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Project MERCCURI! Microbes in Space!
Project MERCCURI is an investigation of how microbes found in buildings on Earth (in public buildings, stadiums, etc) compare to those on board the biggest building ever built in space – the International Space Station (ISS).
The project provides an opportunity for YOU-- citizen scientists and student scientists --to participate in the research by using kits we will send you to collect microbes from surface areas in buildings or even your own cell phone or shoes. You can form a team or join a team to collect samples through September 2013 with the help of the Science Cheerleaders (current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers!).
Teachers: Meet the Project MERCCURI team at the National Science Teachers Association conference in San Antonio on April 11, from 2-3pm! Then, join us at the San Antonio Spurs game on April 12 as we collect microbes from the stadium to send to space!
We collected microbes from a Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic games and now we invite you to join us at the following events (more will be posted on SciStarter.com/ISS):
April 11: National Science Teachers Association annual conference in San Antonio. From 2-3 pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, room 215. If you plan to be there, swing by, say hi, and learn how to get involved in Project MERCCURI to send microbes to space!
April 12: San Antonio Spurs game. Meet us on the court to collect microbes and shoot some baskets! The Spurs are offering discount tickets in addition to providing access to their court! Note: This game is almost sold out so consider purchasing your ticket soon.
April 12: We'll be at Yuri's Night parties celebrating the anniversary of manned space flight...and helping guests collect microbes from their own shoes and cellphones. Meet us at the Museum of Life and Sciences in Durham, NC, the Science Club in Washington, DC, and the California Science Center in L.A.
April 16: We'll be at the National Arts Building in New York City to celebrate Yuri's Night and collect more microbes.
April 20: Philadelphia Science Festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway! Stay tuned for more on that!
April 20-21: Calling all programmers! Help hack an app for Project MERCCURI at the NASA Space Apps Challenge in Philly!
Precipitation ID Near the Ground (PING)
The National Severe Storms Laboratory needs YOUR help with a research project!
If you live in the area shown on the map, the Precipitation Identification Near the Ground project (PING) wants YOU to watch and report on precipitation type.
PING is looking for young, old, and in-between volunteers to make observations—teachers, classes and families too! We have collected tens of thousands of observations since 2006, already making PING successful because of your help.
PING volunteers can spend a little or a lot of time making observations. The basic idea is simple: the National Severe Storms Laboratory will collect radar data from NEXRAD radars in your area during storm events, and compare that data with YOUR observations.
Why? Because the radars cannot see close to the ground, we need YOU to tell us what is happening. Scientists will compare your report with what the radar has detected, and develop new radar technologies and techniques to determine what kind of precipitation—such as snow, soft hail, hard hail, or rain—is falling where.
New Forest Cicada Project
The New Forest Cicada is the only cicada native to the UK. During May to July it sings with a very characteristic high-pitched song, which is at the limits of human hearing, and is particularly difficult for most adults to hear. Sightings of the cicada within the New Forest date back to 1812, but the last unconfirmed sighting was in 2000. However, it's quite likely that colonies remain undiscovered in less visited parts of the forest. The New Forest Cicada Project aims to equip the millions of visitors to the forest with a smart phone app that can detect and recognise the song of the cicada, and hopes to rediscover it in 2013.
Urban Buzz: Cicadas!
Periodical cicada (Magicicada spp.) populations are vulnerable to the ways we change the land around us. They live in the dirt. They suck on plant roots. They are born one year and then 17 years later rise to often find a landscape quite different from the one their parents experienced. When forests (and with them, tree roots) disappear completely, periodical cicadas never emerge at all, but in many cases forests do not disappear entirely, they just change. With urbanization, they become hotter, more polluted, and, more afflicted by herbivores other than the cicadas. What do these changes do to 17-year cicadas? We don’t really know.
One particular aspect of the cicadas that is likely influenced by urbanization is how crooked they are – that is, how much the length, width and shape of parts on the right and left side of the cicada body, respectively, differ from one another. Scientists have given a fancy name to these small, random deviations from perfect symmetry; they call it fluctuating asymmetry (FA).
Fluctuating asymmetry has been used as a low cost way to monitor the effects of environmental stressors like pesticides and water pollution on terrestrial and aquatic insects. We (at Your Wild Life) think it might be a quick-and-dirty way to gauge the negative effects of urbanization on periodical cicadas – We predict that cicadas experiencing more intense levels of urbanization (as measured by the amount of forest cover or concrete and blacktop in an area) will be more crooked.
And so we need your help!
Aurorasaurus maps aurora-related Tweets and citizen science reports of the aurora during the first solar maximum (now!) with social media. The google maps contains predictions of the auroral oval based on space data, along with weather, and citizen scientist markers. When auroral activity really occurs this is the best place to go for accurate predictions of whether it can be seen in your area!
Help map, collect, and correct information about power generation locations around the world. Through placing pins of power generation sources on a map or filling out and reviewing correcting information about these sources you will help make studying power generation impact on the global carbon cycle and climate change reach new levels.