didn’t really know where it would lead.  But we’re really engaged by the steps we’ve taken so far and excited to think about where else these kinds of efforts can take us.

Participants deliberating about NASA’s Asteroid Initiative at the Museum of Science on November 15, 2014. Photo by David Rabkin, Museum of Science.

Participants deliberating about NASA’s Asteroid Initiative at the Museum of Science on November 15, 2014. Photo by David Rabkin, Museum of Science.

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Astronauts Tracking Microbe Growth on the International Space Station This Weekhttp://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/astronauts-tracking-microbe-growth-international-space-station-week/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/astronauts-tracking-microbe-growth-international-space-station-week/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 04:03:14 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10695 Microbe Growth Documented for Analysis and Interpretation by UC Davis Scientists Davis, CA. (December 10, 2014) – This week on the International Space Station, astronaut Terry Virts is measuring the growth of microbes collected by citizen scientists across the United States. This citizen science research, known as Project MERCCURI, investigates how microbes from different places […]

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Microbe Growth Documented for Analysis and Interpretation by UC Davis Scientists

Davis, CA. (December 10, 2014) – This week on the International Space Station, astronaut Terry Virts is measuring the growth of microbes collected by citizen scientists across the United States.

patch

This citizen science research, known as Project MERCCURI, investigates how microbes from different places on Earth compare to each other and to those found on the International Space Station.

The microbes shot into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in April of this year. The microbes rested in a freezer at -80°C until the testing began earlier this week. UC Davis has received confirmation that the microbes are now growing in space, and the team in the Microbiology Lab will soon analyze the data on the individual microbes to see which won the “Microbial Playoffs.” Scientists are looking for winning microbes in three different categories:

• Best Sprinter: the microbial competitor who can grow the fastest during the sprinting portion of growth (technically known as the “exponential growth phase”).

• Best Huddle: the microbial competitor who can grow to the highest density… really packing those cells into the space allowed.

• Best Tip Off: the microbial competitor who takes off growing like crazy from the start.

Thousands of citizen scientists have the opportunity to look up in the sky, see the Space Station whipping by at 17,000 MPH, and realize that their microbes are being examined there this week! To find out when the International Space Station is visible locally, visit http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/.

Microbe collection for Project MERCCURI was led by the Science Cheerleader (current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and technology careers). Thousands of people across the United States participated in the project. Several Pop Warner cheer teams swabbed practice fields, shoes, and cell phones for microbes. Other people collected microbial samples at NFL, NBA, and MLB stadiums; from schools; from landmarks like the Liberty Bell, Sue the T-Rex, the statue of Ben Franklin in Philadelphia, and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum; and during events including Yuri’s Nights, a series of gatherings across the country to commemorate the first human in space.

The microbes they gathered were examined by the “microbiology team” in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Eisen at the University of California at Davis. The team selected 48 microbes, which, with approval from

NASA, rode the SpaceX Falcon 9 to the Space Station for further research. Updates on the “microbial playoffs” growth competition are available via the web site SpaceMicrobes.org and on Twitter at the hashtag #spacemicrobes.

Project MERCCURI is coordinated by Science Cheerleader, SciStarter, and UC Davis, in conjunction with the Argonne National Laboratory. The Project is made possible by Space Florida, NanoRacks, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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Citizen Scientists Keep Watch for New Epidemicshttp://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/wher-disease/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/12/wher-disease/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:53:08 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10685 In 1999, crows began dropping dead in the United States. A crow here, a crow there – nobody thought much of it at the time, says Joshua Dein, a veterinary scientist working with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. But this was the precursor to outbreaks of the West Nile Virus in North America. Since scientists knew […]

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Iain Wanless / Flickr. Dying crows were one early sign of West Nile Virus entering North America

Iain Wanless / Flickr. Dying crows were one early sign of West Nile Virus entering North America

In 1999, crows began dropping dead in the United States. A crow here, a crow there – nobody thought much of it at the time, says Joshua Dein, a veterinary scientist working with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. But this was the precursor to outbreaks of the West Nile Virus in North America. Since scientists knew the virus infected crows at a near 100% mortality rate, Dein says it is possible public health officials could have been forewarned about the oncoming virus had someone been monitoring the crow situation.

But this is a goal easier said than done. Early detection of disease events that affect wildlife is often difficult to achieve because sometimes the evidence is diffuse and hard to collect. “When you have hundred dead ducks in one place that usually gets attention. You usually when you get ones or twos – not so much,” Dein says.

