header green line bottom border

Science Policy


Earth, Asteroids and Beyond

"Earth, Asteroids and the Beyond" is a Citizen Forum for NASA’s Asteroid Initiative.

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids? How about harvesting asteroids for potential economic benefits? Could asteroid exploration be used to boost our capabilities and help clear a pathway to Mars? How should we balance costs, risks, and benefits of human exploration in space?

Sounds like stuff just for rocket scientists. But how would you like to be part of this discussion?

An innovative project between NASA, the US government’s space agency, and a group led by Arizona
State University called ECAST—Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology—is planning to do just that: allow ordinary citizens a say in decisions about the future of space exploration.

The “Earth, Asteroids and the Beyond” project will hold forums this fall to engage citizens in active dialogue about NASA’s Asteroid Initiative. Discussion will cover topics from how to detect
threatening asteroids and how to defend against them to strategies for human exploration of asteroids and the space beyond the moon.

The citizen forums will engage diverse publics in respectful, reflective and informed conversations, both face-to-face and online. The goal is to enable participants to learn about such issues, develop their own questions, and make recommendations based on their own values and interests.

ECAST is a network of different institutions, launched in 2010 to provide a 21st

technology assessment. It combines the research strengths of universities like Arizona State University with the skills of nonpartisan policy research organizations and the education and outreach capabilities of science museums and citizen science programs. Larry Bell quote about ECAST or PES, why is this
significant?

Three of the five ECAST founding partners, the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) at ASU, the Museum of Science, Boston and SciStarter.com are working with NASA to design, convene and evaluate two forums of about 100 demographically diverse participants each in Phoenix and Boston, as well as an online forum open to the general public to collect informed views on NASA’s Asteroid Initiative.

The report and assessments from the forums will provide input to guide the initiative’s direction and
related public engagement activities.




UNITAR Disaster Mapping

Transfer your skills in health and medicine to help develop a crowdsourcing application for processing disaster images in the media.

Volunteers can help in identifying information that can be extracted from photos. Contribute feedback on the design of the photo analysis application.

***This project will be come active in August. Please check back then for more information on how to volunteer.***




A.T. Seasons

Tracking the Seasons

The A.T. Seasons project brings together different parks and organizations that are actively monitoring seasonal changes in plants and animals (phenology) along the Appalachian Trail. Using Nature’s Notebook or our customized mobile app observers at all levels will be contributing to a comprehensive dataset with the goal of understanding the relationship between phenology and climate change along the Appalachian Trail. Get Involved today!

A.T. Seasons is your opportunity to help track the unfolding of important life cycle events each year along the iconic Appalachian Trail, linking your observations with others from Georgia to Maine. By observing and reporting seasonal changes of plants and animals you will help build the foundation to understanding and protecting the scenic & natural beauty of the trail corridor.




The Winnower

Winnower is a new opportunity publish your scientific work.

Submission. Once you’re ready to publish your work with just a few simple clicks you can upload it to The Winnower website. It will be automatically formatted and open to read and review immediately.

Review. The paper can be reviewed by The Winnower community and authors are encouraged to gather reviews from their peers.

Revision. Based upon reviews received, papers will have the option of being revised. Previous comments will remain associated with the final publication.

Archival. Once the final version is posted your paper will be assigned a digital object identifier (DOI) and reviews will remain open for the duration of the papers life. Article-level metrics, including altmetrics and the reviews themselves will track the importance and accuracy of the paper.

Cost $100




Penn Defibrillator Design Challenge

The Social Media and Health Innovation Lab at the University of Pennsylvania is currently holding a contest called the Penn Defibrillator Design Challenge (www.defibdesignchallenge.com). This project is an initiative at the intersection of public health and public art and is engaging the public to submit designs to surround an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). AEDs are life-saving devices used to shock the heart back to life during cardiac arrest, yet often go unnoticed by passers-by or are misunderstood as only being able to be used by medical professionals. In fact, the devices can be used by anyone and often make the difference between life and death for the cardiac arrest victim.

The project is aiming to collect innovative, approachable, memorable, educational, creative, colorful, and bold designs to draw attention to these devices that you probably walk by every day without being fully conscious of their locations. The project website is www.defibdesignchallenge.com, where people can join the contest by 1) submitting an AED design and 2) voting for their favorites. Designers can win more than $1000. Winning designs also have the chance to be installed as a design installation around a real AED in prominent Philly locations when the contest wraps.

*Note: all participants under 18 years of age need to submit with a parent or guardian.

The first AED design installation launched the contest and is featured now in Philadelphia's iconic 30th Street Station. This design uses "Twitter furniture" spelling #AED to create a conversation space around the AED as well as a conversation space on social media. The below stories show more about the first installation.

WHYY coverage: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/64676-doctors-turn-to-designers-to-curb-cardiac-arrest-deaths
Philly Mag coverage: http://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2014/02/10/30th-street-stations-new-art-installation-help-save-lives/




OSF SciNet

Problem: Scientific citations are frequently constrained by terms-of-use or within proprietary systems making it difficult to see connections in the literature.

