Citizen Scientist Breaks New Ground In Monarch Research

By Eva Lewandowski October 26th, 2015 at 7:48 am | Comment

Tagged Monarch Butterfly (Image: Wendy Caldwell)

Tagged Monarch Butterfly (Image: Wendy Caldwell)

Gayle Steffy’s fascination with butterflies started when she was thirteen. She found her first monarch caterpillar, brought it home and raised it to adulthood. She’s been hooked ever since, collecting data on monarchs years before joining any of the established monarch citizen science projects. Despite her early interest, which eventually led her to acquire a BS in Environmental Studies, she didn’t initially envision where her work would take her. “I didn’t have a specific goal at the start – I just wanted to record everything I could about each monarch I caught, figuring I could look at it all later and see what it all meant,” she said.

Beginning in 1992, she caught, tagged, and released monarch butterflies in Pennsylvania during their annual migration to Mexico, and then recorded if any of the monarchs were later found at their Mexican overwintering sites. After 18 years of collecting migration data, Steffy accomplished something that not many citizen scientists have done before. In August this year, she published her work in a special monarch-themed issue of the Annals of the Entomological Society of America, a well-respected scholarly journal. Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Citizen Science projects and events added to SciStarter this week

By Darlene Cavalier October 23rd, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Comment

Check ’em out!

We thought it would be interesting to share the growth in the number of projects added to SciStarter’s Project Finder so our developer, Daniel Arbuckle, put this chart together (it doesn’t account for 100 or so projects awaiting images and additional information before we publish them!):

Growth in number of projects added to SciStarter.

Growth in number of projects added to SciStarter.



Help Discovery Go Digital – The Global WeDigBio Challenge Starts Today!

By Guest October 22nd, 2015 at 7:41 am | Comment

Image Credit: WeDigBio

Image Credit: WeDigBio

WeDigBio is a global event where citizen scientists help digitize the billions of observations and specimens that are stored in museums and field stations world wide. Check out some of the projects involved on SciStarter Smithsonian Transcription Center, Herbarium@home and Notes from Nature.

Guest post by Meghan Ferriter

You probably know that scientists have explored and documented the natural world for centuries; in their expeditions, they have collected billions of specimens which are now stored in museums, universities, and field stations worldwide.

You may not realize just how important you might be to the next substantial scientific discovery. Scientists are facing challenges of sustaining and improving our life on this planet. Now they need your help in transforming the data in collections around the world to find the solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Citizen Science

Six Citizen Science Projects to Help Monitor the Environment Around You

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) October 19th, 2015 at 8:38 am | Comment

Photo: USFWS

You can play a key role in environmental monitoring. Our editors highlight six projects, below, to help you get to know your part of the world.

Find 1,000 more opportunities to make the world a better place through science!  See SciStarter‘s Project Finder.

Read the rest of this entry »

SMAP patches have arrived! Get one by submitting soil moisture data!

By Darlene Cavalier October 16th, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Comment

SMAP patch final

If you’ve already signed up to participate in NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive research to ground-truth satellite data, great! (And thank you!) As soon as you input your data to the GLOBE site, you’ll receive an embroidered version of this patch.

Interested in joining SMAP? We are looking for teams in the following states: AK, AR, ME, NE, NV, NM, TN, UT, VT, WV

Learn more, sign up, and get trained soon!