Dein says that there just was no structure to pull all the observations together. Looking back on the incident, he realized that there needed to be some “mechanism for people to make sense of what they were seeing.” Over a decade later, Dein decided to start a project that would call on citizen scientists to help stop or predict epidemics by monitoring the wild.

Diseases often leap from animals to human. Some are patently self-explanatory: swine flu, bird flu, or mad cow disease. Others are less obvious – AIDS, the black plague, and Ebola are also said to have made their way into people from animals. But an estimated near 80% of all diseases afflicting humans have come from wildlife either directly or indirectly.

Dein’s project, called WHER or the Wildlife Health Monitoring Reporter, is a web-based application to find those diseases and potentially stop an epidemic outright. It’s currently a web-based application where people can record wildlife observations about sick or dead wildlife. The idea was to bring people together to report on dead wildlife when they stumble across the carcasses.

The data get sent to federal and state agencies like the US Fish and Wildlife Service that can aggregate and analyze the information. Dein says if the project gets enough participants feeding it enough data, it could “identify potential diseases before they become substantial or significant.”

Already there are a few organizations who occasionally use WHER. Some universities, and the United States Department of Agriculture in Maryland used it to keep track of seabird die offs in the past. “There are certain spots where [the app] grabs hold and becomes useful,” Dein says.

Dein says that some of the most exciting parts of the project is offering the opportunity for citizen scientists to “contribute to disease surveillance.” He says that they’re the ones who might be able to see and identify important disease events that might otherwise be unreported – and he’s looking to tap into smartphones to recruit more wildlife reporters. “We’d like to build a mobile app,” he says.Citizen Scientists Keep Watch for New Epidemics

** Ian Vorster also contributed to this post.

You can join the Wildlife Health Event Reporter project at this link.

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A Fabulous Menu of Citizen Science for Thanksgivinghttp://scistarter.com/blog/2014/11/fabulous-menu-citizen-science-thanksgiving-2/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/11/fabulous-menu-citizen-science-thanksgiving-2/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:29:04 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10673 We’ve updated and reposted this Thanksgiving Day treat,  from Lily Bui! Dig into this serving of Thanksgiving projects with your friends and family! Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count Help researchers take census of winter Monarch butterflies. Count Monarchs in colonies, during the mornings around Thanksgiving. Get started! Thanksgiving Day Western Bird Count Help monitor winter bird populations […]

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We’ve updated and reposted this Thanksgiving Day treat,  from Lily Bui!

Dig into this serving of Thanksgiving projects with your friends and family!

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 11.09.46 AM

Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count

Help researchers take census of winter Monarch butterflies. Count Monarchs in colonies, during the mornings around Thanksgiving. Get started!

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 11.09.51 AM

Thanksgiving Day Western Bird Count

Help monitor winter bird populations in Western states. Count birds within a 15-foot area, anywhere in the Western states, for one hour on Thanksgiving Day. Get started!

 

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 11.09.56 AMPanamath

Ready for dessert? How about some Pi? Test your own number sense, or download this software and adapt it for your own research or educational purposes. Get started!

 

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 11.10.01 AM

Marine Debris Tracker

Walk off that big meal while improving the health of your local beach. This app will allow you to check in when you find trash on our coastlines and waterways. Get started!

 

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 11.09.46 AMMIT Museum Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction

What is the Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction? A grand event that could only happen at MIT! Participants link their chain reaction devices together forming one mega chain reaction – set off at the end as the event’s thrilling culmination. More than 1,500 people attend this fun-for-all-ages “extreme” event! Get started!

 


Happy Thanksgiving from the SciStarter team!

If you’d like your citizen science project featured on SciStarter, email jenna@scistarter.com

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8 Days Left! Let’s Make More Citizen Science Journalism Possible!http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/11/8-days-left-lets-make-citizen-science-journalism-possible/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/11/8-days-left-lets-make-citizen-science-journalism-possible/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:26:42 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10664 We’re working with Beacon, an independent platform for journalism, to crowdfund an expansion of SciStarter’s citizen science coverage. We have 8 days left to reach our goal of $6,000 to make this happen. Today, we’re 13 percent of the way there. Let’s get to 25 percent together by the end of the day today! You can back our project […]

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We’re working with Beacon, an independent platform for journalism, to crowdfund an expansion of SciStarter’s citizen science coverage.

We have 8 days left to reach our goal of $6,000 to make this happen. Today, we’re 13 percent of the way there. Let’s get to 25 percent together by the end of the day today!