Solution: OSF SciNet uses the open source Citelet extension to crowdsource a free, open, and comprehensive metadata dataset of scientific citations and corresponding references to unlock the citation network.

Impact: The dataset generated through this project will make it easier to see the connections in the scientific literature and to promote open science.




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.




Field Photo Library

A photo taken in the field helps scientists and citizens to document changes in landscape, wildlife habitats, impacts of drought and flood and fire, and so on. This Geo-referenced Field Photo Library is a citizen science and community remote sensing data portal, where people can share, visualize and archive field photos in the world. Users can upload, edit, query and download geo-referenced field photos in the library. All photos are also linked with satellite image series images (MODIS), so that people can see the changes over time.




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]




Water Quality Monitoring

Dinoflagellates emitting bioluminescence make us happy.

It means San Diego’s water does not have harmful levels of toxic chemicals that can harm plants, fish and bugs. And it’s one of the tests we conduct during our monthly water quality monitoring events.

Coastkeeper has monitored San Diego’s waterbodies since 2000. We use the data collected by our volunteers to identify polluted waters and reduce sources of pollution. San Diego’s local government agencies have limited resources and they monitor infrequently, providing only a snapshot of water quality. Data collected by Coastkeeper volunteers increases the amount available so regulators can assess more comprehensive water resources data to make more effective decisions on how to reduce sources of pollution.

Coastkeeper staff and its crew of trained volunteers (we train more than 100 volunteers each year) currently collect and analyze water samples that are analyzed for basic chemistry, nutrients, bacteria, and toxicity from nine out of 11 watersheds in San Diego County on a monthly basis. To ensure that our data meets the highest quality standards possible, Coastkeeper follows a rigorous quality assurance and control plan and standard operating procedures that have been approved by our state regulatory agencies.

To our knowledge, we are the largest volunteer-based water quality monitoring program in the state. Through this program, we create community involvement and stewardship by educating the public on the importance of good water quality in our coastal and inland waters. It adds the scientific data component to Coastkeeper's work. We are tremendously grateful to the volunteers and partners who share our passion for keeping our waters clean and healthy.




MPA Watch

In 2012, San Diego's Marine Protected Area (MPA) network went into effect. To help assess the effectiveness and functions of our MPAs, the region will undergo a 5-year review in 2015, looking at ecological impacts and human use.

To collect a robust data source for human use of our protected areas, we are training up citizen scientists to conduct visual transects of our MPAs in San Diego County.

During training, all participants will learn how to take a transect during an MPA Watch assessment and receive the data sheets and information you need to participate. We are asking volunteers only to document human uses of our MPAs. Data collection is done following state-wide methods and protocols.

All information will be used in the future assessment of our MPAs in San Diego and helpful in understanding how human use has changed since their implementation.




Socientize

Individuals and institutions interested and/or involved in Citizen Science are now invited to participate in the elaboration of the White Paper on Citizen Science.

In this document Socientize is compiling policy recommendations for the European Commission related with citizens' engagement in the excellence in science for Horizon 2020. We therefore collect experiences and suggestions from the divers stakeholders involved in citizen science, like volunteers, researchers, infrastructure providers, scientific organizations, communicators, innovators, journalists, educational experts and artists.

Note: Project is active until October 2014.

All the contributions will be grouped, analyzed and published anonymously. Your name and institution will appear in the contributors list.

A first draft of the White Paper (Green Paper) will be published in October 2013. The final version of the White Paper will be published in October 2014. Please contribute via this form until September 6th 2013.




Folding@home

Help Stanford University scientists studying Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and many cancers by simply running a piece of software on your computer.

The problems we are trying to solve require so many calculations, we ask people to donate their unused computer power to crunch some of the numbers.




MyEnvironment

The MyEnvironment mapping tools provides immediate access to a cross-section of environmental data for any geographical location in the U.S. Users of the official site can choose the location and environmental issue to examine.




Michigan Herp Atlas

Help record sightings of amphibians and reptiles in Michigan. This helps provide needed data about the conservation practices of Michigan's regions. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and its various partners need your help to monitor the entire state.




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.




Kinsey Reporter

Kinsey Reporter is a global mobile survey platform to share, explore, and visualize anonymous data about sex.

Reports are submitted via smartphone, then explored at http://KinseyReporter.org or downloaded for off-line analysis.

The Kinsey Institute is exploring new ways to record and describe people's sexual experiences worldwide. We are also exploring new ways for people to be connected while protecting their privacy. We hope to reach people with all kinds of different ideas, beliefs, and experiences, and who might be willing to report on sexual behaviors, regardless of who is involved and where it is observed. By using Kinsey Reporter, you contribute to research on human sexual behavior. We ask you to act ethically, in the role of a good journalist or "citizen scientist." Submit what is true and accurate to the best of your ability.

