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NASA's SMAP Satellite Mission

NASA recently launched the SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite which is orbiting the globe every three days to measure soil moisture levels. This data will be used to improve weather forecasts, detail water/energy/carbon cycles, monitor droughts, predict floods, and assist crop productivity.

How accurate is the big data from the satellite? There's only one way to find out and it depends on you to report local data! SciStarter's citizen science community has been called on to help calibrate the accuracy of NASA's satellite mission and to learn more about your soil quality in the process.

Participants from every state will collect and analyze soil samples from September through June.
In this project, you will:

-register your location(s)
-receive alerts when the SMAP satellite is scheduled to fly over you
-scoop a handful of soil, a few times a month (when the satellite is flying over), weigh it, dry it for a day or two, and weigh it again. After some simple conversions, you'll send the data to NASA and be able to compare it to what NASA's SMAP satellite is reporting.

Sign up as an individual or team. One team in each state will receive equipment from NASA needed for this project including a heat lamp and graduated cylinder. SciStarter will sell and loan full kits including a heat lamp, graduated cylinder, and balance. A complete list of materials is available on the sign up form, here: http://www.goo.gl/forms/rnUEuAJ4Tu .




GeckoWatch

GeckoWatch is a citizen science project to map the fine-scale distribution of nonnative geckos in the United States. The primary interest is in mapping the rapidly increasing range of the Mediterranean House Gecko, Hemidactylus turcius. However, we are interested in all nonnative gecko species.

There are at least 18 species of nonnative geckos that have established populations in the United States. Although many of these species are known only in Florida, others are showing up with increasing regularity in multiple states. At the most extreme end is the Mediterranean House Gecko, which has established populations in at least 24 states in the U.S.

To undertake any research on these nonnative geckos, scientists must first understand where these geckos occur. As we learn about the rapidly changing distributions of these nonnative geckos, we can then ask:

1. What are the impacts of these nonnative geckos on our native species?

2. What makes some species successful colonizers?

3. What are the likely routes of colonization?

Observations from citizen scientists are essential to answering these questions and allowing us to learn about the biology of these nonnative geckos.




RASCals (Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern California)

RASCals is designed to improve our knowledge of native and non-native reptiles and amphibians in southern California. This region is home to 22.5 million people and has experienced dramatic urbanization and habitat modification. We need your help in documenting reptiles and amphibians throughout the region so that we can examine how various species have responded to these habitat changes. We are interested in native and non-native species and in observations in all types of habitats, from relatively pristine habitats to heavily modified, urban habitats, such as backyards, schoolyards, and urban parks. This project is conducted in collaboration with iNaturalist.




Salamander Crossing Brigades

As the earth thaws and spring rains drench New Hampshire, thousands of amphibians make their way to vernal pools to breed. Many are killed when their journeys take them across busy roads. Each spring, the citizen science arm of the Harris Center for Conservation Education (www.aveo.org) trains volunteers to serve on Salamander Crossing Brigades at amphibian road crossings throughout the Monadnock Region of southwestern New Hampshire. These citizen scientists move migrating amphibians across roads by hand during one or more “Big Nights,” keeping count as they go.

Since the program’s inception in 2007, over 600 volunteers have helped nearly 25,000 amphibians survive the most dangerous journeys of their lives. In addition, the City of Keene purchased land – previously slated for development – to protect a migratory amphibian corridor that was documented by our volunteers. As our efforts grow, the data our citizen scientists collect could be used for land conservation or road improvements that protect amphibians in other places, too.




FrogWatch USA™

FrogWatch USA Chapters are overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and are hosted and managed by zoos, aquariums, and like-minded organizations.

At training sessions hosted by a local chapter, volunteers learn to identify local frog and toad species by their calls during the breeding season and how to report their findings accurately. By mastering these skills, volunteers gain increased experience and control over asking and answering scientific questions which, in turn, augments science literacy, facilitates conservation action and stewardship, and increases knowledge of amphibians.




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.




South Texas Wintering Birds

Contribute your observations to a database for the state of Texas. Whether you are on a large private ranch, small yard in the city, or public nature area -- if you go birding, we need your sightings. Help us better understand the richness, abundance and changes in bird life in Texas!




Urban Slender Loris Project

The slender loris is a small nocturnal primate that is endemic to southern India and Sri Lanka. They once lived in remnant forest patches, in lakeside woods, as well as on large trees in the neighborhoods within the city of Bangalore. However with the rapid urban development and growth of the city, loris population are now restricted to few pockets of Bangalore. There are regular reports of injured animals being rescued by the rehabilitation centers of the city. Illegal pet trades and black magic are also occasionally reported. Currently, there is no baseline information on the status of this species, availability of habitats or any hunting pressures for black magic.. The Urban Slender Loris Project aims at documenting the past and present distribution of slender lorises in the landscapes of urban Bangalore. Our team of citizen scientists are currently conducting nocturnal census and habitat survey to quantify the pressures on lorises and threats on the population within the city through habitat loss, hunting, or the illegal pet trade. This multidisciplinary, citizen science project is currently developing partnerships with environmental nonprofits, IT industry, educational institutes and government organizations to develop a better plan for managing the city’s urban green space to accommodate wildlife coexisting with a growing human population.




Chesapeake Bay Parasite Project

An introduced parasite is affecting native mud crabs in Chesapeake Bay. The parasite Loxothylacus panopaei (Loxo for short) is a type of barnacle that is exceptionally modified to take over the nervous system of the crab and make the crab care for the parasite and the parasite's larvae! Loxo are native to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. They were first discovered in Chesapeake Bay in 1964. The parasite is now common in the Bay, but its abundance and spread vary greatly from year to year. Scientists in SERC's Marine Invasions Lab have been tracking to abundance of Loxo from sites around Chesapeake Bay since 2003.

This year, we plan to expand the project to include intensive sampling of the Rhode River. Because of the focus on the Rhode River, many of our sampling opportunities will take place on the SERC campus (August 14, 16, and 21). Volunteers may sign up for morning and/or afternoon sessions. Currently, we are planning on August 23 as a rain make-up day, meaning that we may not end up going out.




Big Seaweed Search

Help us to determine what impact climate change and invasive species are having on the distribution of seaweeds in the UK.

The UK has 650 species of seaweed along its shores, which is around 7% of the world's species. Seaweeds play an important role in the functioning of marine habitats. At the bottom of the food chain they provide food and shelter for many organisms. They are also used in a number of man-made products, such as cosmetics and medicines. With such an important role to play, it's important for us to understand how climate change and invasive species might be affecting their distribution.

We would like you to look out for 12 different species of seaweed. When you find one we'd like you to take a couple of photographs and record some information about the site you have visited, such as where you are and whether the shore is rocky or sandy. We also want to know how many limpets you can find in 1 minute.

Anyone can take part and the survey is open all year round.




Purposeful Gaming

Purposeful Gaming is a project that explores how computer games can be used to enhance and preserve historical texts, such as 19th-century hand-written field notes and early agricultural catalogs.

Because these materials cannot be read by Optical Character Recognition (OCR), people must transcribe them from scanned images. Some words are difficult to read, however, leading to different transcriptions of the same material.

When two transcriptions of the same text use a different word or spelling in the same place, that word is fed into the game. Each time players type the word, their interpretation is stored. Eventually, when enough people have typed the word, the game can create consensus about the correct spelling. These words are then sent back to the digital library that holds the texts, where they can be incorporated into the original transcriptions to make them more accurate and searchable.




Genetics and Smell Chemistry

According to the Monell Center two individuals smell perception differs by 30% due to a variation in the olfactory receptor gene OR10G4 . The purpose of this project is to catalog the variations of smell perception from parent to child. This information helps us understanding the degree of olfactory perception variation in a predictable manner through inheritable DNA changes.