You can back our project by clicking here or by visiting this link: 

https://www.beaconreader.com/projects/help-us-tell-citizen-science-stories.

As a backer, you can subscribe for as little as $5/month, and there are cool rewards, like SciStarter t-shirts, for backers who subscribe for more.

Support citizen science journalism by SciStarter and show it off with this cool t-shirt!

Support citizen science journalism by SciStarter and show it off with this cool t-shirt!

You’ll also receive personalized newsletters from our editorial team, exclusive Q&As with citizen scientists and professional scientists working with citizen projects, and a monthly newsletter, podcast, and audio stories.

Back our project here: https://www.beaconreader.com/projects/help-us-tell-citizen-science-stories, and share this link with your friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

We’ve got 8 days left — let’s get to the goal together!

 

Find more posts like 8 Days Left! Let’s Make More Citizen Science Journalism Possible! by Arvind Suresh (Editor) on the SciStarter Blog. Your source for citizen science and other science you can do.

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SciStarter Hackfest Coming to CitSci2015!http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/11/part-scistarters-hackfest-citsci-2015-san-jose-california/ http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/11/part-scistarters-hackfest-citsci-2015-san-jose-california/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:41:14 +0000 http://scistarter.com/blog/?p=10649 Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the CitSci2015 blog at the Citizen Science Association What: A hands-on meet-up where everyone participates in dreaming up AND building creative tools to improve the field of citizen science! Where: Citizen Science 2015 Conference, San Jose, CA Who: The SciStarter team and YOU! Why: To capitalize on the collective wisdom (and desire […]

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A hackfest to make citizen science easier for project managers and participants. Join us in San Jose!

A hackfest to make citizen science easier for project managers and participants. Join us in San Jose!

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the CitSci2015 blog at the Citizen Science Association

What: A hands-on meet-up where everyone participates in dreaming up AND building creative tools to improve the field of citizen science!
Where: Citizen Science 2015 Conference, San Jose, CA
Who: The SciStarter team and YOU!
Why: To capitalize on the collective wisdom (and desire to act!) at the Citizen Science Association Conference

The inaugural conference of the Citizen Science Association will take place February 11-12 in San Jose, California and the SciStarter team is looking forward to soaking up new information during the scheduled sessions and talks!

We’ll also contribute to these conversations through a few presentations and a VERY interactive, “roll-up-your-sleeves!” hackfest designed for anyone interested in building connections and interoperability between projects and communities!

Will you join us?

Citizen Science participants and project owners face barriers – multiple types of logins for projects, coupled with an inability to track contributions and understand  motivations, retention, and learning outcomes across silo-ed projects/platforms, are some examples. We know that people do-and want to-participate in more than one project. Let’s make it easier!

In the process, we may help improve efforts to recruit and retain volunteers. At the very least, we believe a single login, smarter GIS tools, consistent project taxonomies, and a personal “dashboard” will most certainly provide much-needed support for those awesome citizen scientists.

With the incredible growth in the number and types of projects, we believe these barriers need to be addressed now…and in collaboration with you! Consider this your formal invitation to join our hackfest as a citizen scientist, practitioner, researcher, designer, programmer, student, educator, cheerleader, concerned citizen…you name it. You are invited!

During this hackfest, we will build upon what we learned at our workshop in February 2014 at the Citizen Cyber Science conference in London (organized by SciStarter, and NYU with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation) and a follow-up workshop in April 2014 at Drexel University (also funded by Sloan). We’ll also share preliminary plans for a new match-making prototype we are sketching out to help connect the people who have data/information to the researchers and reporters looking for that data/information (this work is supported by the Knight Foundation Prototype Fund).
At CitSci2015, we want to work with you to bring these things together.

The hackfest also provides space for new ideas to emerge. Perhaps you’d like to explore ways projects can share data, volunteers, tools and other resources to rise the tide of citizen science and enable better cross-platform analytics for project leaders while improving the experience for participants. This is your chance to bring your ideas to the table and connect with people who can help you advance your idea, too!

Where do I sign up?

First, make sure you have registered for the Citizen Science 2015 Conference

Then, fill out this form to let us know you’re coming so we know how many people to expect.

Bring your creativity, enthusiasm and talents and we’ll make sure you’ll have fun!

–Arvind Suresh a science communicator and the Social Media Editor at SciStarter. He has an MS in Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Before that, he received his and a BS in Biotechnology from PSG College of Technology, India. Follow Arvind on Twitter @suresh_arvind

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