Ideally, you would submit a report within 24 hours of the event you are reporting. The report can be about yourself or someone else. It is all anonymous. Kinsey Reporter includes surveys about various sexual activities and other intimate behaviors. These surveys cover sexual behaviors and events, sexual health issues, violence reports, public displays of affection, and other unique behaviors and experience. A 'survey' in this case is a report of information shared by many individuals on a topic of interest; it is not based on a random or representative sample of a community or population.

To ensure that reported data is strictly anonymous, you can only select among the provided tags when answering a question. However, contact us to suggest new surveys, questions, or tags.

To protect the anonymity of the reports even in sparsely populated areas, we aggregate reports over time. A report is not published until a sufficient number of reports have been received from the same location, and then all of those reports are recorded with a randomized timestamp. The more sparsely populated your area and/or the higher the geographic resolution you select, the longer the delay until your report appears. Therefore, in a sparsely populated area, you might want to select a lower resolution (e.g., state/region or country), to minimize the delay until your report becomes public.

Interactive visualizations of the data are available on the KinseyReporter.org website. The anonymous data we collect is also publicly available to the community via an Application Programming Interface (API), documented on the KinseyReporter.org website. We welcome your feedback.

Kinsey Reporter is a joint project of the world-famous Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (KI) and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (CNetS), both at Indiana University, Bloomington.




The Human Memome Project

We want to be able to find correlations between people's ideas, behaviours and aspirations (all of which we are calling memes) and their health, wellbeing and lifespan.

If we can find ideas, memes, behaviours and aspirations that could potentially increase health, wellbeing and lifespan we use this data to create an academic dataset, educational tools and further citizen science and quantified self practices.

We are not just interested in finding associations with increasing average lifespan, or reaching the current maximum lifespan, but finding ideas and behaviours that may be correlated with increasing maximum lifespan as well as maintaining mutual health and wellbeing.

The dataset will be analysed using inter-disciplinary methods including linguistics, bioinformatics, omics, statistics, machine learning, computational modelling, memetics.

We would like to get at least 1000 participants, and many ideas, behaviours and aspirations per person.

I am a PhD student who has so far funded this project personally to following my passions (longevity science, science outreach and empowering people to be healthy, happy and long lived). I would really appreciate if you could take part and share this project with your friends and family.

What we think and do effects how long we will live and could potentially live - let us work together to find the best thoughts and actions to create a better world!




The Grand Canyon Trust

Help form a regional team of knowledgeable, passionate and committed botany volunteers who will stop at nothing to provide plant identification for critical decisions in Utah Public Lands, including the Dixie, Fishlake, and Manti-La Sal National Forests and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This team will assist the Grand Canyon Trust’s Utah Forest Program staff with fieldwork on an ongoing basis to collect plant data that will be used strategically to increase protection and restoration of native plant communities on southern Utah public lands. If you don’t know how to identify plants yet, you will after this training.

This botanical boot camp training is not for the faint of heart. Regional experts will provide a basic overview of plant taxonomy and common Utah plant families, with a focus on grasses, sedges, willows and exotic species. After the classroom training, we will dive right into identifying and collecting plants on research transects in nearby Manti-La Sal National Forest.

By becoming a Utah Big Deal Botanist, you will commit to volunteer for an additional trip during the 2013 field season with the Grand Canyon Trust. Please see the link to our website, below. To this end, we are seeking residents of southern Utah or southwestern Colorado.




Hedgehog Hibernation Survey

A study was conducted 40 years ago which suggested a link between climate and when west-European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) come out of hibernation. Since the first year of this survey in 2012, over 90,000 hedgehog sightings have been recorded and we are starting to build up an invaluable picture of how British hedgehogs behave. This will inform our understanding of how hedgehog behaviour may change as the climate changes.

We need your help to collect hedgehog records from 1st February until 31st August 2014. Understanding patterns of hedgehog behaviour across the UK will enable us to target the conservation strategy for this charming animal, which is currently in severe decline.




iSeeChange: The Almanac

The iSeeChange Almanac is a socially networked weather Almanac for communities to collectively journal their climate experiences -- their observations, feelings, questions, and decisions --- against near-real time climate information.

Founded in April 2012 in Western Colorado, iSeeChange is a public radio and media experiment that fosters multimedia conversations between citizens and scientists about how seasonal weather and climate extremes affect daily American life. From the earliest spring recorded in the history of the United States, a landmark wildfire season, nationwide droughts, and weather records breaking everyday, climate affects every citizen and binds communities together.

iSeeChange is produced by Julia Kumari Drapkin in Western Colorado at KVNF Mountain Grown Community Radio as a part of Localore, a nationwide production of AIR in collaboration with Zeega, with principal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.




RinkWatch

In 2012, scientists in Montreal warned Canadians to expect there will be fewer outdoor skating days in the future.* Their predictions are based on the results of data taken from weather stations across Canada over the last fifty years. In some parts of Canada, they warn there may one day be no more backyard rinks at all. Remember the story of how Wayne Gretzky learned to play hockey on the backyard rink his father made for him in Brantford, Ontario? The scientists’ report says some day that will no longer be possible – at least, not in Brantford.