Birds and Berries

We are seeking photographic observations of wild birds feeding on berries and other fruits. We prefer the bird in the act of consuming the fruit, but we also welcome the bird perched on or near the fruiting plant. The fruiting plants can be wild or cultivated, native or invasive. No feeders please. We prefer birds and plants within North America, especially California. If possible, please identify the bird or the plant or both (an additional identification can be included within the comments section). If multiple birds or plants are shown in the photograph, please specify which bird was eating which plant.

If you have no photographs to submit, please help us make others' submissions "Research Grade" by verifying identifications of the birds and plants in photographs.

Birds are around us every day. We encounter berry species in the fruits we buy, the plants in our yard, and when we're out in nature. We know there's a connection between them - many birds use berries as a food source, especially in the fall and winter months in North America and many of these plants rely on birds to disperse their seeds. Yet we do not know nearly enough about this relationship, particularly all of the species involved. Please help us collect this information!




CrowdHydrology

The CrowdHydrology mission is to create freely available data on stream stage in a simple and inexpensive way. We do this through the use of “crowd sourcing”, which means we gather information on stream stage (water levels) from anyone willing to send us a text message of the water levels at their local stream. These data are then available for anyone to then use from Universities to Elementary schools.




Long term marine ecology project

Australia’s south eastern coastline is home to an array of unique and fascinating marine life. These organisms have adapted and acclimatised to temperate (cold water) conditions. However, climate change modelling predicts that Australia’s surrounding oceans will warm by 1–2 ⁰C by 2070, with the south east coast of Australia expected to feel the greatest effects due to increased strength and penetration of the East Australian Current (EAC).

– the EAC pushes warm water from the tropics, i.e. around the Great Barrier Reef, southward into the temperate waters found along the south eastern coast. This strength varies in season–

As a consequence to this predicted increase in ocean temperatures, there is mounting evidence suggesting that the geographic range of tropical and temperature coastal fish species will shift to higher latitudes (in this case further South), in response to warming trends. For example, ongoing studies around a coastal town called Merimbula (37°S) have recorded over 50 species of tropical fish which are aided by the warmer water and stronger EAC during Summer/Autumn. It is only when the warm water recedes and cold water replaces it, do these tropical fish die. With the predicted changes, these tropical fish are expected to survive through winter and compete with temperate fish species.
In addition to this, structurally important and unique macroalgae (e.g. bull kelp Durvillea potatorum) are predicted to have dramatic temperate fish range shifts. Preferring temperate conditions, increased ocean temperatures are predicted to radically move macroalgae distribution poleward. Warm ocean temperatures influence the health of macroalgae, often leaving large populations vulnerable to disease and wave action. Macroalgae provides important habitats for a number of temperate fish and invertebrate species throughout their life cycles, with predicted poleward shifts, species that require macroalgae habitats will either adapt or follow macroalgae range shifts.
Acknowledging these predicted changes, community members are establishing a long term monitoring program to record any annual and seasonal changes in fish diversity and macroalgae health. This would also include recording sea surface temperature.

Acknowledging these predicted changes, community members are establishing a long term monitoring program to record any annual and seasonal changes in species diversity and macroalgae health. This would also include recording sea surface temperature.

AIMS

1.Establish a monitoring programme that will build valuable data, recording biodiversity and changes over time

2.Monitor annual and seasonal changes in fish and invertebrate diversity and macroalgae health

3.Create and maintain an ongoing training program that improves interested community members knowledge about local marine life and improve their identification skills

4.Create an identification/education guide of the target fish and invertebrate diversity and health indicators on macroalgae.

5.Establish frequent monitoring of nominated sites and expand the number of survey sites over time

6.Encourage university involvement and/or grants

METHODS

1)Timed snorkel: using a recording template (that will have a list of key fish), participants will note down any fish/invertbrate species they observed and an estimated abundance. They will also note down any macroalgae discolouration.

2)Un-timed snorkel/SCUBA: using a slate and waterproof paper, particpants will note down/photograph as many species as they can during their recreational snorkel/SCUBA dive.

3)Video footage: working with local fisheries, underwater video footage of offshore habitats (e.g. urchin barrens, rocky reefs) has been made available to the community working group.

QUESTIONS
Can't get to the location to help out? Then maybe you can help answer some of our projects questions (if you can, please join the project and follow the contact prompts);

1) What data should we be aiming to record;

- Species wise: Should we aim to create a total species list and record as much of the biodiversity as possible OR create a targeted species list that aims to record indicator species of fish, invertebrates and macroalgae?

- Health: What is the best way to record the health of macroalgae?

- Abiotic parameters: we have access to temperature data loggers, but what other parameters should we look to record? E.g. depth, water clarity, tide, swell height etc

New to working with underwater video footage has created a few questions:

2) What would be the best way to utilise the video footage ? Footage shows macroalgae and fish species inhabiting habitats at different depths. (NOTE: original thoughts was to take snapshots of the footage and overlay randomised dots/points over the image. Dots/points that are over macroalgae would be highlighted and those that aren’t over macroalgae would be left alone)

3) Is there an online tool or free software to analyse video footage?

4) What would be the best way to standardise video analysis? Note: video footage will be from the same sites taken at different times of the year.




National Plant Monitoring Scheme

We are a habitat-based plant monitoring program that collects data to provide an annual assessment of plant abundance and diversity.

Our volunteers are assigned a random but convenient 1km area to monitor. Monitoring involves recording the plant species present in that plot of land.




What Do Birds Eat?

We (Douglas Tallamy's lab in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware) are collecting photo contributions to an ongoing research project about avian diets-- in a nutshell, we are trying to figure out "what birds eat"!

If you have any photos of birds holding insects or other arthropods (spiders, etc.) in their bills, please consider submitting them on our site. Thanks to everyone who has already contributed!




Bugs In Our Backyard

Bugs In Our Backyard is an educational outreach and collaborative research program, providing project-based learning opportunities for K-12 students-- or anyone! The core activity for Bugs In Our Backyard takes advantage of the bugs in your own backyard, schoolyard or neighborhood. Students become citizen-scientists by surveying this diversity of insects and plants. How much insect diversity can you find? How does insect diversity vary over time? How does insect diversity vary across geographic and urban scales? These are some of the questions that can be asked. The survey targets are “true bugs” (what entomologists call Heteroptera) in the eastern US, but activities are designed to be open-ended. Everyone is welcome to get involved. Let’s expand what we know about about insect diversity across rural and urban landscapes!

BioB is part of an NSF-funded research program at Colby College, which will also provide students with insight into the practice of science. Our goal is to engage students with biology by making them citizen scientists. Get involved in ecological surveys of local bugs and their host plants! Produce data to contribute to a growing community database. Connect to the biological diversity in your own backyard!

A series of modular activities on different life science topics, such as biodiversity, growth and development, invasive species, genetics, insects, evolution, urban ecology and statistical analysis, are also being produced. These modules can be scaled to the needs of different classes and grade-levels or used over multiple grade-levels. For older students, survey data are available to be used in hypothesis-testing or exploratory analyses. Teachers are encouraged to modify the activities to their own needs and share success stories.




Truckee River Guide

Truckee River Guide is an interactive field guide to the plants and wildlife of the Truckee River, and a community wildlife mapping project.

Did you know that there is no complete species list for the Truckee River region of California and Nevada? The Truckee River is an important resource for the people that live in our community, and also an important resource for wildlife. With an ongoing drought and a changing climate, it is important to keep records of the species that live in our region, so that we can recognize and monitor change as it happens. You can help, by taking photos and submitting observations of plants and wildlife to Truckee River Guide.

The Truckee River Guide website is a free community resource intended to provide information to the public about the species that live in the Truckee River region of California and Nevada.




NOVA Evolution Lab

In NOVA’s Evolution Lab (pbs.org/nova/labs), phylogenetics—the study of the evolutionary relationships between species—is explored in depth as players evaluate similarities in the traits and
DNA of species and conduct their own investigations in a virtual tree of life. Along the way, players can watch short animated videos that explain the evidence of evolution and illustrate it with specific examples.

