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Sea Star Wasting Disease

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Healthy Sunflower Star. Credit: C. Burge
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Main Project Information
Presented By UDiscoverIt, a project of Cornell University's Institute for Computational Sustainability (ICS)
Goal Understand environmental conditions for sea star wasting disease
Task Observe sea stars, record temperatures at the beach
Where Sea Star Wasting Disease

Experiments suggest that most sea stars now harbor a virus or bacterium that is making them sick. Although most stars may now be infected, we are trying to understand why they die in higher numbers at some locations than others.

We will use the citizen science data to identify whether there is a temperature threshold or some other environmental conditions associated with outbreak and non-outbreak sites. The most valuable data for us is to know what percentage of stars are sick and dead at particular sites and to verify your diagnosis of 'sick' with a photo.

How to Join

Submit observations through the web interface, including information about the location and conditions at the site.

Required Gear

• Accurate tidal chart
• Centimeter tape measure
• Digital camera or phone camera
• Ruler, for scale
• Data sheet and clipboard or mobile app
• Thermometer for recording air temperature in Centigrade (purchase from a hardware store). Note you can collect data
without collecting temperature, but this is valuable information.

Ideal Age Group College, Graduate students, Adults
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At the beach
Tags Cornell, Ocean , wildlife disease
Project Updated 05/23/2018