This prompted a group of geographers at Wilfrid Laurier University to create RinkWatch. We want people from coast to coast to coast to tell us about their rinks. We want you to pin the location of your rink on our map, and then each winter record every day that you are able to skate on it. Think of it as your rink diary. We will gather up all the information from all the backyard rinks, and use it to track the changes in our climate. The RinkWatch website will give you regular updates on the results. You will be able to compare the number of skating days at your rink with rinks elsewhere, and find out who is having the best winter for skating this year.




Librería Metagenómica del Ecuador

We are a group of scientists interested in exploring the potential applications of Ecuador’s unique biodiversity. As a first step, we are working to assemble and apply gene libraries collected from around the country.
You can join field trips in Ecuador to collect samples, work in a lab extracting and sequencing nucleic acids, or from home assembling and curating the electronic database.




Deforestation Mapping in Canada

The Canadian Forest Service is asking Canadians to use their local knowledge to identify possible deforestation areas.

Satellites produce much of the available imagery about Canadian forests. However, many of these images do not have enough detail to identify an area has been deforested. The only way to identify deforestation is to visit the area in person. These visits involve travel by air and land vehicles, which results in heavy use of fossil fuels.

By asking local people to visit the sites and then report back to us on the event, we can saving money, reduce travel costs/green house gas emissions, and engaging citizens with their local environment. In addition, your local knowledge and input can help reduce our carbon footprint and deliver one of the most accurate Carbon accounting estimates in world.




AirCasting

AirCasting is a platform for recording, mapping, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. Each AirCasting session lets you capture real-world measurements, annotate the data to tell your story, and share it via the CrowdMap.

Using the AirCasting Android app, AirCasters can record, map, and share:
(o) sound levels recorded by their phone microphone;
(o) temperature, humidity, CO and NO2 gas concentrations recorded by the Arduino-powered AirCasting Air Monitor, and;
(o) heart rate measurements recorded by the Zephyr HxM.

Using AirCasting Luminescence, these sensor streams can also be represented using LED lights.




SubseaObservers

Help track the health and abundance of the mid-Atlantic scallop fishery!

Researchers at the University of Delaware have developed a new robot-based approach to surveying marine life the ocean floor. They use Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which can navigate underwater without direct human control, to take photos of marine life in its natural habitat.

By becoming a SubseaObserver you'll play a roll in ocean conservation by helping organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) make better decisions about how to manage the scallop fishery now and for future generations.

As a SubseaObserver you can name your own virtual AUV and choose what part of the mid-Atlantic you'd like to explore.

SubseaObservers also includes information about scallop biology, how the fishery is managed, how AUVs work and where they're used.




Marblar

Marblar is unique and fun way to engage in citizen science and exchange ideas across disciplines. Marblar posts research projects in need of creative, real-world applications and they ask YOU to come up with those applications.

Singing up is easy and free and there are new projects added regularly. Projects are posted for three weeks. Through online collaboration, the final solutions are posted for users to vote on and further discuss. Top solutions are even awarded cash prizes!




Data Detectives

Beginning November 14 through the end of the year, students ages 13-18 around the globe are invited to participate in “Data Detectives”, an engaging web experience to learn about how Big Data will impact their lives and the world they will be inheriting.

Data Detectives is the student component of the Human Face of Big Data, a global crowdsourced project conceived by “Day in Life” series creator Rick Smolan. It aims to help people better visualize the ways big data is shaping our future on this planet, and includes a smartphone app, worldwide events, a large format illustrated book with an interactive iPad app, and a documentary.

The Data Detectives initiative invites students to answer questions, explore fascinating examples of how Big Data is changing their world, interact with real-time data and see how other students around the globe are impacted in similar and different ways.




Community of Observers

Get to know the nature of YOUR world! The Fairbanks Community of Observers is to encourage greater public clarity around environmental indicators of climate change in Vermont and northern New Hampshire. Using the website developed by the Fairbanks Museum, we'll collect your quantitative data focused on the life cycles of specific birds, butterflies and wildflowers that are sensitive to environmental change as well as seasonal weather data that is characteristic to our region.

The Community of Observers is for individuals, families, clubs, groups and schools. It is designed to encourage citizen scientists to gain a deeper understanding of the cycles and patterns that characterize our region through the seasons, and how the habitats that depend on these cycles might be affected by global climate shifts.




World Wide Views on Biodiversity

Join thousands of people around the world in a conversation about World Wide Views on Biodiversity. What do you think about the way biodiversity is managed? How do you think we should solve the problem of biodiversity loss? Tell us – and see what others are saying!

On Saturday, September 15, people in over 30 countries joined together for a day of deliberations about these issues. There is still time to add your voice – use the materials on the project's site to learn more about the issue of biodiversity, and then chime in with your ideas. Strike up a conversation with your friends to help inform your decision, or leave a comment to start a discussion with others.