The Evolution Lab contains two interactives, Build A Tree and Deep Tree, that were developed by the Life on Earth project based at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Life on Earth is a NSF-funded project led by principal investigator Chia Shen, director of the Scientists’ Discovery Room (SDR) Lab. Shen’s team, including lead developer Florian Block and collaborators around the country, worked for several years to find the most effective ways to make the tree an open-ended space to explore how life formed and continues to evolve.




The Banished Beetle Project


The Banished Beetle Project is a citizen science initiative designed to increase awareness of burying beetles and their importance to the environment. Collecting data on burying beetle species is beneficial in order to determine the presence of the endangered American burying beetle (ABB). The American burying beetle only occurs in six states, including Oklahoma. There has never before been a chance to involve citizen scientists in this research effort until now! I have developed methods that enable teachers and young children to go outside and perform experiments that will add to larger pool of data that will significantly improve research efforts towards the conservation of this troubled species.




LabintheWild

LabintheWild tests your abilities and preferences. At the end of each experiment, you will see a page with your personalized feedback, which lets you compare yourself and your performance to other people around the world.

By participating, you contribute to research on people's similarities and differences and help improve users' experience when interacting with technology. We believe that research should be done in collaboration with people—people like you from all over the world who are interested in learning about themselves and helping research. With your help, we can, for example, compare the website preferences of people from different countries, or analyze what user interfaces should look like if optimized for the most interaction abilities of certain age groups.




Gotham Whale

Gotham Whale monitors marine mammals in the waters around New York City. We work primarily on board the whale watching vessel, The American Princess. We enlist other on-the-water observers to report sightings of whales, dolphins, and seals in the area.




BUGSS

BUGSS stands for Baltimore UnderGround Science Space. We are a community lab for amateur, professional, and citizen scientists and a place to be curious about biotechnology and have fun responsibly.




Connecticut Turtle Atlas

With approximately 58 percent of the world’s 335 turtle species threatened with extinction, turtles are the most endangered vertebrate group in the world. The Bruce Museum in Greenwich invites people to help turtles with the launch of the Connecticut Turtle Atlas Citizen Science project.

The unassuming turtle is seldom on the mind of most people, but they are a top priority for many conservation biologists. Turtles can play key ecological roles, serving as both predators and prey, contributing to the cycling of nutrients, and acting as seed dispersers.

Anyone interested in turtles or the outdoors can participate, including families, children, individuals, and classrooms. Participants in this new Bruce Museum Citizen Science initiative will collect data on all turtle species found throughout the state as they help scientists track turtle distribution and abundance. The project runs from April through November and will continue on an annual basis.

The state of Connecticut is home to twelve native turtle species that inhabit our woodlands, wetlands, and even the waters of Long Island Sound. The primary threats to turtles in the state include habitat loss and traffic-related highway mortality. Worldwide, turtles are negatively affected by threats such as collection for food and pets, disease, and changing climates, as well as habitat loss and fragmentation.

The goals of the Bruce Museum’s Connecticut Turtle Atlas include developing a public understanding of turtle ecology, promoting ways in which people can help turtles, and gathering research-quality data for use in publication and sharing with scientists.

Participants will learn about the wonderful diversity of turtles and their benefits to the ecology. No experience is required, all that is needed is access to a smart phone, camera, or a computer with the iNaturalist.org platform. Using the iNaturalist smartphone app, volunteer scientists can gather information that will be used to map distributions, identify important habitats, locate areas of nesting abundance, and detect roadways with high traffic-related mortality. In addition, the Bruce Museum will provide opportunities to assist with other aspects of turtle research and fieldwork.

Citizen Science harnesses the passion of the public to become amateur researchers, which helps not only with the gathering of important data on a wide scale but also with inspiring a new generation of future scientists. Citizen Science provides fun and interesting projects with real-world implications, breaks down barriers between society and scientist, opens discussion on STEM subjects and current events, shares research outcomes, and acknowledges participants’ important contributions.




Track a Tree

Are you are a regular visitor to your local woodland? If so, Track a Tree needs your help to record the spring timing (or phenology) of the UK’s woodland trees and the flowering plants that grow beneath them. Track a Tree aims to find out how much woodland species vary their seasonal timing, and how tree leafing affects the flowering of plants on the woodland floor.

We need volunteers to become citizen ecologists and record trees in their local woodland during spring, visiting on a weekly basis if possible. Track a Tree recorders are asked to monitor their chosen trees from before they budburst until they come into leaf, so the key recording period is usually between March and May. Track a Tree monitoring involves selecting a tree (or trees!) and revisiting it throughout spring to record its leafing stage and monitor the flowering plants beneath it.

As spring temperatures rise the leafing of trees is getting earlier and we are interested in testing whether woodland flowers can keep up with this change. With the help of citizen ecologists monitoring trees across the UK, we can see whether woodlands in warm parts of the country do as well as those from colder areas.

The Track a Tree project would suit anyone who regularly visits their local woodland; individuals, families, education groups… all are welcome to take part! Download the field guide from our website, get recording and share your observations to see how they compare with the rest of the UK.




BioCurious

Our Mission:
We believe that innovations in biology should be accessible, affordable, and open to everyone.
We’re building a community biology lab for amateurs, inventors, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to
experiment with friends.

What We Are:

- a complete working laboratory and technical library for entrepreneurs to cheaply access equipment, materials, and co-working space,

- a training center for biotechniques, with an emphasis on safety

- a meeting place for citizen scientists, hobbyists, activists, and students




The Microbiome and Oral Health

Help researchers learn more about the normal bacteria in the mouth!

You may Qualify if you:
• Are able to collect samples from yourself
• Have NO active dental disease
• Have NO chronic medical conditions

What is the Time Commitment?
• Six 2.5 hour office visits at UCSF
• Daily sample collection by you at your home (~30 minutes per day) for 28 days
Benefits?
• A free dental examination (no xrays) and a free dental cleaning
• A maximum of $245




UK Ladybird Survey

The Ladybird Survey aims to facilitate the recording of all the UK's ladybirds. Help us understand the ecology of native UK ladybirds by sending in your observations.

The invasion of the harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) threatens Britain's native populations. If you want to know more about this species in particular, or want to record sightings, please have a look at the Harlequin Ladybird Survey website.




Southwest Monarch Study

The Southwest Monarch Study is a citizens science research project dedicated to learning about monarch butterflies in the Southwestern United States including Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, western Colorado and the California deserts. We provide education and conservation programs as well as training to help citizen scientists tag and monitor monarch butterflies and their immatures.




The Dental Arcade Game

Are you fascinated by forensic science? This project is run by a real life forensic anthropologist, and is about teeth. It is designed to gather information about your age, ethnicity and the teeth you have in your mouth, to see if what we think we know about when teeth erupt is accurate.

At the moment, if an unknown body is found, forensic scientists (forensic anthropologists and forensic odontologists) examine the teeth and work out how old the person was when s/he died by noting which teeth have erupted, and comparing this to reference data. This data then gives the scientist an age range, which can help the police narrow down the list of possible people that the body could be. The problem is that this data is out of date, and there is lots of variation between populations.

That's where YOU come in. We can improve this data set by getting as many people as possible to complete our survey. That way, we can build up a mega-database of ages and tooth eruption and ethnicities, and build up a really useful bank of data for scientists to use in the future.




Monitoring an Invasive Seaweed

We need your help to track the changes in abundance of an invasive seaweed, Gracilaria vermiculophylla. Native to Asia, G. vermiculophylla was introduced to the Southeast via the oyster trade back in the 1990's. Scientist studying G. vermiculophylla are trying to determine how the seaweed is changing southeastern estuaries where it is most prolific, and here is how you can help!

