Citizen Scientists Keep Watch for New Epidemics

By Editorial Team December 2nd, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Comment

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. Read the rest of this entry »

A Fabulous Menu of Citizen Science for Thanksgiving

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) November 26th, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Comment 1

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Citizen Science

8 Days Left! Let’s Make More Citizen Science Journalism Possible!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) November 25th, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Comment

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Citizen Science

SciStarter Hackfest Coming to CitSci2015!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) November 14th, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Comment 1

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! Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Citizen Science

Help Us Support This Blog And Citizen Science Stories With Beacon

By Angus Chen November 13th, 2014 at 11:00 am | Comment 1

Citizen science runs on the sweat of volunteers — that’s one of the things that makes it so incredible. And for a long time, so has the SciStarter blog network. This has been great for us, and we would love to keep doing that. But if we’re going to expand and bring you more stories, deeper stories, we need to be able to really let our contributors focus on creating. So, we’re hoping to change raise funds with this new campaign from Beacon Reader, and we’re asking you to help make that a reality.

Like every editor and contributor at the SciStarter blog network, which includes the Discover magazine “Citizen Science Salon” and Public Library of Science Cit Sci blog, I have another job. I’m a freelance reporter, editor, and radio producer. Some of our contributors are scientists and experts, and some of them are, like myself, professional journalists and writers.

One of the greatest pleasures in my professional life is getting to write and edit for these blogs.That’s why we’re still here. The stories we can find and create with citizen science are some of the best, and we’re about to make this blog even better. Not that it isn’t already pretty awesome, but with your contributions, we’re going to be able to tell citizen science stories that are more in depth, better reported, and have a wider reach of topics and ideas.

I believe that information is precious, that stories about science are a perfect complement to citizen science, and that they help us learn something that we would otherwise never have learned. I believe that our people have told great stories which I’ve loved, and I believe you have too. All the money will go directly to our contributors and our editors for the blog only, letting us dedicate more of our time to covering these stories.

That’s why we’re asking you to join us and the hundreds of other talented storytellers on Beacon. You’ll improve the quality and depth of the stories we create on this blog. You’ll get a subscription to every story by every writer on Beacon Reader, on science, politics, art, and more. And if you support us at $80, we’ll send you an awesome robot t-shirt in the mail. But most importantly, you’ll be supporting something that matters to you and to thousands of other people.

With my sincere thanks,

Angus Chen

Managing Editor SciStarter Blog Network

Discover Magazine “Citizen Science Salon”, PLoS “Cit Sci”

Categories: Citizen Science