Biodiversity is the species, genetic, and ecosystem diversity in an area, sometimes including associated components such as landscape features or climate. Still feel like you need to know more? You can dive deep into the issues with information from some of the National Research Council’s recent and historic work on the topic. Or skip ahead to the booklet, which all participants in the World Wide Views on Biodiversity deliberations received.
Charge:

Vote to add your voice to the conversation.




The National Map Corps

The US Geological Survey (USGS) is recruiting volunteers to collect and update USGS geographic data. Similar to how other online crowdsourcing cartographic applications allow anyone to collect, edit, and use geographic data through an online map editor, the USGS has developed an online editor customized to our data needs that allows volunteers to contribute data to The National Map.

We are looking for people like you to work with us to collect data for the USGS. The data you will collect during this project will be loaded into The National Map. If you have access to the Internet and are willing to dedicate some time editing map data we hope you will consider participating!

You do not need to live in any particular area to participate. Our editing guidelines explain how you can contribute data from anywhere.




Sevengill Shark Tracking in San Diego

A citizen science project which allows local divers to log and document encounters with Sevengill sharks (Notorynchus cepedianus). The Sevengill Shark Sightings is a portal through which data is entered into the 'Wildbook' pattern recognition algorithm program.

Photos will be used to add to the pattern recognition algorithm to analyse the freckling patterns of each shark to determine which animals are returning each year.




MIT Climate CoLab

In the Climate CoLab, you can work with people from all over the world to create proposals for what to do about climate change.

Inspired by systems like open source software and Wikipedia, MIT’s Climate CoLab relies on crowdsourcing to generate, and gain support for, creative new ideas to address global climate change. Activity in the CoLab is organized through a series of on-line contests, on a broad set of subproblems at the heart of the climate change challenge. Topics include increasing the efficiency of energy use, decarbonizing energy supply, changing social attitudes and behavior, adapting to climate change, and geoengineering.

The public is invited to participate by submitting, commenting, collaborating, supporting, and/or voting for proposals. Experts review the proposals and after a judging and public voting process, top proposals are connected with those who can help implement them.

Check out the SciStarter feature of the Climate CoLab: http://scistarter.com/blog/2013/08/stop-collaborate-and-vote-mit-climate-colab .




Shad watch

Invasive species are a growing global concern because of their negative impacts on ecosystem functions and biodiversity. American shad are an andaromous (ascend rivers from the ocean to spawn) fish native to the Atlantic coast of North America that were deliberately introduced to the Sacramento River, CA, in 1871. The species has now spread to additional Pacific coastal rivers, and have dramatically increased in abundance in the some systems like the Columbia River.

Despite their prevelance in the Pacific northwest, basic information about the ecological effects of shad on native species remain unknown. A first step towards gaining an understanding of the species impacts requires knowing where they continue to be found.




eButterfly

eButterfly is a citizen science project that helps document butterflies in Canada. By creating a user profile and documenting observed butterflies, citizens can help scientists better understand butterfly distribution in Canada. Users can also track which butterflies they have observed on a dynamic map application, and share photos with the eButterfly community.

The 2,045 eButterfly records of over 170 species help the Canadian Facility for Ecoinformatics Research at the University of Ottawa's Department of Biology better understand how butterflies adapt to environmental change. Eventually, the data you collect will help contribute to the preservation of Canada’s great biodiversity.




UF Native Buzz

Solitary bees and wasps in your own backyard!!!

Native Buzz is a citizen science project created by the University of Florida (UF) Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab. Our goal is to learn more about the nesting preferences, diversity and distribution of our native solitary bees and wasps, share the information gained and provide a forum for those interested in participating in the science and art of native beekeeping (and wasp-keeping!).

Here at University of Florida Native Buzz you can keep track of your own native buzz nest site and see the results of other participant’s nest sites.




International Space App Challenge

The International Space Apps Challenge is a 2-day, worldwide citizen science event that focuses on developing technologies to solve relevant issues on earth, and in space. The event will take place on all seven continents and will even include collaborators from the international space station. From San Francisco, Nairobi, Melbourne, and even a research station on Antarctica, participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with citizen scientists and professional scientists from a variety of cultures offering a an amazing opportunity for creating unique solutions to a growing list of over 30 global challenges.

The event will take place on April 12-13, 2014 in a variety of locations across the world. At the event, participants will compete as teams to address challenges ranging from creating a mobile geospatial data visualization application to document environmental degradation activity to creating a mobile application to aid citizens in using social media to report natural disasters. The event aims to unite governments by demonstrating the principles of the Open Government Partnership, an effort endorsed by the U.S. and 52 other countries to promote transparency, participation, and collaboration between governments and citizens. A powerful Citizen Science initiative indeed! Further, the event presents a great opportunity to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education to students through applying technology as solutions to global challenges.

The International Space Apps Challenge is a ‘codeathon’ style event where highly collaborative software development processes result in innovative solutions to unique challenges. Bringing together software developers, engineers, science students, and technologists from around the world is sure to create novel ideas of global scope. The growing list of challenges has been compiled from NASA and several other partnering international agencies; however, you can work with event planners and scientists to submit your own challenge to the event.