An informational sign is placed on the Jay Wolf Nature Trial Dock, a high-traffic area adjacent to a mudflat where G. vermiculophylla can be found. The sign, along with educating the public about the invasive seaweed, instructs passersby to take a photograph with a camera or phone and to then share the photograph with us using social media or email. A bracket is installed adjacent to the sign to designate where the camera or phone should be placed, allowing us to guarantee that all photographs are taken from the same location. The photographs will be compiled in a time lapse series, which will be used to better understand seasonal changes in G. vermiculophylla populations. The time lapses will be available for viewing by the public through the project’s blog.




Drug discovery from your soil

Creating a new medicine is a team effort involving scientist and medical professionals from a wide variety of fields. In 2010, researchers with the University of Oklahoma’s Natural Products Discovery Group redefined the notion of what “team” meant when they launched their popular Citizen Science Soil Collection Program . Through this program, volunteers from across the United States have helped by donating soil samples from their own backyards, which OU investigators are using to obtain fungi that make special compounds known as natural products. Natural products are the source of many lifesaving drugs that are used today by doctors around the world.




Beats Per Life

What is the secret to a long life? The heartbeat of some animals may hold a clue. We are consolidating reports of the heart rate and lifespan of as many vertebrate species as possible. Our goal is to integrate the data from various sources into a single database, where they can be more readily accessible.




Measuring the vitamin C in food - a global experiment

Take part and share your data with thousands of students from around the world. Test your fruit and vegetables for vitamin C using simple kitchen equipment and household items.
This global experiment will remain open so you can participate anytime.




Water - a global experiment with hydrogels

Thousands of people all over the world are taking part in Water: a global experiment with hydrogels. Pupils explore the effects that hydrogels – a man-made product – has on the water cycle before sharing their results with other classes across the globe. Not only are all the activities engaging but they also support learning and curriculum coverage. So why not make it part of your lessons?




Track Fire and Wolves:Canadian Rockies

To help keep this amazing place intact, park managers need to understand exactly how this food-chain reaction works. Help them by measuring how much vegetation elk are eating and how the controlled fires have shaped the plant populations. Spend one day on the trail of wolves, following their tracks in areas of high wolf activity, such as their meeting sites and travel corridors.




Identify the cloud

Share photos of unusual cloud types and formations, and help identify other people's cloud pictures.




FreshWater Watch

FreshWater Watch is Earthwatch's global research project which aims to involve at least 100,000 people in a program to research and learn about fresh water. The purpose of FreshWater Watch is to safeguard the quality and supply of fresh water, our planet's most precious and vital resource.

Participants have the opportunity to become citizen scientists and take an active role in scientific data gathering. As a citizen scientist, you will join a global community working together to promote freshwater sustainability.




Fastest lift

The aim of this project is to identify the lift with the top speed in your area. To take part in this mission, you will need an Android device (phone or tablet) and the Sense-it app.




Noise map

Noise around us can increase stress and make it difficult to concentrate. This project will help you map your surrounding noise, compare it to other places and decide whether you live in a noisy environment.




Amazon Riverboat Exploration

You’ll journey aboard a restored, remodeled, air-conditioned vessel from the Rubber Boom era. You’ll travel for two days along the Samiria River into the heart of Peru’s fabled Amazon region. There, in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, you’ll discover a flooded forest whose waters run from the Andes Mountains to create a delicate wilderness. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet and work with the Cocama people from a nearby village. With your help, Earthwatch and the Cocama will develop management plans to protect both the needs of the Cocama people and the wildlife of the Samiria River basin.




Excavating the Roman Empire in Britain

As a volunteer member of the archaeological team, you’ll help a seasoned team of researchers to excavate Arbeia and its environs to better understand how the Romans and the inhabitants of northern Britain came into contact with each other—and were forever changed by the experience. You’ll work in small groups, rotating among many tasks, including excavation using a trowel or more robust digging equipment, recording site data, site surveying, and sampling, cleaning, and processing finds.




South African Penguins

Ninety percent of the penguin population on Robben Island has disappeared over the past 100 years. You can help conserve their habitat and protect their population.




International Drought Experiment

The goal of the International Drought Experiment (IDE) is to implement a highly coordinated, multi-site drought experiment requiring (in most cases) only a moderate investment of time and resources by investigators. This coordinated, distributed experiment will allow for the quantification of the impacts of four-year extreme drought across a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems based on a common experimental design and a comparable suite of measurements.

The primary goals of IDE are to: (1) assess patterns of differential terrestrial ecosystem sensitivity to drought, and (2) identify potential mechanisms underlying those patterns. IDE will significantly expand the scope of past drought experiments by including as broad a range of ecosystem types as possible, ensuring that these experiments are accessible to as many investigators as possible, and overcoming the limitations of past drought experiments (i.e., lack of coordination, differences in approaches and methodologies, etc.).




Exploring Rising Tides in South Carolina

Your work will help the scientists uncover what climate change could mean for the plants, animals, and people that depend on these wetlands. By understanding these changes, the scientists can recommend the best way to protect this critical wetland forest and others like it around the world.




ReverseTheOdds

With our free mobile game, you can turn your mobile or tablet into a weapon against cancer. By playing Reverse The Odds, you’ll accelerate cancer research – and potentially help our scientists find new treatments faster.

The wonderful world of Odds needs your help to restore it back to its former glory. To do that, you’ll need to beat fun puzzles, earn potions and, most importantly, analyse cancer cell images on every level. It’s super simple.

Our scientists need you to join us. Together, we can seek out cancer’s weak spots, and unlock clues to kinder treatments today, for the people who’ll need them tomorrow.




Tracking Sea Turtles in the Bahamas

The green sea turtle and the hawksbill sea turtle are in trouble. Even though the Bahamian government has made it illegal to catch them in the country’s waters, to save these endangered species from further decline, researchers need to ensure their habitats are protected from coastal development and climate change.




NOVA Cybersecurity Lab

The Cybersecurity Lab is a game designed to teach people how to keep their digital lives safe, spot cyber scams, learn the basics of coding, and defend against cyber attacks. Players assume the role of chief technology officer of a start-up social network company that is the target of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. In the game, players must complete challenges to strengthen their cyber defenses and thwart their attackers.

The Cybersecurity Lab is a great resource for STEM educators who want to teach their students best practices for staying safe online and introduce them to computer science principles and the architecture of online networks.




Missouri Stream Team Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring

The Missouri Stream Team Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring program trains volunteers across the state to monitor streams and collect biological, physical, and chemical data.

There are four levels of training: Introductory Level, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Each level needs to be taken sequentially since each class builds on the previous one. At the Introductory Level workshops you will learn about watersheds, how to measure stream discharge, and how to use the macroinvertebrates in the stream to assess the water quality. After you complete the Introductory Level Workshop and submit data at your chosen monitoring site, you will be eligible to attend the Level 1 Workshop. At this workshop, you will learn about water chemistry and get a review of macroinvertebrates. After the completion of this workshop you will get the chemical kits and other equipment to chemically monitor water quality. The Level 2 workshop is the Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QAQC) workshop. The Level 3 is an audit where Program Staff will come out to your monitoring site and verify techniques.




Wisconsin Water Action Volunteers

Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a statewide program for Wisconsin citizens who want to learn about and improve the quality of Wisconsin’s streams and rivers. The program is coordinated through a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin – Cooperative Extension.




Animal Ownership Interaction Study

Join a growing worldwide Canine Citizen Science Community and make a significant contribution to saving the lives of dogs. Participate anonymously in the online Animal Ownership Interaction Study with Veterinarian behaviorist Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMS, DVA of the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinarian Medicine in research collaboration with Dr. James Serpell, Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinarian Medicine. This will be the world's largest dog-owner personality-behavior study ever conducted with a view to establishing once and for all how owner personality and psychological status influence and contribute to a companion canine’s misbehavior, which too often leads to owner relinquishment and preventable euthanasia.

Membership in the Center for Canine Behavior Studies and participation in the study is FREE and has benefits, such as a free Dognition Assessment by Canines, Inc. and access to the Ask Dr. Dodman blog.