This event holds great potential for creating meaningful solutions to global issues and is a truly unique opportunity to collaborate with scientists around the world. Register now to join other citizen scientists and help contribute to global science!




MammalMAP

THE BROAD PICTURE: The aim of MammalMAP is to update the distribution records of all African mammal species. Through collaborations with professional scientists, conservation organisations, wildlife authorities and citizen scientists across Africa, we consolidate all reliable and identifiable evidence (camera trap records, photographs) of current mammal locations into an open-access digital database. The database software automatically generates online distribution maps of all recorded species which are instantly visible and searchable. The information consolidated within MammalMAP will not only yield crucial information for species conservation policies and landscape conservation policies, but provides an excellent platform for educating the public about African mammals and their conservation challenges.

WHY MAMMALMAP IS NECESSARY: In Africa, our knowledge of mammal distribution patterns is based largely on historical records. However, the last three centuries have seen extensive human-modification of African landscapes with the associated conversion, compression and fragmentation of natural land. With further land development presenting a likely reality for the future, the effectiveness of mammal conservation efforts depends on ecological records being updated so that they accurately reflect mammal distribution patterns in the 21st Century. With MammalMAP we plan to conduct these ecological updates over the coming years, by mapping the current distribution of mammal species (including marine mammals and small mammals) across Africa.

HOW MAMMALMAP CONTRIBUTES TO CONSERVATION: The conservation benefits of this research are multiple. First, the comparison of these updated distribution records with both historical and future records will enable the detection of species’ distribution changes in response to human-related and climate-related habitat changes. These change detections will assist the guidance of continent-wide conservation policies and decision making processes. Second, the research will promote and facilitate interdisciplinary and international collaboration amongst scientists and conservation practitioners, with potential benefits to the advancement of conservation science. Finally, both the project input stage (data collection) and output stage (data dissemination) will offer interactive, dynamic and widely applicable education tools suitable for both formal and informal education sectors.

THE WHERE AND THE HOW OF MAMMALMAP: The area of interest for MammalMAP is the whole of Africa. To achieve this we collaborate with scientists, conservation organisations, wildlife authorities and citizen scientists across the continent. Our methods involve consolidating evidence of mammal occurrence in a given location (camera trap records, photographs and other reliable records) into a digital database hosted by the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town. In time, we will use the records in the database to generate distribution maps for all recorded species, in the same way that the ADU has done for birds, reptiles, frogs and butterflies.




Trumpeter Swan Watch

By 1900, Trumpeter Swans were extirpated from their nesting and wintering areas in Central and Eastern North America. Their historic migrations to southerly wintering sites were totally destroyed. In recent decades wild nesting populations of Trumpeters have been successfully restored in several northerly states and Ontario. Most swans now winter near their northern breeding areas, but an unknown number are pioneering southward where they are beginning to establish use of more southerly wintering sites.

Little is known regarding the numbers and groupings of southward migrants, the location and characteristics of the sites they are pioneering, the duration of use, or problems they may be encountering. By providing information through Trumpeter Watch, observers can help document the changing distribution of wintering Trumpeter Swans and help identify potential new southerly wintering sites.




Greater Yellowstone Trumpeter Swan Initiative

Researchers at the Trumpeter Swan Society need volunteers to report their sightings of Trumpeter Swans in the Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain regions.

Why? By 1900 Trumpeter Swans were extirpated from their nesting and wintering areas in Central and Eastern North America. Their historic migrations to southerly wintering sites were totally destroyed. In recent decades wild nesting populations of Trumpeters have been successfully restored in several northerly states and Ontario. An unknown number are pioneering southward where they are beginning to establish use of more southerly wintering sites. Little is known regarding the numbers and groupings of southward migrants, the location and characteristics of the sites they are pioneering, the duration of use, or problems they may be encountering.

By providing information through Trumpeter Watch, observers can help document the changing distribution of wintering Trumpeter Swans and help increase this vulnerable swan population.




Research Assistant in Tropical Herpetology and Conservation Ecology

We are currently seeking research assistants to join our field team in Ecuador studying the conservation ecology of reptiles and amphibians.

While Ecuador is a relatively small country—it’s roughly the size of Arizona—it stands as the third most diverse country in the world for amphibians (510 species) and is seventh for reptiles (430 species), making it a herpetologically mega-diverse region. Due to the severe deforestation taking place in addition to many other pressures on Ecuador’s fauna, RAEI’s research program aims to study, document, and preserve these rich and unique communities of reptiles and amphibians found within the country’s diverse array of ecosystems.

As we are now in our 8th year working in Ecuador, we have study sites encompassing both the coastal forests in western Ecuador and the Amazon rainforest on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains. The work that research participants will be involved with will primarily consist of conducting night surveys for reptiles and amphibians (however other taxa such as invertebrates are also of interest), animal data collection, and lab work. Lab work consists of more detailed information such as scale counts (for reptiles) and other morphological information, animal measurements, screening for chytrid desease (amphibians), preservation (only when necessary), and acquisition of DNA samples. Diagnostic photographs of all animals are taken. Other tasks include animal handling and general note taking and data organization.