Play to Cure: Genes in Space

Help researchers cure cancer.

The problem:

We know that faults in our genes can lead to cancer cells forming. This can be linked to the amount of genes in our cells - sometimes we have more and sometimes we have less.

It can take years for scientists to analyze all of their genetic data, but with thousands of citizen scientists playing Genes in Space, the process is greatly accelerated.

How it works:

First, you plot a galactic route. In the context of the game, you're choosing your flight path, but these “space coordinates” are actually a visualization of DNA data, and you're showing our scientists where the genetic variations are which may lead to cancer.

Then you collect Element Alpha, a mist like substance that can be traded for ship upgrades. It actually represents the same DNA data that has just been mapped – which means our scientists have two perspectives on the same sample, from one player.

And we’ve added an asteroid field. This makes the gameplay more engaging and challenging. You need to dodge or shoot a multitude of asteroids to complete a stage.

Each data sample is analyzed multiple times for accuracy. Don’t worry about making mistakes - the more people who use Genes in Space, the more accurate the results will be and the faster data can be translated into new ways to beat cancer.




IDAH2O Master Water Stewards

The IDAH2O Master Water Steward program participants attend an 8-hour workshop which combines classroom instruction and hands-on field work.

A certified Master Water Steward then can adopt a stream location to conduct regular monitoring of habitat, biological, chemical and physical assessments. Stewards upload all data collected to an interactive HIS website that is publicly available. Another focus of the program is to educate citizens on the science behind water quality and to help them understand streams, rivers and lakes systems. Youth involvement and K-12 participation (formal and after-school enrichment) is also strongly supported.




Leaf Pack Network

What is the Leaf Pack Network®?

A Hands-On Stream Ecology Investigation Based on Real Science!

Science involves more than simply collecting data. Science is also the process of communicating and sharing results, initiated through inquiry.

The Leaf Pack Network® is an international network of teachers, students, and citizen monitors investigating their local stream ecosystem. Through the Leaf Pack Experiment, monitors use tree leaves and aquatic insects to determine the health of their stream and to understand its ecology.

Individuals participating in the Leaf Pack Experiment and Leaf Pack Network® engage in the full process of designing an experiment, conducting research and communicating their results. Leaf Pack can also easily be implemented into any curriculum and fulfills many state and national science standards. Watch your students become empowered and energized learning about their local watershed!




Emotional Load of Calls

Assist in research investigating the evolutionary and ethological foundations of dog-human relationship. Dogs, like other animals, communicate through vocalization. They communicate their needs and desires, and they can also communicate their emotions.

The Emotional load of calls is a 30 minute survey, with two optional pauses after 10-minute intervals. You will hear human and dog calls, and your task is to mark the sound sample based on the emotional state and intensity of the caller.




Floating Forests

Floating Forests asks you to help us uncover the history of Giant Kelp forests around the globe. Most algae and animals that live on the seafloor can only be sampled by SCUBA divers or dredging up samples from the deep. This kind of data requires a ton of (really fun) effort to collect, but it means we’re limited in our knowledge of changes in their abundances through time. But Giant Kelp is amazing - it can grow up to a foot a day and forms lush canopies that can be seen by some of the earliest satellites man put into space!




The NOVA RNA Lab

Nature’s best kept secret is a wonder molecule called RNA. It is central to the origin of life, evolution, and the cellular machinery that keeps us alive.

In this Lab you’ll play the role of a molecular engineer by solving RNA folding puzzles. Then take your skills to Eterna, where you can design RNAs that could be at the heart of future life-saving therapies.

This project is part of the NOVA Labs platform




Natural North Carolina

North Carolina is a beautiful place! With the huge variation in habitat types - from the mountains to the piedmont to the coastal plain - our state boasts a grand diversity of plants, animals, and fungi. Just look around. You likely encounter hundreds of species in your daily life, and many just beyond your front door!

Scientists at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences document the species in our great state and share the things we learn with you in our Museum exhibits. But, we can't be everywhere at once! We need YOUR help. By photographing and reporting the wildlife you see in your everyday life to Natural North Carolina, you can help us learn more about the species that call North Carolina home. You will also help us create an atlas of North Carolina's flora and fauna that you can use to identify the natural things you see in your local area. And all you have to do to help is snap a photo of something in nature and tell us where and when you took it. Easy!

So, get outside! Snap a few photos. Become a citizen scientist by submitting your photos to Natural North Carolina. Together, we can discover the wonders of North Carolina and learn more about our amazing state.




BC Cetacean Sightings Network

Twenty-three species of cetaceans and sea turtles have been recorded in the waters of British Columbia, Canada. Many of these populations are 'at-risk' and under-studied.
The B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network (BCCSN) collects sightings of cetaceans and sea turtles in the waters surrounding British Columbia, Canada using a network of citizen scientist observers. Our observer base is diverse, from interested citizens to lighthouse keepers, ecotourism professionals, mariners and recreational boaters. Anyone can participate and reports are made via an on-line form, toll free number, email, or supplied logbook. Look for our smartphone app, WhaleReport, available now for free download from the iTunes and Google Play stores.




Geotag-X

Photos taken in disaster situations and other humanitarian crises by different people on the ground can potentially be a powerful resource for the response teams. In fact, the information we gain from these images can be crucial to provide humanitarian aid not only in the immediate response effort, but also in future recovery and preparedness work.

Unfortunately, the manpower needed to process the incredible number of photos coming out of these situations makes this duty impossible for a single organization. Therefore we are turning to the crowd and looking for volunteers to help us rapidly extract meaningful, relevant and structured data from these photos.

This is why we launched the GeoTag-X platform, which gathers a series of pilot projects (for example, the Emergency Shelter Assessment project) covering different disaster related events. GeoTag-X asks people to analyse the photographs associated with each event by answering some short and strictly structured questions.

Our final aim is to have an open source tool and associated analysis questions that can be taken by anyone working in an humanitarian crisis and quickly and easily adapted to their needs. To do so, we need as many volunteers as possible to help us assess GeoTag-X’s suitability as a tool in disaster response.




Where is the Elaphrus Beetle?

Dan Duran, assistant professor in Drexel University’s Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, has just embarked on a search for the marsh ground beetle, which also goes by the Latin name for its genus, Elaphrus.

It is found along muddy stream banks in temperate regions like ours. It's an effective "indicator species" because it's adversely affected by run-off, like road salts and agricultural chemicals--that make it into a stream without being visible.




Nanocrafter

Nanocrafter invites you to become a citizen scientist in the field of synthetic biology! As you solve puzzles to progress through the game, you'll learn about DNA biochemistry and how DNA strand displacement can be used to build computers, gears, walking constructs, and more! Compete in challenge levels that let you submit creative solutions to problems ranging from casual to highly technical. Review the solutions that others submit, team up to come up with even better solutions, and help scientists forge the future of synthetic biology!

Check out our game video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaQEQ8Tiu_0

Follow us on twitter: @nanocrafter

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nanocraftergame




Blue Catfish Watch

Show us your blue catfish catch! Collaborate with scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to help us track the expanding range of the non-native blue catfish into the upper Chesapeake Bay and into Delaware Bay and the Delaware River.

Native to the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri Rivers, blue catfish were introduced to Virginia for sport fishing beginning in 1974. Since introduction, these non-native top predators have expanded their range into many of Maryland’s tributaries, including the Nanticoke, Patuxent, Choptank, Susquehanna and Sassafras Rivers. Due to their large size and adult predatory feeding behavior, blue catfish are consuming many native fish species, such as white perch, largemouth bass, American shad, river herring and menhaden. Knowing where and when these catfish are being caught is an important part of understanding their rising impact on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Remember that it is illegal in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware to transport and release live blue catfish.

Identifying Blue Catfish
Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) have a bluish-gray body and a deeply forked tail. Unlike channel catfish, they do not have spots on their body. One feature that distinguishes blue catfish from other catfishes is the prominent straight edge on their anal fin; other catfishes, including the similarly colored white catfish, have a rounded anal fin (see pictures on website).




Spot A Ladybug

Did you ever wonder how ladybugs got their spots?

I am working with a extremely interesting type of ladybug called the Harlequin ladybug, or Harmonia axyridis. This ladybug can vary in the way they look with respect to both color (they can be red, orange, yellow, and black) and spot number (they can have anywhere from zero spots to twenty-two spots).

This projects uses citizens to understand what these ladybugs look like across continents! Knowing how the Harlequin ladybug's look varies will help determine, genetically, how so much variation exists.




Pieris Project

The Pieris Project is a citizen science initiative designed to collect morphology and genetic data on a single species - the cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) - from across its entire range, including your backyard! The small cabbage white butterfly is a great species to study how organisms adapt to new environments, because this butterfly has invaded many parts of the world within the last two centuries and is now found on nearly every continent. With your help, and only with your help, we can create the world's most comprehensive butterfly collection that will allow us to learn how the cabbage white has adapted to new environments as it expanded across the globe. This type of data will be critical to understanding how species may respond to environmental changes, such as climate change and habitat destruction.




Dark Skies ISS

Right now there are around 1.800.000 images at the Johnson Space Center database (The Gateway of the Astronauts). Around 1.200.000 images were taken aboard the ISS (date 20/02/2014). However the number of the classified images is much smaller and there is no archive of georeferenced images. There is a project to classify the day time images (Image detective). But, the techniques that are used in this project are not useful for the classification of night time images. The reason is that the patterns on Earth are not the same during the day and night. This is why another technique is needed to classify these night time images.

Our main objective is to study the light pollution that came from the cities. We want to stop the waste of energy and the destruction of the mighty ecosystem.

Your collaboration it is really important because algorithms cannot distinguis between stars, cities, and other objects (i.e. moon). Thus, we need your help to assess the light pollution in our world!




Planet Mappers: Mercury Edition

Map the surface of Mercury by marking and measuring craters and linear surface features in images from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft.

By mapping craters across the planet, we can start to piece together the global crater population and figure out what these new images are showing us about the solar system’s inner-most planet.




Asteroid Mappers: Vesta Edition

Help us map the surface of asteroid Vesta using images from NASA' Dawn spacecraft. Measure the sizes and positions of craters and other surface features.

Why do we care about craters? Craters can tell us a lot about what’s happening on a planetary surface. One of the main uses of craters is to tell ages. The age of Vesta’s surface is really important to know, because it was probably one of the very first objects to fully form in the solar system.




BiodiversiTREE

BiodiversiTREE is an experimental forest on the campus of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD. In fall of 2013, staff and volunteers planted more than 20,000 trees in 75 plots. Some of the plots have one species, some have 4 species, and others have 12 species. Over the next 100 years, professional and citizen scientists will collect data to better understand the impacts of forest biodiversity on environmental factors such as tree growth, insect diversity, and soil quality.

We are seeking volunteers to help us maintain our forest and to help us collect data! No prior knowledge is required. This opportunity is suitable for people age 16 and over. Younger volunteers (under the supervision of a parent or guardian) will be considered on a case by case basis. Volunteers will be working outside and this work involves a lot of kneeling and bending. Volunteers must come to the SERC campus in Edgewater, MD to volunteer.




Lookit

If you've ever wondered what your child is thinking or what it's like inside your newborn's mind, you're not alone.
The single most amazing computational engine known to mankind is your child's mind.

We're hoping to learn more about how babies and children learn by enlisting the help of their most dedicated and curious observers: their own parents!

By participating in a quick online activity with your child and submitting a webcam recording of his/her responses, you can contribute to our collective understanding of the fascinating phenomenon of children's learning.

In some experiments you'll step into the role of a researcher, asking your child questions or controlling the experiment based on what he or she does.

Traditionally, developmental studies happen in a quiet room in a university lab. Why complement these in-lab studies with online ones? We're hoping to...

...Make it easier for you to take part in research, especially for families without a stay-at-home parent

...Work with more kids when needed--right now a limiting factor in designing studies is the time it takes to recruit participants

...Draw conclusions from a more representative population of families--not just those who live near a university and are able to visit the lab during the day

...Make it easier for families to continue participating in longitudinal studies, which may involve multiple testing sessions separated by months or years

...Observe more natural behavior because children are at home rather than in an unfamiliar place

...Create a system for learning about special populations--for instance, children with specific developmental disorders

...Make the procedures we use in doing research more transparent, and make it easier to replicate our findings

...Communicate with families about the research we're doing and what we can learn from it




Exogen Bio - Understanding DNA damage in humans

Exogen Bio's citizen science study hopes to collect big data on the causes and consequences of DNA damage in humans. Join our citizen science study! Gain access to leading edge information about the health of your DNA while helping advance science.

Scientists have linked DNA damage and poor repair to some cancers, neurological diseases, premature aging, and many other serious diseases. You might be surprised to learn that your DNA is constantly being damaged and broken. DNA damage can come from exposure to environmental toxins or can also result from lifestyle choices like diet and physical exercise. Your level of DNA damage may also be a reflection of your personal genetics.

Scientists have developed the technology to measure DNA damage over a decade ago, but the procedure is lengthy and can be error-prone when done manually. Their studies typically have small sample sizes because of technological limitations. Exogen scientists (from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) have developed and refined novel high-throughput technology to automate and standardize the procedure for measuring DNA damage in human blood samples. With this technology in hand, we can collect the big data needed to map DNA damage in humans to lifestyle/environment and diseases so that we can promote a healthier DNA for everyone.




Which English?

One of the oldest findings in the study of the mind is that children are better at learning languages than adults. But when you bring children and adults into the lab, adults are better at any language-learning task you give them. So whatever is happening, it happens at a very different timescale than what we can study in the lab.

In this project, we are taking advantage of the fact that different people start learning English at different ages -- anything from birth to old age. We are using the Internet to get a very broad sample of people who started English and different ages and have different first languages -- a much, much more detailed survey than has ever been attempted before.

To help you get a sense of what we're learning as the project progresses, we've added some machine learning to the quiz that tries to guess your dialect. As we get more participants, the guesses will get more sophisticated, including guessing whether your native language is English.

We are also building interactive infographics to describe the data as it comes in. You can find them on our blog. The first one is available now at http://www.gameswithwords.org/WhichEnglish/dialect_results.html




Cat Tracker

Cats are mysterious, dangerous and far more unpredictable than one might expect from an animal that is theoretically, domesticated. Some of the mysteries of cats relate to where they go and what they do; this is especially true of cats that go outdoors. We open our doors. They leave. Just where they go, we can’t be sure. Or rather we couldn’t be sure, until now. With your help, we’re investigating the movement of domesticated cats across the landscape. We want to know: Where do they go? What are they eating? What do they bring home, microbially speaking?




PressureNet

PressureNet is a network of crowdsourced weather sensors. We automatically collect atmospheric pressure measurements using barometers in new Android devices. We're sharing this live data with scientists and researchers to improve weather forecasting. Soon we'll provide you with a weather forecast based on everyone's live, shared data!

We're going to make new weather models using the data that PressureNet automatically collects - these models should produce forecasts that are significantly more accurate than any other method! Since the data is collected using smartphones, we can gather way more data about the atmosphere than ever before.

Until we make forecasts, PressureNet shows you the raw data. The pressure data is displayed in graphs so that you can see both your own data as well as other regions' graphed over time. We've just added animations as well, so you can watch storms moving across a region. Furthermore, you can now report what the weather is where you are! Current weather conditions automatically refresh every twenty minutes to keep it accurate.

PressureNet has been featured on BBC World Service, Wired Science, and MIT Technology Review.




Disk Detective

NASA is looking at stars to find dusty debris disks, similar to our asteroid belt. Learning more about these stars can tell us how our Solar System formed. But computers often confuse these disks with other astronomical objects like galaxies and nebulae. We need your help to sort out what stars actually have these disks, so we can follow them up with other telescopes like Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope.