Chestnut Mega-Transect

The goal of the Chestnut Mega-Transect Project is to document the current status of American chestnuts along the Appalachian Trail. Using the idea that the Appalachian Trail is really a transect through a unique US ecosystem, TACF trains hikers to identify and count American chestnuts along the Appalachian Trail as divided into approximately 1 miles segments.




Science Hack Day

Science Hack Day is a 48-hour-all-night event that brings together designers, developers, scientists and other geeks in the same physical space for a brief but intense period of collaboration, hacking, and building 'cool stuff'. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results. Some Hack Days have a specific focus. There have already been very successful Music Hack Days and Government Hack Days. It's time for a Hack Day focused on science!




OPAL Biodiversity Survey

The OPAL Biodiversity Survey needs citizen scientists in England to help uncover the diverse range of wildlife in hedges. By contributing, you'll help researchers learn more about the importance of hedges and how we can improve them.

Hedges support many animals by providing them with food and shelter. Berries and seeds are food for birds, while holes beneath the hedge are often home to small mammals. You’ll also discover caterpillars, shieldbugs and many other invertebrates living among the leaves.

By sharing your observations with the project, reseachers can instantly rate the condition of your hedge and offer suggestions on how to improve it.

This is one of five OPAL surveys across England to learn more about the state of the environment. Anyone can get involved. The studies are open to all ages and abilities, and your contribution will be important in helping scientists build up a picture of England's natural environment.




California Roadkill Observation System

Citizen scientist report their observations of roadkill (animals killed after collision with a vehicle) with an easy-to-use form. Roadkill data can be analyzed by observers and will be used to understand where roadkill occurs and the severity of the impact to wildlife species.




River Source Watershed Monitoring

Watershed Watch increases the understanding of New Mexico's water quality, river ecology and fisheries health through hands-on science in a real-world context. Students gather data on biological, chemical and physical indicators and make presentations to local data users including acequias (irrigation canals), school boards, federal agencies and watershed groups. Students become engaged in environmental studies of issues beyond the classroom to that address critical water issues in local regions.




NASA Space Settlement Contest

This annual contest, co-sponsored by NASA Ames and the National Space Society, is for 6-12th graders (11-18 years old) from anywhere in the world. Individuals, small teams of two to six, and large teams of seven or more (often whole classrooms with teacher leadership) may enter their design for and description of a human colony in outer space.

Submissions must relate to orbital settlements; they may not be on a planet or moon. Settlements must be permanent, relatively self-sufficient homes, not temporary work camps. Designs, original research, essays, stories, models, artwork or any other orbital space settlement
related materials may be submitted.

Grades 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12 are judged separately, except for the grand prize. The single highest scoring team or individual attending will receive the NSS Bruce M. Clark, Jr. Memorial Space Settlement Award for $3,000.

Submissions must be received by March 15.




Sound Around You Project

I am building a sound map of the world as part of a study into how sounds in our everyday environment make us feel. We need your help!

We’re asking people across the world to use our new iOS app on their iPhones or iPads (or any recorder) to record short clips from different sound environments, or "soundscapes"--anything from the inside of a family car to a busy shopping centre. Then we ask volunteers to comment on their soundscapes and upload them to our virtual soundscape map.

Recordings and responses will be analyzed by acoustic scientists, and significant findings will be reported on this website.

Sound Around You aims to raise awareness of how our soundscape influences us, and could have far reaching implications for professions and social groups ranging from urban planners to house buyers.




AnimalsandEarth

Explore, share, and contribute photos of animals around the world. Animals and Earth is a resource for photos of all species, their behavior, habitats, and conservation efforts.

There are several ways you can participate.

Option A: Find photos or issues you care about by browsing our photo collection of animals and earth photos. Gather a photo collection, create a blog, and start your own conservation effort using our content

Option B: Grab your camera and help document the flora and fauna of your place on earth.

Option C: Help identify animals and places on our site by adding photo locations and Latin names for animals photos that are not identified yet. Post photos to websites, blogs and social networks promotes awareness and conservation.




Massachusetts Vernal Pool Salamander Migrations Study

Massachusetts Vernal Pool Salamander Migrations Study needs the public to document, through an online mapping interface, large migrations across roads of amphibians that breed in the state's vernal pools.

The project aims to minimize the impact of roads and traffic on rare and non-game wildlife, while improving highway safety, through cost-effective research, planning, and implementation of partnerships with citizens and communities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Help contribute data and learn more about proactive efforts to protect rare wildlife in Massachusetts.




Massachusetts Statewide Roadkill Database

The Massachusetts Statewide Roadkill Database needs the public to document any roadkill observations in the state through an online mapping interface.