L.A. Nature Map

The L.A. Nature Map hosted by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is an interactive map that displays local plant and wildlife observations.

Our Southern California region is a hotspot for urban biodiversity. With your help, we can show Angelenos and the world the diversity of nature all around us. You can contribute to this citizen science project by sending photos of plants and animals.

The L.A. Nature Map is created in collaboration with iNaturalist.




Birdeez

Birdeez is the easiest way to identify, collect and share bird sightings. The goal of this project is to educate you about the birds in your area while you contribute sightings that will be used for scientific understanding of bird migration, bird populations and climate change.

Currently Birdeez is available as an iPhone application at www.GetBirdeez.com/ but soon we we will be online and on different phone platforms as well.

Every bird counts, so help us help them by collecting and sharing sightings.




Visionlearning

Visionlearning is a digital resource for science students and educators. Visionlearning contains free open access lessons covering a range of STEM topics. There is a Classroom feature where students can bookmark modules and glossary words for future reference and where teachers can assemble the materials into a learning management system. We also welcome professional scientist and educators to contribute to our learning materials.




Citizen Science

Citizen Science is an online flash-based computer adventure game in which the player is a young adult who becomes concerned about the health of a local lake threatend by eutrophication. Based at Lake Mendota in Madison, WI, the player's goal is to restore the lake. By focusing on the ecological needs of Lake Mendota as well as the surounding community, the game is able to bring together real-world issues and scientific practices.

Citizen Science encourages students to connect ecology content to civic action. It is designed to introduce questions like, "What can I do to change things?" The purpose of Citizen Science is to help players develop a conceptual understanding of lake ecology while giving them experiences of confronting pressing ecological issues, conducting scientific inquiry to address these issues, and taking action in the (virtual) world to affect change.

Citizen Science was developed for upper-elementary school and early middle school students. It is intended to be implemented as part of a class curriculum.




GoViral

GoViral is a free and real-time online Cold & Flu surveillance system administered by researchers at New York University. Participants will get a Do-It-Yourself flu saliva collection system that they can keep and use at home if they are feeling sick. All samples will be analyzed at a central laboratory that checks for 20 different viral infections. GoViral participants will get their own laboratory results and, through the aggregate data, be able to see what infections and symptoms are going around near them so they can take appropriate public health measures and understand when something might be abnormal. The data will be used for research purposes only.




Snapshots in Time

Snapshots in Time is a long-term Citizen Science project aimed at mobilizing people to monitor the timing of Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) breeding throughout the respective ranges of these species. The purpose of this project is to use the data collected by on-the-ground citizens year after year to investigate possible effects of climate change on the timing of reproduction. Determining changes in the timing of breeding is very important, not just for these species, but also for others that use the same habitat. The results of this project could allow us to inform land managers and development planners of important areas for conservation and to look deeper into what other species in these ecosystems may be negatively affected by climate change, including some endangered species.

This is what is commonly referred to as a phenology project. Phenology is the study of periodic events in a plant or animal's life cycle, such as breeding or migration, and how the timing of these events are influenced by changes in the climate. Phenology allows us to understand variations in breeding times, even in limited geographic areas or specific sites, to develop a range-wide picture of any shifts in the timing of breeding.

Our objective is to collect your data long-term, so those that choose to participate in this project are encouraged to do so at the same sites year after year when possible.

This effort will focus on populations found throughout their range in North America. Both of these amphibians breed following heavy rains during winter to spring that flood woodland depressions and various other types of ephemeral (short-lived) ponds or wetlands that lack fish. These can include areas such as lime-sink ponds in karst regions or pools in the floodplains of streams.

Both species migrate en mass to breeding sites when weather conditions are appropriate from winter to spring depending on where you are within their range. Spotted Salamanders and Wood Frogs often share the same breeding sites and breed simultaneously—with breeding typically occurring earlier for southern populations (i.e., winter) compared to more northerly populations (late winter–early spring). During most of the year (when not at breeding sites), Spotted Salamanders live in burrows and/or under large logs in forest habitats. Wood Frogs are terrestrial and reside in leaf litter-carpeted forests away from water where their coloration affords them excellent camouflage.

We request that you submit field observations for either species, including any information related to: 1) Migrations of adults to/from breeding pond sites; 2) Observations of adults at breeding ponds; 3) Observations of egg masses; 4) Observations of larvae (Spotted Salamander) or of tadpoles (Wood Frog), and 5) Whether metamorphs were observed leaving the wetland. We are betting the wetlands you monitor become spots (no pun intended!) that you regularly visit well into the future (or continue to visit if you are already doing so…).

We have prepared datasheets for the information we desire from your observations and also have an identification sheet for each species. One data sheet should be used for each observation. For example, if you heard Wood Frogs on one date, that is one observation. If you see tadpoles the next time you visit the wetland, you would use a separate data sheet. We request a photograph for each observation so that we can confirm identification.

Encountering Wood Frogs and Spotted Salamanders (or evidence of these species) in the field is always exciting. Rolling a pond-side log to see the bright orange spots of a plump Spotted Salamander or hearing the duck-like chuckling sounds of a sizeable Wood Frog chorus are always memorable natural history experiences. With this study, you can make your observations count toward a scientific review of these species’ breeding patterns. This will benefit our knowledge of these animals and also provide you an opportunity to better acquaint yourself with the amphibian life in your own backyard while doing your part for conservation.

Consider participating in Snapshots in Time... it will be a great experience for all ages!




LepiMAP

LepiMAP is the African butterfly and moth mapping project. LepiMAP is a joint project of the Animal Demography Unit and Lepidopterists' Society of Africa.

LepiMAP is a project aimed at determining the distribution and conservation priorities of butterflies and moths on the African continent. This project is building the 21st century distribution maps for Africa's butterflies and moths. LepiMAP is the continuation of SABCA (the Southern African Butterfly Conservation Assessment)

Anybody, anywhere in Africa can contribute to this awesome Citizen Science project! And we need YOUR help!!




Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9-15), we're making history and recruiting 10 million to join in and do the Hour of Code.

You can also participate in the Hour of Code all year-round. Tutorials will work on browsers, tablets, smartphones, or "unplugged."




MIT Museum's Friday After Thanksgiving (FAT) 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!

Making a chain reaction allows people to explore their own creativity and see how their unique contraptions relate to a larger whole. No matter how unique the devices, inevitably, with a little string and duct tape, they all work together beautifully.

How does it work?
Join the fun as a spectator or, even better, as a participant! Participants must register in advance to create their own contraptions and bring them to Rockwell Cage on Friday, November 28. Artist and inventor Arthur Ganson, renowned chain reaction creator, will be on hand, along with local artist and MIT alumnus Jeff Lieberman, to help participants link their contraptions together and emcee the event.

Can anybody do it?
Of course! Participants range from Girl Scout troops to artists and engineers, from MIT clubs to high schools and family teams. Teams have come from as far away as Michigan and California!




Tangaroa Blue Foundation

Tangaroa Blue Foundation coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI), a network of volunteers, communities, schools, indigenous rangers, industry bodies and government organisations. The objectives of the AMDI are to remove marine debris from the environment, collect scientific data on what is removed, track to the source wherever possible, and engage stakeholders to find practical ways to stop those items from entering the environment in the first place.




Poo Power! Global Challenge

An invitation to 700 school-aged students from 25 different schools has been extended to the wider community to participate in a global competition. Students and classes will be pitched against each other to see who can identify the most and largest dog poo 'hotspots' in their local neighbourhood in the 'Poo Power! Global Challenge'.

Participating schools and students will use their GPS-enabled iPhone to download the free Poo Power! App from the App Store. Their task is to identify and map dog poo 'hotspots' in dog parks and public spaces from their neighbourhood over a 2 week period starting Monday 25 November 2013.

This eyebrow-raising initiative is a collaboration between dog poo entrepreneur Duncan Chew from Poo Power! and Mia Cobb from the Anthrozoology Research Group, recent winner of I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here!

The collected information will be uploaded onto the Global Poo Map and provides a platform for students to discuss the scientific, social and environmental issues of dog waste. The students are then encouraged to write a letter to their local Government representative of their findings and recommendations.

"From our research only 3% of Australians see uncollected dog waste as an environmental concern," explains Duncan Chew. "When it rains, uncollected dog poo gets washed down drains, effecting water quality and habitat for native animals, as well as making rivers and creeks unpleasant for us to visit."

Mia Cobb echoes her enthusiasm for the initiative: "This is the great way to utilise the prize money from winning the IAS competition to raise awareness of new sustainable energy sources, environmental issues and responsible dog ownership while increasing student engagement in a citizen science activity."

The collated information has the poo-tential to identify sites for biogas-powered lights for parks as proposed by the Melbourne-based project, Poo Power!, currently in development. The methane that is released from the dog waste as it breaks down inside a 'biogas generator' can be used as a viable renewable energy source.

Competition prizes and giveaways are up for grabs for the most photo submissions received between 25th November and 9th December 2013.

Visit www.poopower.com.au for full competition details.




Watch the Wild

Watch the Wild™ needs your help. As a Watch the Wild™ volunteer, you observe and report the "wild" in your community, from trees and plants to lakes and streams to weather and wildlife activity. In as little as ten minutes, your observations help us to understand how our eco-systems are changing and helps us to adapt for the future. Your observations will be entered into a database and shared with interested scientists.




Quantum Moves

The Quantum Moves game was born out of the dilemmas and questions the quantum physics researchers at Aarhus University confronted with when they took the challenge of building a quantum computer in the basement lab of the university.

Confident that the human brain is able to do better than even the most advanced computational machines available in the world, the CODER team decided to create the "Quantum Moves" game and invite everyone to play and get the chance to do front-line quantum physics research.

The idea behind the game is simple: every time you play, your mouse movements are simulating the laser beams moves used in the real quantum lab to transport the atoms onto the right pathways.

Your goal is to achieve the best scores in "QComp" and "Beat AI" labs, which translate the most difficult scientific challenges, and thus help science make a step forward towards building a quantum computer.




MicroBlitz

MicroBlitz is citizen science on a vast scale. Our super-sized, Western Australia wide environmental survey will underpin cutting-edge research into the biodiversity and health of our changing environment. How? By digging into the soil and looking at the smallest building blocks of WA's ecosystems - microbial DNA.

By working together with our community of MicroBlitz citizen scientists across the state, our research team at the University of Western Australia (UWA) will create what we call a baseline map.

The map will be a crucial point of reference that can be shared and used to monitor, manage and ultimately protect WA's precious environment. We're talking about data with the potential to inform a host of environmental initiatives and programs of local, national and global significance.

It's free, easy and fun - simply register online and we will send you out a sampling kit/s. We are particularly interested in connecting with people outside of the metropolitan area to help us create a complete picture of microbial activity across Western Australia.




Darwin for a Day

Darwin for a Day is a web application that allows you to explore the Galapagos Islands through Google Street View and document its unique plants and animals. When you see an animal or plant you’d like to catalogue, you can describe it by creating an observation. You can just enter your best guess at what it is (i.e. “bird”) or enter in the scientific name, if you know it!

All of your observations will be shared with the iNaturalist community & the Charles Darwin Foundation, and will contribute to research of the Galapagos Islands.




Counting Weddell Seals in Antarctica

Have your students help scientists count Weddell seals using satellite imagery.

Many people think seals on the ice are easy to count. There is no place for them to hide when they are out of the water. They are not afraid of people so don’t run away, and if they are with a pup, the adult stays in the same location for several days. However it is not that easy. There are seals all over the place as new cracks in the ice create new suitable locations for feeding and many seals move to these new areas. Counting individuals is difficult unless they are tagged because it’s hard to know if we counted this one yesterday or not. To solve these problem scientists are using satellite images that can take a picture of a large area at one moment in time. They then can count them using a computer.

In this activity, we ask for your help in counting the seals using satellite images. Scientists need all the help they can in creating an accurate count. We hope you will take the time to join our team and help do the counting as the images come in several times every season.




Ignore That!

How distractable are you? How well can you ignore irrelevant information?

See your results at the end of this activity and help us learn more about the structure of language, meaning, and thought in the process.




NatureWatch NZ

NatureWatch NZ is a citizen science project dedicated to exploring and discovery New Zealand's biodiversity. If you see an unusual or interesting bug, plant, or any other species, take a photo of it, upload the photo to NatureWatch NZ, and learn all about it. The NatureWatch NZ online community will ID your species for you. You can also help others to ID their photos, and you can join (or create!) projects about the species and places you're most interested in.

Together, we're documenting what's living in NZ so we can understand NZ nature better, and have fun while we do it.

(NatureWatch NZ is a website and online community of New Zealand nature watchers powered by the international iNaturalist.org system. Thanks iNat!)




Harvard Forest Schoolyard LTER

The Harvard Forest is part of a national network of sites that supports K-12 teachers and students in hands-on ecological research.

In the Harvard Forest Schoolyard LTER program, teachers learn about and initiate ecology research in their classrooms and schoolyards. Students learn to collect data on important long-term ecological issues and processes. Student data are then shared on the Harvard Forest website.

[From the Harvard Forest website]




Fern Watch

Help Track the Health of Redwood Forests

In 2008, League scientist Emily Burns discovered that the height of the most common plant in the coast redwood forest is affected by how much rain and fog fall in the woods. Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) has tall fronds in wet redwood forests and much shorter fronds in dry forests. For this reason, sword fern is an important indicator of climate change and we are studying these ferns to detect drought in the redwood forest.




Study Adélie Penguin breeding

From November to January, classrooms take part in a virtual field study of Adélie Penguins as they breed, brood and rear their chicks in Antarctica. Photos of selected penguin families from Cape Royds Antarctica are posted to the website for students to follow on a daily basis. Weather data, event journal and background information about penguins is also provided. Students keep a field notebook gathering and analyzing their own data about each penguin family using the same process of the field biologist. This real time, long term activity provides students a window into the harshness of Adélie penguin life and the work of field scientists. Predation, competition and environmental challenges all affect the penguin’s ability to raise chicks. Witnessing these events themselves helps students begin to understand the world around them and the remote location of Antarctica. This project offers a real time daily field experience with outcomes we cannot predict.




Amphibian Conservation and Education Project

The Amphibian Conservation Education Project aims to empower educators, students, and individuals to become involved in amphibian conservation efforts.

Through this project, participants will become field scientists by analyzing water quality and testing amphibians for the disease, Chytrid Fungus. Collected data is then used by local herpetologists (scientists who study reptiles and amphibians) to gain a better understanding of the species of amphibians being affected by the disease and where Chytrid is being spread.




Fraxinus

Botanists in the UK have teamed up with game development company Team Cooper to design a social media game that uses real genetic data from the common ash tree, Fraxinus excelsior, and from the Chalara fraxinea fungus to find out what makes some trees less susceptible to it.

Fraxinus presents players with multiple rows of colored leaves, where each color represents one of four DNA nucleotides and each row represents the genetic information from a different ash tree sample. Players are challenged to compare chunks of genetic code between the various ash samples, including around 100 Chalara-resistant trees from Denmark, as a means to search for genes that could be encode resistance. Players will also match genetic patterns from the Chalara fungus to learn more about how it spreads.




Notes from Nature

Most natural history collections are housed in museum cabinets, where they are not easily available to citizens and researchers. The Notes from Nature transcription project addresses this problem by digitizing biological collections one record at a time! Help museum staff and scientists by transcribing the labels and ledgers that have been meticulously recorded and stored over the past century. In many cases these are the only historical records of species distribution available. Join us in unlocking this important information - take some notes from nature!





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