The project aims to minimize the impact of roads and traffic on rare and non-game wildlife, while improving highway safety, through cost-effective research, planning, and implementation of partnerships with citizens and communities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Help contribute data and learn more about proactive efforts to protect wildlife in Massachusetts.




Turtle Roadway Mortality Study

This project allows the public to document turtle roadkill observations in Massachusetts through an online mapping interface.

The project aims to minimize the impact of roads and traffic on rare and non-game wildlife, while improving highway safety, through cost-effective research, planning, and implementation of partnerships with citizens and communities of Massachusetts.

Help contribute data and learn more about proactive efforts to protect turtles and other wildlife in Massachusetts.




Mastodon Matrix Project

The Mastodon Matrix Project needs citizen volunteers to analyze actual samples of matrix (the dirt) from a 14,000 year old mastodon excavated in New York! Learn the process of science and work like a paleontologist on real research material!

Volunteers sort through the matrix to find shells, bones, hair, pieces of plants, and rocks from the time when the mastodons lived and roamed the Earth. The matrix and discoveries are then sent back to the Paleontological Research Institution, where they will be cataloged and further analyzed by paleontologists to help scientists form a true picture of the ecology and environment of the late Pleistocene.

Mastodons are extinct relatives of modern elephants. Mastodons were numerous and widespread in North America up until around 10,000 years ago, when they became extinct--with many other species--at the end of the last glacial period.




Contra Costa Volunteer Creek Monitoring

Volunteers wade through creeks in Contra Costa County (California), using the latest technology and scientific protocols to collect baseline data on our local watersheds. Our two primary programs are Bioassessment sampling and GPS Creek Surveys.

Bioassessment - Using aquatic insects as indicators of water quality, volunteers learn more about the health of their neighborhood creeks and identify potential problem areas. While water samples yield a detailed identification of the water at the time of sampling, the density and diversity of bugs in our creeks yield a watershed-level perspective of water quality and habitat viability over time.

GPS Creek Surveys - Using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, volunteers map the physical attributes of the stream channel (substrate, canopy cover, bank characteristics, etc.), extent and type of native and invasive vegetation, and human influences (outfalls, dams, etc.).

Joining a data collection event is a fun way to explore parts of your urban environment most people never see, but they are more than just fun ... they’re science!




GLOBE at Night

Six out of 10 people in the US have never seen our Milky Way Galaxy arch across their night sky from where they live. And the problem of light pollution is quickly getting worse. Within a couple of generations in the U.S., only the national parks will have dark enough skies to see the Milky Way.

Too much outdoor lighting not only affects being able to see the stars, but also wastes energy and money, about 2 to 10 billion dollars a year. And it has been shown to cause sleep disorders in people and to disrupt the habits of animals like newly hatched sea turtles that try to find their way back into the ocean but are disoriented by streetlights.

Light pollution may be a global problem, but the solutions are local. To help people “see the light”, an international star-hunting program for students, teachers, and the general public was created called GLOBE at Night. GLOBE at Night is now in its 6th year and is hosted by the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

For 2014 we are collecting your observations during all 12 months of the year! See the dates below and plan to get involved.

January 20-29
February 19-28
March 21-30

April 20-29
May 19-28
June 17-26

July 16-25
August 15-24
September 15-24

October 14-23
November 12-21
December 11-20

Through this program, children and adults are encouraged to reconnect with the night sky and learn about light pollution and in doing so, become citizen scientists inspired to protect this natural resource. Teachers like the GLOBE at Night program, because it lends itself to cross-curricular learning: astronomy, geography, history, literature, and writing. The possibilities are great.




Global Warming Ambassador

Global Warming Ambassadors are volunteers trained by the National Wildlife Federation to conduct outreach to the general public through presentations and community events. Ambassadors will describe global warming concepts, how climate change affects wildlife habitat in our country as well as your state, and what people can do on an individual level to confront global warming.

This work will help the National Wildlife Federation educate, inspire, and assist individuals and organizations of diverse cultures in conserving wildlife and other natural resources.




Cricket Crawl DC/Baltimore

Discover Life is calling all citizen scientists in the DC/Baltimore area to help them map out the distribution of crickets and katydids through the city and suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC. Participants can track the sounds of these insects during the annual Cricket Crawl event held on the evening of Friday, August 24th 2012.

This project is a collaborative venture between Discover Life, The Audubon Naturalist Society, The Natural History Society of Maryland and the USGS




Christmas Bird Count

Known as the first and oldest Citizen Science project, at over 113 years, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count is also one of the largest, with 70,000+ person-days of efforts and more than 64 million birds counted each year. The CBC has contributed greatly to the science of bird conservation with hundreds of publications, including many in important scientific journals. From December 14 through January 5 each year, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition through the generations.

Count volunteers follow specified routes within a designated 15-mile diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day, and submit data to each circle compiler. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. If observers live within a CBC circle, they may arrange in advance to count the birds at their feeders and submit those data to their compiler. All individual CBCs are conducted in the period from December 14 to January 5 (inclusive dates) each season, and each count is conducted in one calendar day (24-hour period).





footer border shadow line